Archive for January, 2007

At some point it should cease to amaze, but it never really does…I just cannot fully comprehend how our government is just insisting on making the same mistake over and over with no recognition of the costs of error, on the vague assumption that defeat involves the consent of the defeated and therefore can be avoided simply be refusing to pronounce the syllables.
We are not losing in Iraq because we are about to say the word “defeat” or have moved away from “victory” or “win” or “winning”.  We are losing because we are not accomplishing any additional objectives – indeed, with the hanging of Saddam and the disproval of the WMD assertions, which fairly effectively preclude us from dismantling a WMD arsenal, it isn’t clear what our objectives could be – and we continue to expend lives and treasure.
Someday we will have to leave Iraq; we are not annexing the place.  Every day, then, is a day closer to whenever the hell it is we pack up and go home.  After we leave, the people of Iraq or its successor entities will have whatever relationships they have when we are not around.  Nothing we do between now and our departure is going to change this.  If we leave and Iraq is one country but the groups want to split up they will fragment as surely as Yugoslavia, if we break them up but one is vastly stronger and insists on imposing its will it will conquer its neighbors, as with pretty much every territorial dispute.

It stuns me that we don’t have a mechanism of ensuring that a president who continually seeks to double down on a losing strategy in the hope the losses aren’t recognized until he is out of office is stopped.  Clearly midterm elections are not the answer.


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