Democrats propose "cap and trade" scheme for Iraq troop levels
Under Pelosi's plan, the Pentagon could have no more than 150,000 troops in Iraq unless it purchased "tradeable anti-terrorism credits" from other countries. "We believe this plan will allow the markets to allocate counterterrorism resources to the Iraq war in the most efficient way possible, while allowing our party to avoid accountability for this world-historical debacle," Pelosi said at a news conference yesterday.
White House reaction was cautious. "The President welcomes any proposal from the Democrats that has no real impact on his preconceived notions," press secretary Tony Snow said at today's daily press briefing. A source close to President Bush indicated that the administration might support the plan "as long as Britain gets most of the credits, because Blair will sell them to us for a few BeeGees CDs".
Elsewhere, the proposal has received a mixed reception. "Let's face it," said Senator Edward Kennedy, a firm opponent of the war, "we're attempting to defend a government that can't even hang people properly. This idea won't help."
Others were more supportive. "If we had done this in Vietnam I might have been able to salvage my now bankrupt credibility," said Henry Kissinger, who your DeadBrain correspondent caught up with in a rather seedy bar in Washington, DC.
Implementation of the tradeable credit scheme faces numerous hurdles. The only private counterterrorism market, a Chicago operation called TerrExchange, has never seen much success. "Basically it's four blokes, four laptops, and a roach clip," said Douglas Ramsbottom, professor of terrorism econometrics at the University of East Anglia. Moreover, the proposed scheme has little support from the Iraqi government. "I just want to kick some Sunni ass and acquire arbitrary power," said Prime Minister Nouri Maliki. "To be honest, I just don't see how this plan gets me there."
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