Thursday, November 16, 2006

Have we lost our minds? 
The president, according to the Guardian, wants to commit an additional 20 thousand troops (a reinforced division or so, or about 3 brigades' worth, roughly) in a 'last ditch' effort to win the war.

Any "last ditch" effort will fail. Any offensive which is percieved in the enemy's mind to be a "last ditch" effort carries within it the seeds of its own destruction, because the enemy knows he need only last one more big fight and he is victorious.

The sheikhs will adjust their risk calculus, and will not stick their necks out for the coalition or for democracy in Iraq, knowing that the U.S. has lost its will to fight a protracted battle.

Neither will anyone else. The smart sheikhs will flock to our enemies at the critical time. This is madness.

Counterinsurgencies are difficult. They take time. It's a crockpot, not a microwave. A marathon, not a sprint. It is a contest of wills, more than firearms.

The insurgency in Iraq will not be defeated decisively by force of arms alone. This is because the insurgent has no reason at all to ever risk more than he can afford to lose.

The way to defeat the insurgency is to force THEM into a last ditch effort. For all we know, influencing the elections in the United States was their last ditch effort - their final gasp of strength.

If they recieve an unmistakeable message from Washington that we will not tire, we will not falter, and we will never sell out our allies in Iraq - ever, ever, EVER - that their herculean effort to influence the midterms was for naught, and that both parties in the United States are united in their commitment to prosecute the war, uphold Iraq's fledgeling democracy, and find and kill these bastards where they live, you will see the momentum begin to change.

Not right away. You will still have diehards who don't understand the tectonic tribal shifts happening around them. You will still have people living in a jihadist cocoon. But you will see pragmatic sheikhs jump off the fence to our side. You will see a slow and steady rise in intelligence tips. The enemy will see a gradual decline in recruitment. It will become difficult and increasingly risky for him to raise money within Iraq. His lines of support will lengthen and become more vulnerable. He will slowly be cut off from oxygen - the support of the people.

His collapse will begin slowly. Imperceptively at first. And violence, for a time, will increase, not decrease, as the insurgent is slowly backed into a corner. As he begins to run out of safe houses and room to maneuver, he will be forced to stand and fight more and more. He will be pressured to undertake increasingly foolish operations in order to show off his potency.

That is exactly the corner we want to force him into.

As JFK said:

Let the word go forth from this time and place that the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans. Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we will pay any price, bear any burden, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to ensure the survival and success of liberty.

Anything less than a similar commitment in this crucial moment is an embrace of defeat.

The Democrats are already psychologically beaten like so many craven puppies.

Shame on them.

And shame on weak Republicans for buying into it.

Splash, out


I totally agree with your assessment of a 'last ditch' effort. But because of lack of domestic support our choices appear to be 'last ditch' or 'no ditch'. And getting more guys killed for nothing (sure outcome of admitted 'last ditch') is worse than bugging out now.

Of course, if you really are going to stay to finish the job, any suggestions that you MIGHT not do so just make the job that much more costly.

Best path: united front to win.
Worst path: 'last ditch' effort.
In between (not sure which is worse):
out now, or
stay, but with lack of decisiveness.
Madness was electing "w" as president, twice
The Dems should have fielded stronger candidates.
If it was madness, perhaps the Dems in congress shouldn't have voted to go along with Bush on the 2nd gulf conflict.

But they did. Overwhelmingly.
We're going to have to stick it out, push hard for the next two years to keep a commitment to Iraq in a way that the sheikhs will see and then have the Democrats spanked and out of power in '08.

Pelosi's doing a bang up job at horrifying those who are paying attention (Murtha/Hoyer and Hastings) and Alcee Hastings is going to be a gift that keeps on giving for the political operatives.

Now, all that Bush has to do is keep on being stubborn on Iraq (not a stretch for him) and keep a veto sustaining number of Senators/Representatives together in the Congress. This is doable.

The question is whether it's going to get done.
Let's consider MadTom's latest comment:

Does it avoid the topic at hand? Check.

Is it absent any factual content whatsoever? Check.

Is it dismissive of legitimate argument? Check.

Is it backward-looking rather than forward-looking? Check.

Is it antidemocratic? Check.

Is it humorless? Check.

Does it fail to move the football an inch towards either goal line? Check.

Does it lack usefulness? Check.

Does it fail to develop its argument? Check.

Is it steeped in Bush Derangement Syndrome? Check.

Does it lack irony? Check.

I guess Madtom's a liberal after all!
You said it.

I've linked to you here: http://consul-at-arms.blogspot.com/2006/11/re-have-we-lost-our-minds.html
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