Saturday, October 13, 2007

What happens...

...when the troops don't support the troops?

“There is no question that America is living a nightmare with no end in sight,” retired Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez told a convention of military journalists on Friday...

“From a catastrophically flawed, unrealistically optimistic war plan, to the administration’s latest surge strategy, this administration has failed to employ and synchronize the political, economic and military power,” Sanchez said.

Continuing changes to military strategy alone will not achieve victory, rather it will only “stave off defeat,” he said.

I don't think the Lt. Gen. goes far enough, but this is a good start. If we're marred in a quagmire, which we are, do we pull out, or do we stay the course? Keep in mind that, according to the general's own admissions, staying the course will last forever. This is nothing new for a country that is still guarding South Korea's borders, but there is a difference--and the usual problem. First, we don't have Iraq's borders secured. Defending South Korea's borders presents a much easier task, in the sense that it's even possible. Defending Iraq's borders is, so far as I can tell, utterly impossible. And, of course, there is always the question of why we must defend border which are not our own at all. Our duty is to protect our borders, something which has not been done, and something which few candidates--Paul and Tancredo--promise to do; it is not to protect those of other countries around the world.

Following the neo-con rhetoric is too painful for me to do, but it will be interesting to see how they treat Sanchez. The options, as always, are: 1) ignore, 2) spin, or 3) defame.

K-Lo of National Review, has chosen curtain number 2:

I hope Congress doesn't miss this part: "America has no choice but to continue our efforts in Iraq."

The General says we have to stay, so we have to stay. Only if he said we had to leave we could have ignored him. But his comments, the one's K-Lo wants us to focus on, don't make a lick of sense when parred with his view, which is substantially correct, of the situation in Iraq. We have no chance of victory; we can only "stave off defeat".

As Ron Paul asks, how long must we stay in order to "save face"? The Congressmen is absolutely right, and appreciates the point that the general misses: if there is no chance of success, then the best we can do is postpone whatever adverse consequences await the Iraqis, and thus it is imperative that we remove our troops--on the double. Instead, our soldiers continue to die, just so the neo-cons, and the stupid representatives who lacked the courage to stand up to them, can save face.

It is interesting to note that the very people who insisted that this wasn't anything like Vietnam are now worried stiff that if we remove our soldiers from the region, a bloodbath of Cambodian proportion will ensue. Well, which is it? Are we in Vietnam again, or aren't we? Undoubtedly there will be some carnage; that's par for the course for the middle east. But we don't know that there will be a bloodbath. Indeed, as Ron Paul points out, the very people who are insisting that a massacre will occur are the same people who told us it would be a "cakewalk". He quite reasonably asks, "Why should we believe them?"

Again, if there is no hope of success, our commitment to the region is nothing short of foolhardy. Keep in mind that there is no hint of such hope, just the usual nonsense, bereft of any actual objective rubric--the surge is working because there are fewer American deaths; there are more Al-Qaeda deaths; we have such-and-such a province under control.

I hope Congress doesn't miss this part: "There is no question that America is living a nightmare with no end in sight."

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