Home > Iraq News, Political Ranting > Depressing News from Iraq

Depressing News from Iraq

September 17th, 2004

Meanwhile, the situation in Iraq continues to spin out of control. American casualties have been steadily increasing for four months now. At this rate, September will become at least the third deadliest month of the war with a hundred or more U.S. soldiers killed.

And now more and more analysts are beginning to come out and say it outright: we are losing the war in Iraq. Or, more specifically, Bush is losing the war in Iraq. The soldiers fight on, doing their best, but all a soldier can do is just that–their best. If their commander-in-chief chooses the wrong battle or mishandles his strategy, then there’s little that any soldier can do.

Before the war started, the Arab league predicted that if Bush invaded, it would “open the gates of hell in the Middle East,” and now they’re saying that the gates of hell are indeed open; some analysts see the was as already lost; and this writer notes that the correspondence between Bush’s rosy assessments and the reality on the ground are becoming more and more dissonant.

The question now is, will the realization of Bush’s horrific blunder sink in with the populace in time to do something about it, or will a jingoistic, crowd-pleasing, gung-ho “if you diss me then you diss the soldiers” song-and-dance routine by Dubya sway voters enough to lock us into four more years in Iraq? If Bush gets voted in, then we’re in Iraq for good, because his inability to admit to error will force him to drive us into the ground there.

The war was a mistake from the start, and many of us saw it before the whole thing started:

Contrary to the rosy the-Arabs-will-love-us-for-saving-them pipe dream that Cheney has been hawking, the Arab people do not and never have reacted kindly to U.S. intervention, even when their governments allow it; should we go in with everyone opposing us, tempers will flare further still. Cheney argued that “extremists in the region would have to rethink their strategy of jihad.” Is he truly so utterly naive? An unsupported attack by America on an Arab nation would generate such fear and hostility in so many people that extremists would be swamped with volunteers willing to die for their cause. It would fire the call for a greater jihad, not frighten the extremists into impotency. Conflict is the friend of the terrorist.

That’s from a pre-Movable-Type blog entry of mine from August 27th, 2002. I was hardly batting 1000 in the entirety of the post, but a lot of what I predicted came to pass, and a lot of other people were closer to the truth than I was. It’s not like it was really that hard to see coming. But Bush and his handlers were either blind to it or didn’t even care.

The sad thing is, it may already be too late. Bush has ceded huge swaths of territory to the insurgents (like he did in Afghanistan when he depleted forces there to fight in Iraq), who now know that a victory is possible. A great deal of that was made possible by things like the prison torture fiasco, turning hearts and minds against us.

The solution would have been for America to go to the United Nations and work out a real coalition, with strong cooperation by Arab nations, to send in a multinational force under U.N. control. Had that been implemented a year ago perhaps, it might have worked. But now Bush has wrecked the Iraq car, totaling it beyond any hope of repair, and we are probably left with the unsavory and yet very real choice of either leaving Iraq to the insurgents and letting it descend into hell, or staying there and still have it descend into hell. The way Bush has taken us in, there is not painless way out. In fact, there is no way out that is not going to be excruciatingly painful.

Bush will inevitably talk about where to go from here, and that is indeed relevant. But even more relevant in deciding the next president is this: what kind of decisions has Bush made, and where have they taken us–because if he gets re-elected, we will be in for more and more decisions just like it.

Categories: Iraq News, Political Ranting Tags: by
Comments are closed.