"If you mean by 'military victory' an Iraqi government that can be established and whose writ runs across the whole country, that gets the civil war under control and sectarian violence under control in a time period that the political processes of the democracies will support, I don't believe that is possible," he told the British Broadcasting Corp.Leaving aside the snide aside that one impediment to victory might be lack of resolve by the citizens of the U.S and what remains of its coalition partners, this looks like a campaign to soften the enemy in preparation for advancing troops.
The AP item was rip-read by Bob Schieffer on "Face the Nation" and was immediate fodder for a question to an unprepared Sen. Lyndsay Graham (R-SC), who left us only with "I disagree." That sort of moment happens rarely on TV, so that news team regarded the item as significant.
Less noticed, perhaps, is an interview conducted last week and published today by the LA Times, conducted by veteran correspondent Doyle McManus, in which Kissinger is said to make some familiar points but which the author asserts amounts "to a sharp critique of the administration's course."
"As long as he (Bush) was told he was winning, he had every reason to pursue the recommended strategy" that his advisors (sic) had proposed, Kissinger said.With the Iraq Study Group on the verge of providing what may be an intervention, is this evidence that tough love is in the offing? Watch for new talking points on the primary importance of establishing stability rather than democracy.
He declined to elaborate, except to add that it was impossible to portray the current state of affairs in Iraq as "winning."
"You don't have to be a rocket scientist to know that what we're seeing now would be an odd appearance for a victory," he said.