Monday, June 05, 2006

Huntin Hajis

First let me say that without question I oppose the war in Iraq. At one time I was in support of the war, and thought President Bush had made the right decision to invade Iraq. But it wasn't too long into the occupation of Iraq that I began to realize that something was terribly wrong.

It started with the looting, and the unprotected hospitals. The arms depots which were left unguarded, and the sparse number of troops. The chaos, and the inability to restore basic services. It all began to add up. We went in with too few troops!

I kept waiting for the truth to sink in, and for someone to admit that more troops would have to be sent, but it appears keeping too few soldiers in Iraq is part of the Bush Administration plan.

A very big consequence of not having enough troops in Iraq is that we have grown an insurgency.

The closest analogy is that of antibiotics. If you take too little you just breed super bacteria that no longer respond to antibiotics. By sending in too few troops those troops we have sent in have only acted as trainers for rebel forces which grow in numbers, and strength by the day.

In the meantime we continue to make more, and more enemies with every death, and injury.

No matter how many pieces of candy tossed out to children by troops driving by in their Hummers it isn't going to turn the tide of this war. Iraq is a ticking time bomb, and it was we who set the fuse.

Many of our troops are used as bait. They are instructed to drive through areas in which an attack upon our troops is expected. Once the attack occurs other U.S. units will come in for a counter attack. This is Vietnam all over again. It's a war by numbers, but it is not a war in which we will win. These methods prove that we are understaffed in Iraq, and it's not right to send our troops out to act as bait.

The U.S. military learned a great deal from Vietnam. The use of overwhelming force when occupying a nation is the way to go, but for political reasons the Secretary of Defense has still not been sacked for intimidating our military's general staff into sending so few troops.

The truth is our political leaders smile a great deal, and act like they care about our troops, but are deliberately wasting these troops lives. And because it's Republicans were talking about here they can get away with - wrapping themselves up in the flag, and hoping like hell the media will be too timid to reveal what's going on.

One result of using our soldiers as bait is the stress is creates on our soldiers. By not enjoying overwhelming numerical superiority, and by not creating a passified Iraq we have created a non-stop war in which our soldiers are being hunted.

Our solders natural response is to view anyone who is not one of them as the enemy.

We're now seeing the slaughter of innocent civilians, racist approaches towards viewing Iraqis, and it is all too clear that this can only breed further hatred for our troops.

We either need to send hundreds of thousands more troops over to Iraq, or we need to pull our troops out now. But we all know more troops won't be sent will they. It would make the administration look bad.

We have lost the war folks, let's prop up an interim government, broker a deal with the Kurds, Iran, Syria, and Jordan - and get the hell out while the going is bad!

The civil war there will happen no matter how long we stay - we can't make it not happen no matter how much blood, and treasure we throw at it.

It's not good news, but it's the way it is.


Dave said...

The other lesson from Vietnam is not to go in a place you can't get out of, especially if that place presents no clear threat. There was little hope of "winning" Vietnam no matter how many troops we put in. The same can be said of Iraq.

JeromeProphet said...

It's a war that should never have been fought.

If the goal was to create democratic states, and we felt that we absolutely had to wage war to lay the grounds for a democratic regime then we must surely have known that we would also have to take over every despotic regime in the region.

It just can't be done half way.

And phase two would involve rounding up anyone even suspected of terrorist ties - for immediate execution.

The U.S. would have to play Rome, or NAZI Germany to make any lasting change in the region using conventional warfare.

If we were so bloodthirsty, and brutal the U.S. could loot those nations of their oil, and pay minorities within those societies to ruthlessly wipe out any opposition to our occupation.

But the process of doing this would create fear within even our closest allies, and would force the ideology of the U.S. to change into something unacceptible to any freedom loving, peaceloving people.

No, I believe you're right, we had a slim chance at victory - and have watched as that has slipped away.

Now we're stuck.

Despite being stuck, I still say let's put this sucker in reverse, push the pedal down, and try to get out now - cause sitting here in the mud ain't helpin anyone.


Larry Stevens said...

Another thing Vietnam should have taught us is that we can "cut and run" and the world will not come to an end.

Thank you for admitting you were wrong about the wisdom and propriety of invading Iraq. I remember clearly a journalist being asked before the war, "what if we find there are no WMDs." Her answer was that Bush surely would be in a world of trouble if that turned out to be the case.

I remember being dissed and dismissed for predicting that there were no WMDs to be found unless planted there by us. Not because Hans Blix and Scott Ritter couldn't find any, but because Bush said they were there. I have never yet made a bum prediction that assumed the exact opposite of whatever Bush says.

I remember clearly the polls that said 70% of Americans thought Saddam was behind 9/11 despite the best evidence available. It was Bush's lies and the shabby journalism that allowed so many to be taken in.

I remember clearly Thomas Friedman shaking his finger at an audience of college kids saying that just because Bush said it doesn't mean it's not true. It would be a logical statement if he were talking about anybody else.

Let me tell you, it brings me no joy, no schadenfreude, to feel so superior about being part of a tiny minority of people who think for themselves. I don't want to say I told you so.

What I do want, and what I think I've earned as somebody who was right all along about Bush and Iraq, is some respect for not following the herd. Oh yeah, and not to be considered unpatriotic by the false patriots of the right.

Again, thank you for your refreshing admission that you were wrong once upon a time. It earns you a great deal of respect from me.

JeromeProphet said...


Thanks for the comment.

Not only was I wrong, I was foolish. I never supported Bush's domestic agenda, but I actually believed his administration's lies that took this nation into war.

I can not watch Bush for more than a few seconds without being overcome by nausea.

The Bush Administration has pulled another "Just Around The Corner" stunt with his little visit to Bagdad.

But the truth is in the way he went. He didn't fly in so much as he snuck in.

By the way, Dave of the11thhour tried to talk some sense into me about the Iraq before the war, and I actually became angry with him.

Something I'll always remember Dave saying was that you don't fight terrorism using conventional warfare - you fight terrorism preparing for it, and reducing your vulnerability to it.


Anonymous said...

You're mostly right about this one, but I'm not sure the problem was a lack of troops. The point where I saw everything go wrong was when Bush sacked Garner, the guy who wanted to hold elections in 90 days. If we had quickly set up local elections so we could recognize local authorities (even 'strongmen'), we could have handed them a pre-written draft interim federal constitution with an Electoral College arrangement so that they would have to agree on moderate leaders. And when we were ready to give up on the WMD, we could have simply left, like we were supposed to. The _other_ big lie of this war was that we were not going to "occupy" Iraq.

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