Archive for January, 2007

I’ve been mulling this over in my mind, the idea of a military surge in Iraq. Does anybody really know the odds? Does anybody really know whether or not an additional 20,000+ troops will somehow be able to turn a civil (conflict, war, squabble, unrest, fill-in-the-blank-here) situation around? Probably not. But I hesitantly support the idea of a surge, for a couple of reasons:

1) If we examine the basic options, we really only have a couple of choices: get out (however gradually – how long does the dog need to retreat with its tail between its legs?), or escalate in a last ditch effort. I’m not normally a black-or-white type of person, but really…the options are relatively limited.

2) Like many percieved lost causes, like many games that have been won after the TVs have been turned off in disgust, only to discover by the water cooler the next A.M. that the home team prevailed in a stunning turnaround, I believe that there is a slim glimmer of a chance that this ship can turn around at the eleventh hour, if we need it to badly enough.

3) Although I think it may be beyond hope, if we don’t “surge,” there will always be that possibility hanging in the air, the what-if syndrome, if we begin withdrawal now or soon. If, or rather when, the shit goes down, Democrats will be rightly blamed for blocking or not supporting the one last hope, the last ditch effort to turn the tide. It will be seen as a passed-up opportunity, an unopened door, an unexplored and foregone possibility.

Iraq will go down in history as a great Pandora’s box, the beginning of something that started out as a grand (but misguided) project to impose the illusion of western democracy on a country that has no concept, let alone plan, to make the idea a reality. The Iraqi George Washingtons may well have been executed, but our own man was in peril and survived to help build a nation. If Saddam Hussein successfully silenced all potential revolutionaries, then the timing was not right. Revolution must come from within, and we did ourselves and the Iraqi people a grave disservice by acting on the notion that it could come and succeed from without. What rubbish to say that the Iraqis need to pull themselves up by their bootstraps and take responsibility for themselves. They couldn’t, didn’t or wouldn’t do it under the thumb of tyranny. What makes them so capable now that we are in the position of trying to save them from themselves?

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