"The battle lines are drawn and there is no middle ground."
No, Mister Bush. That's the problem. It’s an insurgency. There are no battle lines. It’s all middle ground.
And there’s no sense to the notion that withdrawing from Iraq will give the terrorists an “historic victory over the United States.” They’ve already won an historic victory. History’s mightiest military force is bogged down by a rag tag group of insurgents armed with hand held weapons and makeshift bombs. Every day that we stay in Iraq, every drop on blood and national treasure we spill there, makes the enemy more triumphant.
Mister Bush continues to tell us we need to stay in Iraq until we “get the job done.” But we’ll never get the “job” done, even if he ever gets around to telling us what the “job” is.
The "neo-con job"--as those of us who've followed the Project for the New American Century since the late '90s have come to know it--is establishing a base of operations in the heart of the Middle East from which we can control the region and its oil. But that job isn't achievable. We've demonstrated that we cannot control Baghdad with conventional military force. How can we possibly ever control the entire Middle East with it?
Sure, we could nuke that whole part of the world to a cinder. But then we wouldn't be able to get at the oil, so what would it accomplish? Show the rest of the world that we have "resolve?" And what would we do if the rest of the world didn't like it? Nuke the rest of the world too?
Wouldn't that do wonders for the climate!
Please don't be taken in by "experts" who claim to have a pie-in-the-sky counterinsurgency scheme for Iraq. All of these "strategies" would take a decade or more to complete, and there's no reason to believe that they'll result in a situation better than the one we would have had if we'd just waited for Saddam Hussein to die of old age.
With each passing day I become more convinced that there's only one sane solution to this Iraq fiasco. Let them get their constitution ratified and hold a general election in December and get out. If they decide they want to have a civil war after that, let them have one. Make it clear that we won't step into the middle of it. Tell them that only when and if they get their own security situation together will we come back in and help them rebuild.
I don't claim that this is a "good" option. But there aren't any good options. And as Iraq strategies go, I have yet to hear a better one. And it beats the living daylights out of what we're doing now. We can't minimize the damage by making more of it.
"Staying the course" indefinitely would be like setting the barn on fire to keep the horses warm.
Have a peaceful weekend.