Let’s face it – the proposed escalation is nothing more than an attempt for Bush to call “do-over” in Iraq. And just as the neocon architects of the failure in Iraq are looking to pass the buck on whose fault this horrific disaster is, we should remember one thing – this invasion and occupation was done EXACTLY the way that they wanted it to be done. Every step of the way. Every decision, every lie, every “operation”, from “Mission Accomplished” to authorizing torture at Abu Ghraib to the use of white phosphorus in Fallujah.
We are in the situation we are in because of these decisions, and just as you don’t let the ones who drove you into a ditch keep the keys, you don’t let those who have failed in such a spectacular manner keep making the decisions, regardless of whether they hold the title of “The Decider” or not.
We were told that a questionable 51% of the popular vote in 2004 was a “mandate”. Well, how does 67% of Americans wanting a withdrawal from Iraq and only 12% approving of an escalation in Iraq at this point sound? Not enough? Well, how about the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Colin Powell, the Iraq Study Group, Senators and Congressmen and Women on both sides of the aisle?
I have certainly written ad nauseum this past week about why an escalation would be horrific as well as futile, so I won’t go into all of those reasons again. But I will say that when more credence is given to Paul Wolfowitz over General Shinseki over the number of troops needed if Iraq is to be invaded and occupied, and when the decision to disband the Iraqi army without consulting the Joint Chiefs of Staff, then certainly those decisions have consequences (just like elections, right?).
So now we are at a crossroads. The overwhelming majority wants a real new direction (meaning out of Iraq) – that was the clear and loud message sent this past November. When an invasion and occupation was based on lies from the beginning and the facts are being fixed around the policy, it is doomed to fail from the start – even with the best intentions. And we know how “well intentioned” this crew of Bush, Cheney, Wolfowitz, Kristol, Feith, Perle and the other neoconservative chickenhawks are when it comes to playing a real-time game of Risk™ with other people’s children.
Iraq is in the condition that it is in because of the decisions made by those who overrode the experts – the leaders, the generals. These decisions were made willfully and with the expectation that they would achieve a result. Regardless of whether the result is what was expected, desired or not, that is all meaningless right now. The point is that anything other than a withdrawal with a focus toward an international humanitarian effort to stop the genocide will make things even worse than they are now.
Lying our way into Iraq didn’t work. “Shock and Awe” didn’t work. Not stopping the looting and chaos after Baghdad fell didn’t work. Torture didn’t work. Bombing hospitals and failing to secure the infrastructure (you know, basics like clean running water and electricity) didn’t work. The “Baghdad offensive” didn’t work. Firebombing Fallujah didn’t work. None of it worked.
Sorry, you don’t get another chance. There is no second chance for those who are killed when weddings or funerals get bombed. There is no second chance for many who have lost their loved ones due to the civil war that was created by boneheaded decisions. And there is no “do over” when you want just one more chance to “really show the Iraqis that you mean business”.