Sunday, December 24, 2006

How will more troops help THIS?

So, President HeadUpHisAss is reportedly “pleased with progress towards a new Iraq strategy” that includes throwing more of our troops needlessly into harm’s way in order to “save his legacy”. And whatever threats or bribes that have been thrown at our military commanders who, up until just a few days ago, were pretty much unanimously, not to mention very vocally against an escalation (because, let’s call it what it is) now has some of our top commanders suddenly having a change of heart.

Of course, we all have to wait until next year to hear details of a “new way forward” that will no doubt be something that is vastly different from anything sane or rational. Since any troop level increase must be “tied into some sort of plan” (gee, thanks douchebag for that sensationally insightful comment), one only has to look at the news of the past couple of days to see that it doesn’t matter if we put another 10,000 or 50,000 or 500,000 troops into Iraq.

To put it more bluntly and slowly – Our. Continued. Presence. In. Iraq. Is. Making. It. Worse.

Much. Much. Worse.

How will more troops stop this from happening?

[t]he head of the migration committee, Abdel Khalik Zankana, announced Sunday in Iraq's parliament that 3,000 Iraqis daily were fleeing the chaos and violence-plagued country. The figures were based on surveys by transport companies and Iraqi embassies, he said.


Official sources put the total of families who have been forced out of their houses at between 60,000 and 80,000 so far. Expulsions and mass escapes have increased markedly in Iraq this year.

And oh, by the way, those refugees have to go somewhere - like the neighboring countries of Syria, Iran, Saudi Arabia or Jordan. And judging by how this country feels about people “illegally” crossing the borders – can you imagine how these other countries are feeling about thousands of refugees crossing their borders each week? Or how these Iraqis feel about having to flee their homes and leave their lives, friends and families behind?

Not only that, but if news like this is a more than daily occurrence, then how would more troops stop the following:

A suicide bomber walked into a police station in the Iraqi town of Muqdadiya in Diyala province Sunday morning and detonated his explosives, killing at least seven police officers and wounding 30 more, according to a security official in Diyala.

Should we have our troops camped out at the front of each police station in Baghdad? Oh wait, this wasn’t in Baghdad – so maybe we should have our troops camped out in front of every police station in Iraq. Hmmmm, methinks that we would need more than 50,000 additional troops to do that. Actually, forget I said that – I don’t want to give “the Decider” any more moronic ideas.

I am sure that as part of this “new way forward” that consideration was given to how the Iraqis view our troops – surely they are grateful for our security presence:

On Saturday, residents in Baquba blamed U.S. troops for a rocket attack that killed six people and wounded six others, including women and children, a Baquba joint coordination center official said.

Rockets landed on a residential neighborhood Friday, leveling one of the houses and partially damaging several others.

It was not known who attacked the town 37 miles northeast of Baghdad, and no one has claimed responsibility.

Now, you would also think that since there was much touting of the “democratically elected” Iraq government that surely they would buy into and welcome this “temporary increase in US forces”, right? Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight....
One of Iraq's most influential Shiite clerics rejected a U.S.-backed proposal to isolate Shiite extremists in the national government, saying the country should govern itself with the help of anti-U.S. firebrand Muqtada Sadr, according to politicians who spoke with the cleric Saturday.

Shiite politicians met with Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani in this Shiite holy city, and then said they had thrown their support behind Sadr, who demands a withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq rather than the temporary increase under consideration in Washington.

"The Sadr movement is part of Iraqi affairs," said Haider Abadi, a leader of Shiite Prime Minister Nouri Maliki's Islamic Dawa Party. "We won't allow others to interfere to weaken any Iraqi political movement."


The sad fact is that this invasion and occupation were wrong from the very beginning, from the very first lie – every decision, action and "direction". You name it - strategic, logistical, political. Everything – wrong. And those who screwed everything up don't get a "do-over". All of our dead and permanently injured troops and the Iraqis killed don't get a do-over.

This “war” was lost before it even started. There is no “new way forward”. There is no way to measure or declare “victory”. There is nothing more that our troops can do. There is nothing that more troops can do. They can’t stop the mass exodus. They can’t help the other countries with the influx of refugees. They can’t make the Iraqi government do its bidding against al Sadr. They can’t (and shouldn’t) police every neighborhood. They can’t “win the hearts and minds” – especially not after Abu Ghraib and Haditha. They can’t bring peace. They can’t end unemployment, or bring back the dead. They can’t undo Fallujah. They can’t turn on and keep on the electricity, or provide clean water. They can’t stop the civil war from raging.

Therefore, they must come home. That is the only “new way forward” with respect to Iraq. Without a withdrawal, there is no “forward” - only a “stuck in place” or “continuing to go in reverse”.

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