Thursday, September 13, 2007

Breaking News: Things We Knew Would Happen, Will Happen

I've been watching all of the hubbub surrounding the White House's congressionally mandated report on progress in Iraq. *yawn

General Petraeus's assessment/testimony has been pretty much exactly what was expected... I don't really understand the frenzy it's generating.

Yes, we're going to 'de-surge' next year. Is that really new news? We already knew the surge was temporary... as in unsustainable. As in 'this is all the troops we have." As in "this military Hail Mary will give the Iraqi politicians a few more months to work out their shit." We were told that from the onset. And what did the Iraqi politicians do with that time? They took a holiday during the entire month of August. When Jack Keane says a "precipitous withdrawal" would be to "squander all of the gains we've made in the past five to six months" I have to wonder what the hell he's talking about. WE'RE not squandering anything... it's the Iraqi's who are failing to do what we've tried to give them time to do.

The sole bright spot seems to be the deal we've struck with the lesser devils in Anbar to help the Sunni insurgents oust al-Qaeda. Another de-facto event, in my opinion, but I'll take it.

We've already kissed off the south and Baghdad is still a mess despite our best efforts. No matter what kind of spotty success we achieve, the max number of troops available is not enough to tie down the entire country all at once. Even the shlubs at The Weekly Standard know the current surge strategy is not a winner as they look ahead to plans C (ousting Maliki and forcibly replacing him with Allawi, our guy, who won exactly 2% of the seats in the last election) and D (breaking the country into sections).

I cannot for the life of me understand what more the war supporters think we can do over there except try to keep the country limping along indefinitely. We're making ourselves accountable for results we can't control (like the Iraqi failure to not kill each other) and looking like fools in front of the rest of the world for it. That's one hell of a commitment given that we're going to be facing a significant economic downturn in the near future.

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