Sunday, November 12, 2006

PLEASE end this deadly and horrific game of whack-a-mole

Front paged at Booman Tribune and ePluribus Media

As much as I hate to use one of my very favorite carnival games as a comparison, it seems as though it is the most appropriate way that I can describe the horrific events and results of the incredibly stubborn and shortsighted decisions made by those who have no business leading our country or military.

We have passed so many "critical points" in Iraq over the past few years, and by all measures, the decisions made have backfired miserably and our troops continue to be in more and more danger - are caught in the middle of a civil war, are being shuttled from one region where violence is almost spiraling out of control to another region where the violence is spiraling out of control, resulting in the region that the troops just left to spiral out of control with violence.

What is worse is the end result of both regions spiraling out of control with violence, and our troops STILL not knowing what the "course that they should be staying", er, "mission" or plan they are charged with is. And with 26 US troops killed through the first 10 days of the month, things just keep getting worse.

As far as US troops who have been injured, September and October were far and away the worst two months in nearly two years, and the overwhelming majority of terrorist sympathizers Americans want our troops to come home, or at least redeployed elsewhere.

Besides, if I may be so bold to say - this is not a war that our troops are a part of, or should have been involved with in the first place. Make no mistake about it - it is a botched and not-well-thought-out invasion as well as a failed and illegal occupation. And because of those simple but harsh facts for those who are not part of our "reality based community", our troops are now in a position where they have to engage in a deadly and unnecessary game of whack-a-mole (hat tip to our good friend Garry Trudeau).

This whole mess (or at least the mess that I am referring to here) exploded with the oh-so-scary sounding "Baghdad Offensive" which, as typical for this administration, only turned out to be offensive for our troops. The "offensive" started in the last week of May, 2005. And it was an immediate success:

BAGHDAD, Iraq, May 30 - The violent backlash to the largest Iraqi-led counterinsurgency operation since the downfall of Saddam Hussein continued today in Baghdad and surrounding areas, with at least 30 people killed in a twin suicide bombing.


Doctors and police officials offered varying tallies on the wounded, from 50 up to 120. But there was no doubt that the casualties were extensive. The blasts left a roadway strewn with sandals, pools of blood and pieces of flesh, some of them caught on the rolls of razorwire protecting the Hilla mayor's office.

Not even a week. Plus, this was the incredibly heavily fortified city that is supposed to be so safe that even our own president can safely travel there to visit with our troops, and congresscritters say that it is as safe as Manhattan.

Sadly and predictably, the situation in Baghdad didn't get better at all, and "Baghdad Offensive version 2.0" was launched this past summer. And while there was a steady level of 400-500 US troops wounded per month, nearly 1,000 Iraqi deaths per month and around 60 US troops killed per month, the newer better offensive was billed as due to "improved military conditions":

More than three years after the fall of Baghdad, President Bush yesterday acknowledged that the violence there is "still terrible" and announced that U.S. troops from across Iraq will be redeployed to the capital in an attempt to quell the bloodshed.


Mr. Bush said improved military conditions outside Baghdad make it possible to move U.S. troops and military police to the city, where the United Nations says more than 100 civilians a day are killed by car bombs and sectarian death squads.

So while another 10,000 US and Iraqi troops move into Baghdad, cities like Balad have a "rampage of ethnic cleansing":

American troops have been forced to redeploy to a town that they had handed over to Iraqi forces only a month ago, to quell a rampage of "ethnic cleansing" that killed almost 100 people, many of whose bodies were left strewn in the streets for days.


The days of bloodshed in Balad, which US forces handed over to Iraq's Fourth Army amid great fanfare a month ago, showed just how far they still have to go.

That was three weeks ago.

And as troops are redeployed to cities like Balad (a "mole" of a city that the troops just "whacked" a few months earlier) to "re-whack the mole" of violence and bloodshed which has just reared its ugly head again, the ugly "mole" called Sadr-City is rearing its ugly head again as well:

American soldiers rolled up their barbed-wire barricades and lifted a near siege of the largest Shiite Muslim enclave in Baghdad on Tuesday, heeding the orders of a Shiite-led Iraqi government whose assertion of sovereignty had Shiites celebrating in the streets.

The order by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to lift the week-old blockade of Sadr City was one of the most overt expressions of self-determination by Iraqi leaders in the 3 1/2 -year-old U.S. occupation. It followed two weeks of increasingly pointed exchanges between Iraqi and U.S. officials, as well as a video conference between Maliki and President Bush on Saturday.

So what about that "other mole" called Baghdad? Well, looks like it's ugly head is popping up as well:

A pair of suicide bombs ripped through a crowd of would-be police recruits in Baghdad on Sunday, killing at least 35.

The Sunday that is being referred to is today.

Over the past couple of months, we have seen curfews imposed on the city, "all time highs" in deaths in the city, over 80 dead and tortured bodiesreportedly found one day, over 50 of which were found within a 24 hour period and 43% spike in attacks against our troops in Baghdad since midsummer.

This is not what our troops should be doing. They were set up to fail by those who were too incompetent and stupid to put them in this impossible situation.

Its time to truly support our troops. They deserve to stop having to "whack the moles".

They deserve to come home.


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