Wednesday, June 15, 2005

You and Whose Army? (Ghost Horses) 

Over at the newly minted TMP Cafe, someone who goes by name "The Duke" wrote the following piece of shit:
Public opinion is mounting against Bush's Iraq policy, and some Administration critics are calling for outright withdrawal. Before Bush critics rush for the exits, we should recall that what is happening in Iraq today is exactly the outcome we predicted for a hasty invasion with shallow international support and fuzzy objectives. Is a hasty withdrawal with shallow international support and fuzzy objectives any more likely to be in America's national security interest? Of course not.

The Duke argued before the war that the United States should build a strong international coalition with clearly defined objectives and the resources necessary to achieve them. That's still the right approach. But Democrats are beginning to sound a lot like Trent Lott and Tom Delay criticizing Clinton's policy in the Balkans, driven more by politics than by our national interest.

Our national interest lies with the Iraqi leaders who are now struggling to write a constitution. Tom Friedman offers a note of caution:
Maybe it is too late, but before we give up on Iraq, why not actually try to do it right? Double the American boots on the ground and redouble the diplomatic effort to bring in those Sunnis who want to be part of the process and fight to the death those who don't.
Doubling American boots on the ground might be political suicide now, but a stronger coalition force would help stabilize a fragile situation and make Americans on the ground safer.

The great tragedy of Bush's Iraq policy is that he squandered America's willingness to sacrifice too early in the game. By failing to work with our allies as true partners (as Clinton did in the Balkans, and as Bush I did in 1990-91), our allies don't "own" the problem and they and finding it easier to walk away. The result is that Americans are paying most of the price, and it shows in the polls. My hope is that it is not too late to build support at home and abroad for a long-term solution that honors the lives already lost.
Idiocy of this magnitude required a response, so I wrote the following as a comment over at that site: Double the boots on the ground? With what army?!!?! Good God, you read too much Friedman and listen to too much Biden. Your generalities are well and good ("clearly defined objectives" and whatnot), but (a) your objectives are, well, ill-defined ("stabilize a fragile situation"? how? by turning the rest of Iraq into Fallujah?) and (b) as stated above, we don't have 10 more divisions to send to Iraq. They don't exist. You want a draft, then advocate for one. Otherwise, please blame those who put us in this situation and not Democrats who have the gall to criticize the Iraq War.
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