IS THERE A WINNING STRATEGY? - Complications Ensue
Complications Ensue:
The Crafty TV and Screenwriting Blog




Baby Name Voyager graphs baby name frequency by decade.

Social Security Administration: Most popular names by year.

Name Trends: Uniquely popular names by year.

Reverse Dictionary Search: "What's that word that means....?"

Facebook Name Trees Match first names with last names.


Archives

April 2004

May 2004

June 2004

July 2004

August 2004

September 2004

October 2004

November 2004

December 2004

January 2005

February 2005

March 2005

April 2005

May 2005

June 2005

July 2005

August 2005

September 2005

October 2005

November 2005

December 2005

January 2006

February 2006

March 2006

April 2006

May 2006

June 2006

July 2006

August 2006

September 2006

October 2006

November 2006

December 2006

January 2007

February 2007

March 2007

April 2007

May 2007

June 2007

July 2007

August 2007

September 2007

October 2007

November 2007

December 2007

January 2008

February 2008

March 2008

April 2008

May 2008

June 2008

July 2008

August 2008

September 2008

October 2008

November 2008

December 2008

January 2009

February 2009

March 2009

April 2009

May 2009

June 2009

July 2009

August 2009

September 2009

October 2009

November 2009

December 2009

January 2010

February 2010

March 2010

April 2010

May 2010

June 2010

July 2010

August 2010

September 2010

October 2010

November 2010

December 2010

January 2011

February 2011

March 2011

April 2011

May 2011

June 2011

July 2011

August 2011

September 2011

October 2011

November 2011

December 2011

January 2012

February 2012

March 2012

April 2012

May 2012

June 2012

July 2012

August 2012

September 2012

October 2012

November 2012

December 2012

January 2013

February 2013

March 2013

April 2013

May 2013

June 2013

July 2013

August 2013

September 2013

October 2013

November 2013

December 2013

January 2014

February 2014

March 2014

April 2014

May 2014

June 2014

July 2014

August 2014

September 2014

October 2014

November 2014

 

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

[POLITICS] Responsible Democrats like Murtha are now calling for a phased pullout from Iraq before the Army falls apart as an institution and the Guard and Reserve are destroyed. Some irresponsible Republicans are still insisting we can win the war with the troops we've got.

Neither is a good option. Obviously we're not winning the war. On the other hand what happens after we pull out? Shi'ite dominated theocracy? Corrupt and fragmented pseudo-democracy? Entire country fragments and becomes a failed state, just like Afghanistan before the Taliban took over?

All of these sound like ideal places for Al Qaeda to set up. Cheney was lying when he implied that Saddam was pals with Al Qaeda -- the secular dictator hated the anarcho-jihadists -- but does anyone believe the Iraqis will have the national will to root out terrorists? Why would they, when lots of Jordanians apparently think blowing up a hotel in Amman and killing a lot of Jordanians is a fine thing so long as it spits in America's face?

(Yes, there were demonstrations, but reporters had no trouble finding people who approved of the bombings. And even if Iraqis can be convinced to stop killing other Iraqis, that's a long way from convincing Iraqis to take action to stop their fellow Arabs from training in Iraq for 9/11-style missions in the West.)

Why is no one asking what it would take to actually win the war? Because it would be political suicide, that's why. It would involve drafting at least 250,000 young men, training them in Arabic, and sending them to pursue a "clear and hold" strategy in the Sunni heartland. Many of them would get killed. None of them would be happy to go. Rich kids would pull strings to get deferments, as Cheney did, or find their way into units guaranteed not to serve overseas, as Bush did.

On the other hand, we might have a shot at establishing a secular Iraqi state with enough internal coherence to keep the terrorists from setting up shop.

The alternative is what we've got in western Pakistan -- chaos in which no one can agree on anything except hating Americans -- except in downtown Baghdad, with easy access to the Gulf States and tech-savvy, English-speaking, Western-educated jihadis.

If we were actually willing to put our national heart into it, could we win the war?

Tags: ; ;

2 Comments:

I agree with the general tone of your post, which I take to be "the situation in Iraq has been misconceived and mishandled to the point where any solution has terrible consequences." But I do take exception to one of your points, and therein lies a little ray of hope.

You state that "lots of Jordanians apparently think blowing up a hotel in Amman and killing a lot of Jordanians is a fine thing." But in fact, there have been massive demonstrations in Jordan against the hotel bombings. Zarqawi's own Jordanian family has publicly disowned him. Is it too much to expect that violent excess against innocent civilian populations will reap its own reward, in the shape of public revulsion and disavowal of terrorist tactics? Many Iraqis despise the American occupation, but they also despise the bombers, kidnappers, and assassins who are making their everyday lives hell. Get rid of the Americans, and perhaps the Iraqi civilians will be able to focus their wrath on the enemies within.

By Blogger Marc in MD, at 9:05 AM  

I don't think you understand what "not winning the war" means. Not winning the war is what happened to Saddam's army, as well as the tens of thousands of anti-ally Arab fighters (aka "insurgents") in Iraq.

The fact that our victory isn't *flawless* is hardly a reason to say that it's a loss. We lost FOUR HUNDRED THOUSAND of our soldiers in WWII. Was that a loss?

No.

We've lost 1/200th of that amount in Iraq. Saddam is out of power and on trial. His murderous, rapist sons are dead. The Kurds are free. The people participated in a free election. There is a constitution. The fact that a dwindling group of desperate criminals attack civilians does not mean we've lost the war any more than the fact that a couple thousand murders a year in New York City means the town is in chaos.

There are a ton of logical, cogent criticisms to be made about the way this war has been carried out. Hyperbole doesn't strengthen your argument.

By Blogger Craig Mazin, at 6:50 PM  

Post a Comment

Back to Complications Ensue main blog page.



This page is powered by Blogger.