Friday, February 16, 2007
OK! Enough already!
We have had enough of the political rhetoric, half measures, hairsplitting and the duck and weave of our national elected leaders. Discussion about who has the right plan, or any plan for Iraq have become quite irrelevant. It’s irrelevant because there are only three possible positions and everyone has already chosen one of them.
Position A: “The Last Stand.” Increase U.S. troops levels in Iraq to 300,000 to 400,000 as the Pentagon brass originally said was required after the fall of Saddam Hussein. If Iraq is the critical fight against world-wide terrorism and must be won at all costs, then let’s be honest and consistent and demand that we send more troops, a lot more troops. If the U.S. does not have sufficient troops or equipment, then call for a draft. To describe the situation as some kind of a “last stand” and not call for a military draft is disingenuous. So do it! Take the “tough guy” position, lose the rhetoric and advocate for the reality of a major increase in troops and a possible draft. If you can’t do that then please, spare me the rhetoric. You’re not really a tough guy after all.
Position B: Withdrawal. Whether it’s gradual, subject to a timeline or with a date certain, it’s still a withdrawal. To use the “w” word will make you subject to attack as being weak and you then become responsible for the aftermath. With the death of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi’s over the course of the last few years, the difference between being responsible for a bloody aftermath and a bloody present may ultimately be relative, just a matter of time.
Position C: Status Quo. If you would like to advocate for a “win at all costs” but the honesty of a serious troop increase and a military draft makes you queasy, or your stomach cramps at the thought of looking weak by using the “w” word, then this is the option for you. It’s also the only remaining option. Whether troop levels increase by 20,000, remain the same, or decrease by 20,000, it is in fact the position of the status quo. 20,000 troops either way will have no long lasting effect. Current troop levels are apparently insufficient to win, but enough not to suffer an immediate loss. With just enough troops not to affect an outcome, they become simply “bait” to fight whoever decides to show up: al Qaida terrorists, Sunni insurgents, Shia militiamen, Kurdish separatists. If the “bait” theory sounds a bit cynical to you, it is consistent with the oft-repeated statements from administration officials that “it’s better to fight them over there than over here.” Not enough to win but enough not to lose - one helluva way to claim to be “supportjng the troops.” For politicians it’s the compromise position, which is to say it’s no position at all. For the taxpayer, it’s a financial black hole. Most importantly, for our troops it’s a slow unending meat-grinder.
So, what’s your position?
Jim Marcinkowksi February 16, 2007