I cannot begin to describe the amount of badness of the following Idea:
Now, NEWSWEEK has learned, the Pentagon is intensively debating an option that dates back to a still-secret strategy in the Reagan administrations battle against the leftist guerrilla insurgency in El Salvador in the early 1980s. Then, faced with a losing war against Salvadoran rebels, the U.S. government funded or supported "nationalist" forces that allegedly included so-called death squads directed to hunt down and kill rebel leaders and sympathizers. Eventually the insurgency was quelled, and many U.S. conservatives consider the policy to have been a successdespite the deaths of innocent civilians and the subsequent Iran-Contra arms-for-hostages scandal. (Among the current administration officials who dealt with Central America back then is John Negroponte, who is today the U.S. ambassador to Iraq. Under Reagan, he was ambassador to Honduras.)
Please tell me that an "intensive Pentagon debate" is a whole lot of people yelling at the guy who came up with the idea. Death Squads! Let's take Kurds and Shiite militiamen, train them up and turn them loose on the Suni. Kill a bunch of civilians, set off a civil war. Not to mention tossing what is left of America's moral superiority. Not to mention the inevitable scandal. Yelling at the top of their lungs at the guy who came up with this idea.