In all seriousness, all of this talk about and support (what little there is) for a “temporary surge” is absolutely asinine. Even if we take a high end estimate and talk about an additional 50,000 troops for a one year period of time (and you know damn well that if Bush gets his way here that it will NOT be for a short-prescribed period of time), then what will that really accomplish?
Today, we find that another suicide bomber killed 12 and wounded 24 (at least as of current count) in Baghdad. We have seen a Pentagon report which is chock full of horrific news about the completely deteriorating situation in Iraq. According to yesterday’s Washington Post, we find out the following:
In its most pessimistic report yet on progress in Iraq, the Pentagon described a nation listing toward civil war, with violence at record highs of 959 attacks per week, declining public confidence in government and "little progress" toward political reconciliation.
And lest we forget General Shinseki’s warning in 2003 that we would need “several hundred thousand” troops to be successful, how would an increase of approximately 1/10 of the “necessary troops” to a level that would have only been around 40% - 50% of the acceptable troop level BEFORE Iraq descended into a bloody civil war on the brink of complete anarchy and hurtling towards genocide?
It is evident that, despite our troops best efforts, 140,000 troops is a miserably low level. It is further evident that an overwhelming majority of Americans want a pullout within six months. It is also evident that the Joint Chiefs of Staff think that a temporary increase in troop levels of 30,000 – 50,000 is a horrible idea:
The Bush administration is split over the idea of a surge in troops to Iraq, with White House officials aggressively promoting the concept over the unanimous disagreement of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, according to U.S. officials familiar with the intense debate.
In fact, if you take the twisted logic of the Bush administration and apply it here, if we set a timetable for withdrawal then the “insurgents” will just wait us out until we leave – or so says the Decider. OK, fine. So if we have a “temporary increase” of 40,000 – 50,000 troops, then why wouldn’t these same “insurgents” just wait us out then as well?
waiting for answer....
......still waiting for answer...
Rehashing a statistic from above – there are now an average of 953 attacks per week. There are already 63 US military deaths this month alone in Iraq. An average of over 3 per day. This is the on pace to be the second highest month since January 2005.
The results of the vaunted “Baghdad offensive” was, well, offensive. Just yesterday, over $700,000 was stolen in a heist at gunpoint in Baghdad - the second such heist in a week:
The thieves escaped with more than one billion Iraqi Dinars (US$709,000), police said.
Hours later, guards at another downtown bank opened fire on a funeral procession, wounding a mourner. Police said the guards thought the coffin was fake, and that criminals were masquerading as mourners as part of an elaborate attempt to rob the bank. Police intervened and found the mourners to be genuine.
On December 11, gunmen disguised as Iraqi soldiers stopped a bank truck carrying US$1 million and stole the money.
Hell, we would need another 50,000 troops in Baghdad alone just to stop this type of violence – let alone the death squads, the Iraqi police and Shiite militia working in cahoots and the suicide bombings, kidnapping, torture and rampant revenge killings that are too numerous to even keep track of.
If anyone dares to seriously talk about increasing troop levels at this time – a time when nearly 80% disapprove of the way Bush is handling the “war” in Iraq, and right after an election where the overwhelming issue on people’s minds was Iraq and a new direction (not a “new way forward™”), then step up and be fair to our troops. Call for an increase of 300,000 troops. Hell, it would get more respect from me than this nonsense about trying to gain political points at the expense of our troops, even though my position on Iraq is clear as crystal.
If not, then there is only one option – listen to the American public, as well as our elected leaders (both Democratic and republicans) who are rightfully calling for an end to this disastrous no-win situation for our troops and get our troops out and redeployed as quickly as possible. Then, and only then, can we start to consider a multinational approach to stopping the genocide from continuing and help the Iraqi people in a manner that doesn’t put a target on our troops’ backs.
You don’t put a band aid on a shotgun wound. And you don’t send such an insanely inadequate number of troops into an already doomed-to-fail “mission”, especially against the overwhelming opinions and advice of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, military leaders, Congressional leaders and the American public . To be fair to the troops, the Iraqis and the world, it’s either 450,000 troops, or none.
And we know it isn’t going to be 450,000.