Saturday :: Jan 7, 2006

“We Must Succeed in Iraq”

by Marie

That’s the bipartisan agreement in DC. The agreement that all of them pitch to the American people at every opportunity. None of them can define “success.” None of them can state how long it will take, how much it will cost or how many more casualties will be incurred by Americans and Iraqis. As many of us predicted in the US mad rush to war in 2003, Iraq would become a quagmire. A quagmire with far more dire consequences than what we experienced in Vietnam.

Of course, this nation didn’t bother to learn any lessons from Vietnam. Willfully refused to learn anything from that self-made disaster. The sins of the fathers have been embraced by the children. “The Fog of War” has become a permanent state for this country. Liberal war-hawks are every bit as deluded as those in the right wing. They just have slightly different delusions.

Liberal war-hawks swallowed the need to invade Iraq almost as quickly and easily as the wing-nuts did. The ones in Congress voted for the IWR and were supported in this by voices in the public square such as Al Franken, Josh Marshall and others in the MSM. Today many of them claim that they were “duped.” Suggesting that they are either stupid or liars. What they do lack is shame. Shame for sending over 2,000 American soldiers to their deaths. Shame that should lead them to STFU. But no, they are still believe that they have the requisite credibilty to critique Bu$hCo’s handling of the war. And exhibit no better critical thinking skills today than they did in 2002.

They love to claim that the major problem with the war is that Bush/Cheney sent in too few troops. They cite Shinsheki’s opinion that 300,000 plus troops were needed as “proof” of the correctness of their position. If 500,000 troops were not sufficient to “win” in Vietnam, what makes them think that 300,000 could do the trick in Iraq? None of these armchair generals bother to explain how we could have doubled the troop level in Iraq. Those that have been sent in the past three years have served multiple tours in Iraq. The National Guard has been exhausted and is being decimated. But more importantly, what would more troops have accomplished?

Would the various factions in Iraq have been tamed by more US troops? How many armed guards did it take for Saddam to maintain control of Iraq? A million? Is there any reason to postulate that US troops that don’t even speak the language could maintain order with a smaller force than what Saddam needed? Liberal war-hawks should get real -- occupying Iraq requires something closer to a million troops. A million not hunkered down in secure US facilities but out and about. Of course, the US tolerance for casualties would have to be similarly expanded. And maybe, just maybe, Iraq would be beaten into submission after a decade or so.

Based on Steiglitz’s current estimate of the cost of the Iraq war at one to two trillion dollars, to “succeed” would only cost us five to ten trillion. Not to mention that a draft would have to be instituted to reach the required troop levels. Since the liberal war-hawks know that Bu$hCo isn’t about to commit such resources, they feel emboldened to carp about a road not taken, and hope that such carping will endow them with some sort of status for being tough on national security and elect more of them in 2006 and 2008.

The reality is that the US cannot succeed in Iraq. Scott Ritter in a speech this week at the Commonwealth Club of California (ref: commonwealth articulated (far better than I can) the reasons why we can never succeed in Iraq. Why we have already lost. How the invasion and occupation of Iraq was a bipartisan US policy in the making since 1991. He’s probably not even wrong that an Al Gore presidency would also have taken us to war with Iraq. Ritter is not a liberal or progressive. If anything, he’s a rightwinger. However, his respect for facts, reality and truth trumps his political orientation. What a shame the same cannot be said for more Americans on both sides of the political divide.

Marie :: 11:03 AM :: Comments (29) :: TrackBack (0) :: Digg It!