Appearing on this morning's "Early Show," CBS Chief Foreign Correspondent Lara Logan lit into President Bush's Iraq plan. Harry Smith opened the exchange: "the question of the morning is, can Prime Minister Maliki's government hold up its end of the bargain?"
Replied the South-African born, French-educated Logan: "That's a very good question, because most people agree that this whole plan depends on the Maliki government living up to their promises. Very, very few people in Baghdad believe that Maliki is willing or able to do this. And what you're looking at is essentially a government where all signs point to a sectarian government pursuing a sectarian agenda. And so when Maliki says he's going to act against the militias the Sunnis simply just don't believe him."
Logan continued her cold water bath for the Bush proposal: "More importantly, this plan partners US forces with Iraqi army and police. And that is making US forces even more dependent on Iraqi soldiers and army who have shown repeatedly that they cannot be relied upon, and have been involved in the sectarian killings. So this is a very serious issue and raises doubts as to whether this plan can succeed."
Reporting from the Green Zone, Logan asserted that Iraqis generally don't believe in the plan either: "Most of the people that we've spoken to say they do not want more US troops here. They don't believe this is going to help. They do believe there is going to be more bloodshed."
The best she was willing to suggest was that some Iraqis are hoping against hope that the plan might work: "And yet there are some who say that in spite of everything, in spite of losing faith in US forces, the situation is now so bad that, the tension is building, people are really, really afraid, Baghdad is a very, very difficult city to be in right now, underneath it all there are some who say that in their hearts they're desperately hoping that this can somehow make a difference."
Iraqis "losing faith in US forces"? At least our home-grown Dems support the troops ;-)
Logan accused the Maliki government of having an agenda. Might Lara have one too?
Mark was in Iraq in November. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org