Liberal Grace

Friday, January 19, 2007

Thoughts on Bush's "Surge the Course" policy.

Now that I've thought and heard about Bush's "surge" -- I'm not exactly against it.


I feel horrible for the troops and their families because they are being ordered back to Iraq in an effort that surely won't lead to victory.

But, as a military strategy, I can't really bicker with Bush's minor increase in troop levels.

The after-speech spin told us that these troops will be used to reduce the horrific sectarian violence in Baghdad. Bush isn't "surging" enough to stop anything but it might reduce it some, for a while.

Will the extra troops significantly provoke more violence? It's kind of hard to imagine -- the death spiral is quickly accelerating, already.

What's perfectly clear is that Bush is not committing enough troops to change the course of the war. His change in leadership is probably more significant -- like his appointment of David Petraeus as the top commander in Iraq. This seems like a good, solid move.

But in almost perfect symmetry, Maliki appointed Gen. Aboud Gambar who some are saying is a major step towards a total Shiite take over of the military. When the US military "stands down" it looks inevitable that the Shiite faction running the military will "stand up."

We need a plan for defeat.

It's time for the Bush administration to make plans for the end game in Iraq.

The Bush administration is famous for their "nobody could have predicted" defense. Well, many people are talking about the Iraq civil war turning into a regional war when the Americans leave. If/when this happens, expect Bush & Co. to go on TV and claim that "nobody could have predicted a regional war of this magnitude."

And when we say, "We warned you this will happen" the conservatives will counter with, "You're happy for this war because it makes Bush look bad!"

I dearly wish the Bush Administration for once -- just for once -- would get ahead of an issue and work to prevent what we all feel could be coming around the bend: a regional war.

2 comment(s):

I agree, totally agree.

The problem is the indecisiveness more than anything that really drives me around the bend. If we are 'surging' to stop the violence and control the situation, does only 20K troops in only certain areas do the job? And if we are looking to 'stand up' the locals there with money and training (which clearly has not worked so far), why are the locals so against these new additions?

You're right: we are so desperately in need of a plan. Either we are fighting to win (and if that's the case, bring in the heavier numbers of troops and supplies), or we leaving to win so more troops are not lost in this civil war. As Bush et al are planning to do as set now, we'll only lose on both fronts.

As I've said it before and will say it again...we can figure out pretty easily we've been failing so far, but what exactly is our definition of success there, anyway??

Excellent posts, keep up the good work.

By the marquise, at 9:08 PM  

Thanks for the kudos.

You ask:

what exactly is our definition of success there, anyway??

This was the fatal flaw of this war -- perhaps THE fatal flaw. Because Bush and the neo-cons started this war with a deception, it never let America rally around a focussed war effort.

Anyway, Bush's CURRENT definition of success is

"Victory will not look like the ones our fathers and grandfathers achieved. There will be no surrender ceremony on the deck of a battleship," he said. "But victory in Iraq will bring something new in the Arab world: a functioning democracy that polices its territory, upholds the rule of law, respects fundamental human liberties, and answers to its people."

So, the question to ask is: will an Iranian-style Shiite caliphate bring this about? That's clearly the course that Bush refuses to change.

There is a type of democracy in Iran for a portion of the government. There is also some rule of law.

But "respects fundamental human liberties" ... not by my definition!

By Craig, at 10:05 PM  

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