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Michael O'Hanlon on Studio B: "Iraq has become Bosnia."

Reported by Chrish - January 2, 2007 -

Shep Smith interviewed Michael O'Hanlon of the Brookings Institute today 1/2/07 on the subject of Iraq and Bush's reported intention to "surge" or "go big", sending more troops for one last attempt to control the chaos through military might. With video.

O'Hanlon began by saying that despite all the protesting over the execution of Saddam Hussein, there has not been a lot of violence as feared, but it hasn't done any good either. He called it a great irony, that two months ago Americans sent the message that we want to "reduce the commitment in some sense," yet Bush plans to "increase the commitment." Personally I would call it something else - remember, Bush does not pay attention to polls or focus groups, so why would he pay attention to the Big One?

O'Hanlon further believes that Americans will once again get behind Bush as he blithely disregards our will, so long as he professes to have a greater, wider strategy. The "new war strategy", proclaimed by banners throughout the interview, will have to include jobs programs for angry young men and political compromise on oil revenue-sharing - Bush will want to do "more, more, more," more on politics, security, and economics. In Iraq, of course; not here. Your tax dollars at work. Hundreds of billions of them. In Iraq. Not here.

Asked by Smith if he thinks Iraqis will stop going to militias for support and security, and will instead turn to American troops and Iraqi police, O'Hanlon said no. Even though Bush will get support for (what is seen as) this "last push", it's pretty late in the game. He said

"100,000 Iraqis a month are being displaced from their homes right now - 100,000 a month. Iraq has become Bosnia."

Smith asked incredulously "Iraq has become Bosnia?" O'Hanlon reiterated, saying it is like ethnic cleansing in Bosnia, almost to that scale - in fact, it may have reached that scale. He thinks we may have to negotiate a "soft partition" of the country to ensure people's safety and avoid ethnic cleansing. Smith looked distressed at this assessment and declared that's what we have been trying to prevent.

The segment ended shortly after with O'Hanlon repeating that we may have to divvy up the country for each sects' own safety. It's not desireable but it beats ethnic cleansing.

Watch the video: