15 March 2006

only one choice for US in Iraq: cut and run

There comes a time in every war where the the eventual outcome is already decided, it's just that the participants haven't realized it yet. Such a pre-determined outcome is now obvious for the American nation building exercise in Iraq.

Instead of greatly increasing troop strength, and taking back control of a powerless (and partisan) local government, the United States has instead chosen to hunker down and pass the responsibility for containing communal violence to the incompetent native Iraq security forces. If the US really wanted to achieve a victory, it would have committed 500,000 to 1,000,000 troops on the ground in Iraq, and taken full responsibility for administering the country for many years, rather than trying to throw some make-shift government together, and partisan native security forces dominated by local militias.

If the US isn't willing to do what it takes to win in Iraq, then the only alternative is to accept defeat. We already know the US will cut-and-run, we just don't know the date.

The only thing President Bush's exhortations for patience, and perserverence, will accomplish is a greater loss of money and blood.

True, the consequences of American defeat in Iraq are not pretty. US prestige will take quite a beating, and the middle-east will be an even more chaotic, and dangerous place. Iraq could very easily descend into a bloody civil war without the American presence, keeping things only at a slight boil.

But these terrible consequences will happen just the same whether the US pulls out in 4 years, or 3 months. So why wait?


  1. The reason we didn't have enough troops in Iraq is because George Bush fired the General who told him we needed more troops. George Bush wanted guns and butter, and was too stupid to realize the consequences of choosing that. Our problem is that our leader is simply not bright enough for his job, and his handlers aren't bright enough for theirs, either.
    Remember, half of the public is of below average intelligence, by definition, and that, by definition, average isn't very bright either. This country is a democracy, and you see the result.

  2. Tim: If the US administration had headed warnings, the Iraq invasion likely would never have occurred. Remember that the administration was selling this as a cheap war, at the beginning, telling Congress it wouldn't cost more than $70 billion. If they went in with 300,000 troops at the outset, there would have been no way to avoid people concluding this would be EXTREMELY costly, and the nation may not have backed the whole adventure.

    Thus, it was a necessity for the adminitration to understate what the real commitment would be. This is ALWAYS the case when trying to sell things to people. It is far easier to go back and ask for more money once the original commitment has been made than it is to ask for all the money/resources up front.

    In any event, this navel gazing is useless now. The real question is this: should the US just pull out of Iraq right now, and let the place collapse, or somehow try to "win"?