Friday, June 23, 2006
Until we know what defines victory, it is wrong for Mr. Bush to keep saying ‘Stay the Course’ because there is no course to stay.
Simply put, the current situation in Iraq is untenable. We can stay there and bleed from a thousand paper cuts because we haven’t enough troops on the ground to do anything other than that. We haven’t enough troops to secure the country, some might say that in light of the recent kidnaping and killing of soldiers at a checkpoint, that we haven’t enough troops to secure much more of Iraq other than the Green Zone. We certainly haven’t enough troops on the ground to protect Iraqi civilians from car bombs and kidnapings.
Which leaves the question what to do?
With no definition of what victory is, as the current situation stands we’re spinning our wheels in the sand while soldiers die for some undefined cause.
The only other approach I can see is admitting, at least to ourselves, that the Rumsfeld approach to a minimal ground force to secure the peace was a failure. Secondly, we have to admit, at least to ourselves, that the flower-strewn welcome that Vice- President Chenney predicted not only did not materialize to the degree expected but was thwarted but mistakes like not stopping the post-shooting-phase looting.
After finally seeing the facts as they are, we’re left with only two viable conclusions. Declare victory and turn things over to the Iraqis and leave or send hundred of thousands of additional troops to provide security for the country and root out the insurgents.