Sunday, January 07, 2007

Surging to defeat

According to this Yahoo story, President Bush is planning to fix Iraq "but good" with a new strategy to "win" the war.

Bush said on Thursday:

"One thing is for certain: I will want to make sure the mission is clear and specific and can be accomplished"

Hang on... I thought the mission was accomplished back in May 2003?

Mission Accomplished
It is expected that Bush's strategy will be to keep doing the same things that failed in the past, but do them harder, like sending thousands more troops to Iraq -- the so-called "Surge", where a sudden influx of troops makes everything better.

It's a stupid, ignorant idea based on the fantasy that the biggest problem in Iraq is the lack of American troops on the ground. The reality is very different. Must-reads are General William Odom's Six Brutal Truths About Iraq and Professor Juan Cole's Top Ten Myths About Iraq.

As Cole points out, the US sent an additional 15,000 troops into Baghdad last year, and instead of stopping violence in the capital, the number of insurgent attacks increased. Cole points out that "the guerrillas are not outsiders who come in and then are forced out" -- they are the people of the cities the US is trying to pacify. Even after virtually razing Fallujah to the ground, it is still not pacified.

Winning guerrilla wars requires two victories, a military victory over the guerrillas and a winning of the hearts and minds of the general public, thus denying the guerrillas support. The US has not and is unlikely to be able to repress the guerrillas, and it is losing hearts and minds at an increasing and alarming rate. They hate us, folks. They don't want us there.

Despite the clear anti-Iraq war message sent by the American people in November, Vietnam seems set to repeat itself. The Bush administration is obsessed with winning the unwinnable, and the Democrats mostly don't have the moral conviction to stand up to them. So more American troops will die, Iraq will descend further into bloodshed, and the Middle East will continue to move further away from the West, making the future an uglier, more dangerous place.

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