Thursday, July 12, 2007

The War of Words on Iraq

Intense debate today in Congress about the status of the war in Iraq and what the next steps should be or could be, all airing on CSPAN for the next few hours.

Lots of clips and snippets and rhetoric will filter through the news services from this debate, some will moan and wail that the Democrats are evil whiny quitters, and some will find members of the GOP as the only true patriots in America.

Boiling down the vast complex issues regarding Iraq to li'l quotes is a fool's errand.

James Joyner of Outside the Beltway has some thoughts worth pondering on the interim report regarding the status of the "18 benchmarks" necessary for progress in Iraq (didn't we already claim an accomplished mission?):

Essentially, despite AQI (al-Qaeda in Iraq) comprising something like five percent of the insurgency, we have diverted most of our resources to combating it. And we’re failing. Not only is AQI stronger but, as another report being released today suggests, al Qaeda in general is enjoying a resurgence.

Meanwhile, the ISF (Iraq Security Force) continues to be an undependable, lackluster fighting force four years into the game. That, despite their training having been headed up by the counterinsurgency guru who’s now in charge of the whole shebang.

To be fair, the full complement of troops that made up the Surge are just now coming into place. When this was announced, President Bush warned that we would not see immediate results ...

"At the same time, the Iraqi government is, by the White House’s own admission, making essentially no progress on any of the meaningful milestones. It has long been an article of faith among both supporters and critics of the war that it would not be won militarily but politically. There’s not much sign that either are happening."

One item of note -- it is astonishing to me to hear numerous congressmen dismiss as 'irrelevant' that the U.S. was given false information to justify the invasion, or that the strategies of the last 4 years have yielded little success. We are where we are, they say. And yet somehow, for Congress to urge and support a whole new strategy is the most dangerous act imaginable.

I have often wondered what the status of unrest and warfare might be in the mideast today has our strategy been to establish a thriving, successful non-terrorist-ridden nation in Afghanistan first before diverting attention to the nation of Iraq.

I likewise wonder if a society such as ours, who stand irritated in front of a microwave oven fuming mad over how long it takes to cook food, is taking time to think rationally about this war. I also remain befuddled that the nefarious goals of a few hundred or few thousand of radical terrorists are enough to confound politicians and elicit emotional squeals of fear from so many.

In a few months when new elections for office in Washington are held, I'd wager American voters will have the final say and the plans of the current administration will be abandoned.

1 comment:

  1. Isn't is amazing how London so quickly discovered & arrested the terrorists on their own soil w/o bombing a sovereign nation?

    We suck.. truly.