Thursday, March 27, 2008

It was always an escalation


Many folks called the "surge" what it was--an escalation--back when it was announced. Remember that Jim Baker and others had done their report and recommended reduction of our presence in Iraq and transfer of resources back to Afghanistan where we should have kept our focus and Bush ignored this advice and went for an increase of our military presence in Iraq instead. [Check the bit below "1 Year Ago" here.]

You might also recall that the "surge" was so that the Iraqis would have breathing space to accomplish a few things... that have NOT been accomplished. So even if the "surge" militarily accomplished a reduction in violence (which seems to be unraveling), its goal was not achieved and it thus CANNOT BE DEEMED TO HAVE WORKED.

Well... now we're not so sure we can pull back. Imagine my surprise.

We are told over and over that the "surge" has worked and that we are making "progress."

Such great progress, in fact, that we just can't pull back now.

I hope the American public will, at some point, realize that with the shifting goalposts out there, there is NO conceivable circumstance in which we should ever withdraw from Iraq because things will either be so bad we can't abandon Iraq or so well that it would be foolish to abandon Iraq.

That's what happens when you have no clear mission with an established goal (that doesn't change week by week) and an exit strategy. Remember the "Powell doctrine"?**

Devilstower at Daily Kos notes today:
Other people might mistake days of chaos fought with the weapons we've provided to both sides as just another pulse in the Iraqi civil war. You know, the one that will only happen if Democrats practice premature evacuation. It's nice to know the smoke rising from the US embassy after days of mortar attacks is the desired result.

How can we know this is a success? Because it means that the troop levels that we once defined as "the surge" will now become the baseline.
In Devilstower's summary of the "surge" there is this conclusion:
People we armed decide to carry on their civil war without us -- back to "oh my God hideous."

We now have to keep more troops in place, just to prevent the badometer from soaring to "10,000 nuns and orphans eaten by rats with a side of Hiroshima" bad.


There is, I have to admit, a sense of satisfaction in saying "I told you so." It's a human trait. But it is a very sad satisfaction in the light of the tragedy that continues.

The so-called "surge" was an escalation. We escalated the war and it's highly unlikely that we will "un-surge." Many of us felt this was the case back when the "surge" was first announced because the whole concept did not seem to make any sense in the context of reality in Iraq.

But then, nothing Bush says or does makes sense in the context of reality in Iraq.

You cannot underestimate the Bush-Cheney capacity for disaster.

Why is this lawbreaking disaster still in office?

When did Congress decide their oath to uphold the Constitution no longer obtained?

**Wikipedia says this on the Powell Doctrine:
The "Powell Doctrine", is a journalist-created term, named after General Colin Powell in the run-up to the 1990-1991 Gulf War. It is based in large part on the Weinberger Doctrine, devised by Caspar Weinberger, former Secretary of Defense and Powell's former boss.
The Powell Doctrine states that a list of questions all have to be answered affirmatively before military action is taken by the United States. They are:
1. Is a vital national security interest threatened?
2. Do we have a clear attainable objective?
3. Have the risks and costs been fully and frankly analyzed?
4. Have all other non-violent policy means been fully exhausted?
5. Is there a plausible exit strategy to avoid endless entanglement?
6. Have the consequences of our action been fully considered?
7. Is the action supported by the American people?
8. Do we have genuine broad international support?

--the BB

1 comment:

Grandmère Mimi said...

Oh, that Bush could find the door that says, "Exit"! Meaning that in more ways than one.