Friday, November 17, 2006

A last big push

And so it comes to this: like a mad dictator in his bunker moving phantom divisions on a map, or an inbred aristocrat in a chateau securely behind the lines, Bush is planning "a last big push" to win the war in Iraq. He wants to throw another 20,000 men into the meat-grinder in Baghdad in the hope of securing the city while he convenes a conference of Iraq's neighbours (including Iran and Syria) to ensure regional stability and bangs some heads together to force Sh'ia and Sunni to put aside their differences. It's a fantasy, of course - as much of a fantasy as Hitler's final offensive to save Berlin, or Haig's "big push" to break through on the Western Front - but in Bush's faith-based reality, sheer willpower triumphs over roadside bombs and RPG-7s. Little facts like the US not having another 20,000 men, Iran and Syria being happy to watch the "Great Satan" drive itself to hell, and the Sh'ia and Sunni being more interested in advancing their own interests than in securing Bush's legacy just don't seem to register. And so men and women will be sent to their deaths for a delusion, because the President can't admit that he made a mistake and that the war is lost.

There is no point in throwing good lives after bad. There is no point in trying to stop a civil war that started twelve months ago. The best America can do now is to stop inflaming the situation, admit defeat, and go home.


While Iraq's slide into chaos is no doubt the result of an invasion and occupation doomed from the beginning, I don't think that a withdrawal of US and UK troops is going to improve things much.
An all-out civil war now seems to be on the cards - no matter whether the Yanks are there or not.

Is there anything that can be done for Iraq? What a terrible tragedy.

Posted by Anonymous : 11/17/2006 10:37:00 AM

Is it the British WWI generals you refer to as "inbred aristocrats"? Which ones were they? Haig was the son of the eponymous Scotch whisky distiller and French was the son of a naval commander. Both were *created* Earl's after WW1.

The problem was not that Britain had promoted incompetent but well connected officers to high command, but that neither side had developed tactics suitable for the conditions and weapons of European warfare in the 20th century.

Posted by Rich : 11/17/2006 12:55:00 PM

Not to mention that the Somme's objective was never the 'big breakthough' but was designed to take pressure from the French who were getting mauled at Verdun. And essentially it achieved this aim, the alternative at the time would have led to the collapse of the French armies and the loss of the European war.


Posted by Anonymous : 11/17/2006 04:39:00 PM

The war in Iraq is very different from the battles of the Somme or the battle of Berlin, not to mention the two battles above a very different from each other. As for your Iraq strategy of the US withdraw, it will certainly fail to set up a peaceful democracy. Instead it could lead to the violence and unrest getting even worse.

Posted by Anonymous : 11/17/2006 05:02:00 PM

Yes, why take the risk of the violence and unrest getting even worse, when we can stay and be certain of it continuing to get worse at the bargain price of only a few thousand dollars every second!

Posted by Commie Mutant Traitor : 11/17/2006 05:37:00 PM

"Yes, why take the risk of the violence and unrest getting even worse, when we can stay and be certain of it continuing to get worse at the bargain price of only a few thousand dollars every second! "
As for the "certain of it continuing to get worse" part, one thing the past three years have taught us about Iraq is there are few if any certanties. While the situation in Iraq is very tragic and America made the wrong choice to invade in the first place withdrawing will have serious consequences. these include:
1)A serious risk of increasing violence acompanied by acts of ethnic cleamsing and genocide.
2) Certain portions of iraq becoming even safer havens for terrorists and crinimal activities.
3) Give hope and inspire terrorists
4) More reduction of morale in the US, and US military
5) Possible increases in the price of oil, with negative effects on the world economy.
6) Affect the political stability and economy of states neighbouring Iraq, who could be faced with more refugees.
7) Potential for increased regional instability with foreign powers such as Iran or turkey trying to interevene in the Iraq civil war.

Posted by Anonymous : 11/17/2006 05:59:00 PM

I suggest instead of "admit defeat, and go home " theytry "claim victory, and go home" that is what their enemies would do and exactly why their enemies are 'beating' them.

Posted by Genius : 11/17/2006 06:00:00 PM

"give hope and inspire terrorists"...

I suspect seeing another few thousand American corpses sent home will inspire a few too...

Actually nearly every point on your list could easily go the other way....

Posted by Anonymous : 11/17/2006 07:40:00 PM

(1) The american troops are hardly "phantom" divisions
(2) WWI front-lines were a meat-grinder, not Iraq in 2006.
(3) I belive Bush is planning to counter roadside bombs and rpgs with rather more than mere "willpower"
(4)How exactly would abandoning Iraq help prevent american casualties? You think the nutjobs out there will call the game off if the US leaves?


Posted by Anonymous : 11/18/2006 12:01:00 AM

consequences? wtf?
1)and this is not already happening?
2) and staying longer will somehow fix this problem, created by the invasion in the first place?
3) is your name gwb? do you have a brain to think with?
4) that would be nice!
5) even better!! rehearsal for peak oil.
6) more than now? yeah, right.
7) so only whities from far away are allowed to do this?

Posted by Anonymous : 11/18/2006 12:04:00 AM

'I belive Bush is planning to counter roadside bombs and rpgs with rather more than mere "willpower"'

No doubt you believed Bush's 'mission accomplished' media-op, and Cheney's predictions of a liberating army showered with rose petals. Not to mention WMDs.
Suggesting that Bush is capable of planning anything beyond the minor details of his next vacation at his fake ranch would be an enormous hoot if the whole hideously stuffed-up situation weren't so tragic.

Posted by Anonymous : 11/18/2006 08:27:00 AM

1) I guess there is a difference between sudan and iraq (sudan being significantly worse).
5) that is what the iraq war did itself (pushed up oil prices) a plus to go with the negitives eh?
6) well if the genocide option eventuates then yes. otherwise maybe your right.
7) I know a few people from the middle east and they look like whites to me (unlike quite a few americans such as condi) so to sure why that was worth mentioning.

Posted by Genius : 11/18/2006 09:17:00 AM

rich: The problem was not that they had no tactics. What occured was the inevitable outcome when one heavily armed and determined side attacks another heavily armed and equally determined side. It doesn't matter what century you are in. The Chateau general's were expicit upholders of an unrepresentative aristocratic ruling elite who betrayed those who they presumed to rule by starting then incompetently running a completely pointless war. To that extent, the comparison of that elite with the American plutocracy in Iraq is accurate.

Posted by Sanctuary : 11/20/2006 09:13:00 PM