Friday, January 12, 2007

Too Much, Too Little, Too Late

The title of my post comes from a 1978 song by Johnny Mathis and Denice Williams. It could also describe how I feel about the President Bush's so-called "surge" of American troops in Iraq. And it seems that his plan is not playing well in among the American people either. This is a plan that should have been enacted in 2004 when we still had some control of the situation, but now that Iraq is sprialing into a civil war, the send-more-troops idea is like trying to stop plug dyke with your fingers.

I never supported the invasion to begin with, but I did think we should stay because leaving would create catatrophic results in the region that could in the long run affect America. I still think that leaving Iraq will not be an easy thing to do and could in the long run bite us in the ass. But I also think that we can't continue remaining in a war that seems to have no end and where there is no visible exit strategy except some vague notions. We can't allow more men and women to be asked to put their lives on the line when there is no clear objective.

There have been some who say that we haven't lost as many soldiers in this war as say, World War II. It implies that the American public is somewhat sqeamish about losing so many people. But I don't think that's the issue. What the American people like is to be in a winning situation. They are willing to deal with body counts if the objective is met. However, they don't want to see their sons and daughters sacrificed in a war that seems to have no point. Americans don't like losing, and they can see this for what it is: a losing situation.

So what can we do? Unlike those on either side, I don't think there is a perfect idea that will not cost us anything. I think we need to begin to pull out of Iraq, but unlike those on the left that seem to think Iraq will become some kind of peaceful paridise after we leave, we need to do it in a way that makes sure that the mess that is Iraq doesn't spread to other parts of the region. I don't know what means, but I do know it means that we follow Colin Powell's "Pottery Barn Rule" in that we helped break Iraq and we need to fix it. Since it's too late to try to cobble a coherent Iraq again, we need to keep the contagion from spreading. Maybe it means having some kind of rapid response force nearby, I don't know. But we can't presume things will settle down after the last American has left.

President Bush has again and again seemed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. While I thought this was a fool's venture, he and his team could have pulled this off. But there has been so much arrogance and incompetence, that I think we have left the Middle East in a worse position than it was pre-invasion and might have made us more susceptible to a future terror attack. To paraphrase Nebraska Republican Chuck Hagel, this whole venture has been the biggest foreign policy blunder in American history and God help us all what consequences this nation will face because of the stupidity of the current Commander in Chief.

After a long break in which he beacme a daddy again (Congrats, Alan!), Alan Stewart Carl shares his views on the "surge."

Jeremy Dibble over at Charging RINO links to a disturbing report that shows the Bushies might be widening the Iraq War to go after Iran and Syria. Maybe those on the Left are right and we should be calling this an "escalation."

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