Tuesday, April 08, 2008
One Word AnswersOkay, we had the surge. We sent more troops to Iraq, to create a safer environment for the Iraqis to come to some political solutions. Many people, including John McCain, believe that that strategy has worked. While we can't say for certain just what political solutions the Iraqis have come up with, the level of violence seemed to decrease, making many Americans believe that some sort of stability had arrived in Iraq, and that the war was not as important an issue as say, the economy. And so the extra troops will begin to withdraw this summer, but already, the level of violence has increased. On Sunday, rockets were fired at the Green Zone, killing two US soldiers. On Monday, the Green Zone was hit with mortar fire 3 separate times, not killing anyone, but the last round of fire apparently hit the parking lot, maybe even where General Petraeus parks his car.
Today, before Congress, General Petraeus calmly spoke about the Pause, another one word strategy that is basically defined as sending the extra troops home, and waiting until the shit hits the fan again, before sending them back again. Maybe he wasn't so worried about his car in the parking lot of the Green Zone. He seems to think that we can sit back for a few months and wait out the mortar fire. Maybe he is crossing his fingers and hoping that the Iraqi Prime Minister, al-Maliki, will get his shit together and take over the security of his country. But if the recent military action in Basra is any indication of how the Iraqi Army performs in action, General Petraeus should be pretty worried. There are reports of massive desertion by the Iraqi forces. The General can't just hit the Pause button on some war remote control, and have it all stop while he and the Pentagon figure out just how to stop this calamity. One word answers do not work, they are good sales pitches to the media who try to sell it to the American taxpayers, but poor answers to problems of this magnitude.
What will the next word be?
Technorati Tags: Al Maliki, General Petraeus, Green Zone, Iraq, surge, pause,
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No subject for immortal verse
That we who lived by honest dreams
Defend the bad against the worse."
-- Cecil Day-Lewis from Where Are The War Poets?
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