New Bush Administration-Pentagon Iraq Plan: Blame The Iraqis and Run

We've been getting a taste of this strategy for sometime as leaks report that Bush & Company just can't understand why the Iraqis don't love him and don't make the violence go poof.

From Financial Times:

As George W. Bush agonises over which bits of last week’s Baker-Hamilton re­port to adopt for his forthcoming “new way forward in Iraq” announcement, an­other consensus is emerging in Washington on how to handle the situation: blame the Iraqis.

Although informed observers say that the writ of the Iraqi government stops at the perimeter of the Green Zone – the heavily fortified enclave in the centre of Baghdad – leading Republican and Democratic politicians are increasingly blaming Nouri al-Maliki’s friable coalition government for a lack of progress.

It is a consensus that was crystallised last week by the Iraq Study Group, which called on Mr Bush to withhold US assistance from Baghdad unless it made progress on fulfilling a long list of US-imposed “milestones”. It is also shared by many senior officials in the Bush administration, which had already drawn up an earlier list of milestones for Mr Maliki.

“You could call it ‘blame and run’, ” said Zbigniew Bzrezinski, a former national security adviser now at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies. “It is based on a pervasive illusion that there is such a thing as an Iraqi government. The more we blame it for doing things it cannot do, the more impotent it will become. ‘Blame and run’ is self-fulfilling.”

Strobe Talbott, head of the bipartisan Brookings Institution, agrees. In a speech last week he criticised the view that Baghdad could be pressed to make changes such as disarming the sectarian militias by threatening to withhold military, political or economic aid. The ISG report states that Baghdad must prove that it “deserves” future aid.