Thursday, September 13, 2007

We're In Iraq To Stay - Driving Out The Snakes

"The furious debates about the various statistics and benchmarks ought to tell you something: no one knows whether we are winning or losing this war. And if no one knows, then it will likely never end." We're still "staying the course," riding an endless train to a destination that no one seems willing or able to put on a map.

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8 comments:

Jenn of the Jungle said...

Gen. John P. Abizaid called it like it is: A Long War.

Anyone who thought it would be over in a week was smoking da kine. Including those currently in office.

Dora said...

This is a very timely and important article from the New Yorker that distills a lot of the options for the future and their attendant problems into a concise summary of why we're so fucked in Iraq.

repsac3 said...

Gen. John P. Abizaid called it like it is: A Long War.

U.S. Command Shortens Life of "Long War" as a Reference - New York Times: "As it turned out, however, the long war turned out to be surprisingly short-lived, at least at the command that pioneered the term. After taking over last month as the head of Central Command, Adm. William J. Fallon quietly retired the phrase."

"Admiral Fallon was also said to have been unenthusiastic about the phrase. He has stressed the importance of focusing on the difficult situation in Iraq and in achieving results as soon as possible. The notion of a long war, in contrast, seemed to connote an extended conflict in which Iraq was but a chapter."

Anyone who thought it would be over in a week was smoking da kine. Including those currently in office.

I don't think much of anyone did think it would be over in a week... ...except... Well, there was this one guy.... USA TODAY Education - Confronting Iraq: "Feb. 7, 2003 Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, to U.S. troops in Aviano, Italy: 'It is unknowable how long that conflict will last. It could last six days, six weeks. I doubt six months.'"

I don't think he was smokin' anything though... I just think he was woefully unqualified to do his job.

repsac3 said...

Dora, I've read through that article twice now, and I agree with your assessment; we're fucked no matter what we do.

I can't help thinking of this as Bush's war, but as the article says, it's going to take all of us in America, as well as the help of other countries, to slowly bring the region back from the precipitous edge Bush brought it to. Iraq and the region that surrounds it is our shared responsibility, now...

Thank you so much for dropping it over here... I intend to pass it on... (The article I added to your recent posting was so much less substantial, I feel like I cheated, somehow... I'll try to do better, should we play "articlewars" again... 8>)

And... am I a sexist patriarchal pig for enjoying those the Hardees ads you recently blogged about?

Yeah, I thought so... ;(

ECOPHOTOS said...

Thank you for this post, repsac3, and thank you, dora, for the link to the NYT article. I need to re-read it before I feel confident about commenting, but let me share a few personal thoughts, perhaps a bit off-thread.

My daughter informs me (she is currently in Iraq, third deployment, rank of captain) that the burden of repeated deployments is borne by only 20% of our military officers. In other words, the same 20% get repeated deployments, while 80% of our officer corps tends to remain in cushy assignments. A 'stop loss order' prevents all enlistees and officers from leaving the military. And I feel persoanlly offended when the POTUS talks about freedom and democracy while families of military personnel are held in thrall.

The $20,000 sign-on bonus to join the military is another expression of desperation and moral failure by the administration, according to my daughter. She states that young people, seduced by visions of money or a new car or whatever, cannot possibly know or understand what horrors they face in Iraq.

Five years ago, my daughter called me from Kuwait. It was immediately after George W. issued his ultimatum to Saddam to 'get out of Dodge' so to speak. She said: "Dad, I can't believe he is actually going to do this. We are under-trained, under-equipped, and not ready. The president has an itchy trigger finger."

Five years ago, the missteps, mistakes, and gross mismanagement had started even before the first shots were fired.

Donald Douglas said...

Repsac3: I didn't know you had such a great following, complete with vulgarity and poor comprehension skills (Swampcracker fails to notice Ms. Dora's reference is to the New Yorker, and not NYT).

With all respect, I guess it's hard to be clear (and smart?) when denouncing our FUBAR "occupation", right?

repsac3 said...

I didn't know you had such a great following,

Me, either... Ever since getting a site meter (turns out I didn't have one at all), I've been amazed how many folks visit here...

complete with vulgarity

Words seldom offend me... Please don't judge my readers & blog by the standards you set for your your readers & blog. Vulgarity is permitted (though not encouraged) here.

and poor comprehension skills (Swampcracker fails to notice Ms. Dora's reference is to the New Yorker, and not NYT).

I suspect that's an honest mistake, and I think it a cheap shot to use that as proof of much of anything.

I've been meaning to bring the article to your attention, though... I'd be interested in your take on it. (Get past the title. It really isn't all that "defeatist" a piece.)

With all respect, I guess it's hard to be clear (and smart?) when denouncing our FUBAR "occupation", right?

Not at all, Don... Many are quite clear & very intelligent in doing so... (Or are you suggesting that well over half the country lacks the intelligence of the 30% that still buy what Bush is selling?--a pretty elitist stance, in my humble.)

Thanks for visiting (& for not pissing on my trees & bushes, again... 8>)

ECOPHOTOS said...

I suspect that's an honest mistake, and I think it a cheap shot to use that as proof of much of anything.

Please accept my thanks, respac3, for your comment. Indeed it was a honest mistake. I force myself to participate in comment threads before they grow stale even when I am past the point of fatigue.

(Like yourself, I had two heart implants some years ago, i.e. angioplasty, and fatigue remains a health issue).