Saturday, January 13, 2007

The Surge

So, the brilliant new idea is a "surge" of troops. We're going to flood Baghdad with American soldiers, to "stabilize the government." This drives me crazy. This whole situation is insane, as defined by Albert Einstein: doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

We are an invading army in Iraq. That's why they keep shooting at us. You'd think even Dubya would get that.

The only people in Iraq who don't want the American troops to leave are the Sunnis; they know the Shiite militias are after them and the American troops are their only hope. Whenever we leave, now or in a decade, the Shiite militias will slaughter Sunnis indiscriminately (instead of just sporadically as they're doing now); and we will not be able to stop it. This has been inevitable ever since we insisted on democratic elections; 60% of the Iraqi population is Shiite, and they now run the government.

I wasn't blogging then; but before the invasion I said that if we invaded Iraq and took down Saddam Hussein, the ultimate result would be a Shiite theocracy. We're halfway there.

Everyone wonders why Nouri al-Maliki doesn't take down Muqtada al-Sadr. Simple - they're in the same bullpen; and in any case the Mahdi Army is better armed than anything on the ground in Iraq except our troops and maybe the Kurds. Mr. Bush makes noises about new constitutions and national unity governments and sharing oil revenues; this will never happen because the only people who would gain from it are the Sunnis, who are only 20% of the population and hated by everyone else because Saddam Hussein was a Sunni.

This is also why we can't stop the Sunni insurgency: they're fighting for their lives and they know it. Not to mention that, with all the killing there's been so far, in a society that still believes in the blood feud, the revenge killings will go on for years.

How many ways do we have to say this before Dubya hears? We. Can. Not. Win. In. Iraq. No matter how you define "win." We made the mess; but we can't clean it up. Only the Iraqis can clean it up; and we probably won't like the way they decide to do it. There's no way we can impose a solution on them unless we completely take over, establish a puppet government, and rule the place as a satrapy. I don't see Congress funding that.

The only reasonable course for us, in this mess now, is to start pulling our troops out; at least get our own people out of harm's way. Then Iraq will become a failed terrorist state? Iraq is a failed terrorist state now. Iran will influence the Iraqi government? It does that now. Given the stubbornness and stupidity of the current administration, I see no way out of this that won't leave the entire Middle East a flaming mess, and all America's fault.

Actually, there's one option that might - just might - restore some of America's reputation. Nancy Pelosi has taken it off the table; but we need to put it back. We need to impeach both the President and the Vice President, because they are both neck-deep in the lies that got us here, and put a new President in the oval office. A new President, a new administration, could break with the failed policies of the past and start some real diplomacy; and then maybe we would have a chance to clean things up.

Of course, Nancy Pelosi is next in line for the presidency after Dick Cheney. I can see where she would hesitate to give the appearance of reaching for the office. But we could do worse. In fact, we have.


  1. Anonymous10:47 PM

    Something we've noticed, here at the edge of beyond, is that Laura Bush appears to have disappeared from the scene. Embarrasment? Disgust? Is it considered too dangerous for her to appear with the president?

    Mind, if my spouse was advocating what her's is advocating, I'd disappear too.

  2. I think you just answered your own question.

    I never have understood what a librarian ever saw in a husband who brags about not reading. But she's withdrawn from the profession.

    Of course, so have I; but I married a man who reads... and the last time I looked, he hadn't started any wars.