“Why are we compelled to go on pouring armies and treasure into these thankless deserts?”

The Lost Year

A new national intelligence estimate concludes that President Bush’s troop surge shows no signs of accomplishing its goal of encouraging political reconciliation in Iraq.

Dan Froomkin points out the obvious, the extra year of trying to salvage a war that was always more about conservative’s inability to grasp and deal with actual terrorism when it wasn’t about exploiting fear and using that fear to win elections has brought us a thousand more dead Americans, billions more in our national debt, more dead Iraqis ( which like our troops the Right swears that cared about) and last but not least the occupation of Iraq has been a great recruiting tool for al-Queda. Next month we’re likely to hear a louder echo of what we’re hearing now just give them more time and more dead soldiers and they’ll finally get it right. If we stayed another ten years maybe Iraq would be something that resembles a stable democracy. On the other hand if we left now maybe the Iraqis could work down that road by themselves without using our troops for target practice in the mean time. The later, doing the smart thing, leaving and saving American lives is what the war bloggers call defeat. The talk about staying is a study in doublespeak, U.S. general: Pulling troops ‘giant step backward’

Lynch, whose operations cover the central part of Iraq, south of Baghdad, said soldiers have been helped by the “surge,” or additional troops, and have made strides against militants. But he said, “If we were to lose that capability, the enemy would come back.”

This enemy is referred to in plain speech are Iraqis engaged in a sectarian civil war. To date the administration and its supporters have made no suggestions on how American troops can put a permanent stop to that other then the occasional mention of turning Iraq into a nuclear sandbox. Just because these dead enders talk in deeply serious tones about stability and the ever favorite ” strategic interests” they have barely acknowledged the causes of the violence and the various ideological forces that fuel the violence that in some cases dates back a good half century or even as far back as the British and the hard headed Churchill in 1920, Even Churchill Couldn’t Figure Out Iraq

There is something very sinister to my mind in this mesopotamian entanglement,” Winston Churchill wrote his Prime Minister, David Lloyd George, in August 1920. “Week after week and month after month for a long time we shall have a continuance of this miserable, wasteful, sporadic warfare marked from time to time certainly by minor disasters and cuttings off of troops and agents, and very possibly attended by some very grave occurrence.”

[ ]…Writing to Lloyd George, Churchill, frustrated after all the bloodshed in World War I, asked, “Why are we compelled to go on pouring armies and treasure into these thankless deserts?” But the British had created the problem, cobbling “Iraq” from three disparate Ottoman provinces. They chose sides, picking the Sunni minority to run the country. The Brits remained there 12 years, bleeding occasionally, until 1932. The bleeding continued after they left, as the Sunnis brutalized Iraq until 2003. The Bush Administration, defiantly ignorant of history, has created a situation far more dangerous than the one Churchill complained about. We are in free fall in Iraq, and there is no net.

Bush and his supporters continue to act like Big Brother and treating the country like Winston Smith. Interesting that just as former Defense Secretary Rumsfeld started to think a little more clearly he left or was gently shown the door, Bob Gates on the Iraq War Hot Seat

It now appears Rumsfeld fell out of Bush’s favor in fall 2006 because he began pushing the agenda of the Pentagon’s top brass who favored de-escalating the Iraq War. Bush was still looking for ways to achieve victory.

In a secret memo sent to Bush on Nov. 6, Rumsfeld called for a “major adjustment” in Iraq War policy. “Clearly what U.S. forces are currently doing in Iraq is not working well enough or fast enough,” Rumsfeld wrote, seeking consideration of “an accelerated drawdown of U.S. bases” from 55 to 10 to 15 by April 2007 and to five by July 2007.

Rumsfeld also suggested that U.S. generals “withdraw U.S. forces from vulnerable positions – cities, patrolling, etc. – and move U.S. forces to a Quick Reaction Force status, operating from within Iraq and Kuwait, to be available when Iraqi security forces need assistance.”

And in an implicit criticism of Bush’s lofty rhetoric about transforming Iraq and the Middle East, Rumsfeld said the administration should “recast the U.S. military mission and the U.S. goals (how we talk about them) – go minimalist.” [NYT, Dec. 3, 2006]

Why so many in the the business of ever so lofty punditry keep giving Bush credit for having a clear and determined vision of Iraq and the middle-east is a mystery, White House Moving The Goal Posts On Escalation, Drops Demands For Iraqi Political Reconciliation

Bill Kristol, professional wuss and pom pom waver thinks, or maybe feels something very damp in his shorts that tells him that “the surge” and “supporting the troops” is the same thing – MORE ON BILL KRISTOL. Bill also thinks that stones and donut holes are the same thing. He might be right, after all he is what passes for a Republican intellectual.