I was perusing blogs that I hadn't posted yet, and saw that I wrote these words on 10 August 2007 (but did not post them), then saved them in the place where you go to edit your blogs. I essentially believe the same depressing thing that I did 2 months ago. It is extremely discouraging to understand that nothing in essence has changed in two months (except for the fact that the Administration and the US military (along with a compliant, despicable, spineless Congress) has been beating the war drums to start a DIFFERENT war with Iran).
"The Iraq war is a great model and example of complexity. Most Americans do not want to understand this, and have thrown their faith in with President Bush and the Surge.
The Surge may make a difference in a neighborhood here or there, but there is so much more going on.
At the top of the list is the Iraqi government. Until this body is able to administrate the "state" that is Iraq, nothing is going to change. A government has to do those routine, mundane things that a government does: provide security, laws, infrastructure, etc."
Today, I read this article (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21186176/) about the Iraqi's pulling back from reconciliation and talking about some different goals. The article talks about:
"Instead of reconciliation, they now stress alternative and perhaps more attainable goals: streamlining the government bureaucracy, placing experienced technocrats in positions of authority and improving the dismal record of providing basic services."
Since the main reason for the surge was to supposedly make the violence stop long enough for political reconciliation to occur, one has to come to the conclusion that the surge did not do what it was supposed to.
Certain media outlets keep trying to say that no "good news" is coming from Iraq. Good news to them may be something like schools being opened, or that less people were killed last month (even though they think the reduced numbers are proof that the surge is "working", that doesn't help the soldiers who WERE killed last month (or their families), or the Iraqis killed last month or their families).
But here is the sad truth. Our soldiers can ply the streets of Iraq for 1000 more years, and if the Iraqi's don't get it together and do these things, it simply will make no difference. And, we're running out of troops to ply those streets (and money too).
So, we need to keep asking the hard questions. Why on earth are we still in Iraq at the levels that we are? If are troops are not getting any closer to making Iraq into a functioning country (and reconciliation is nowhere in sight), what are our troops doing there?
General Petraeus, when asked by Senator Warner, if the Iraq war made this country safer tried first to answer with some Orwellian Doublespeak (he felt it was the best course of action, blah, blah, blah, blah). Senator Warner to his credit, simply would not let him get away with this, and asked him point blank again. He confessed that he didn't know, and hadn't given it much thought.
Obviously, if the guy in charge of our forces in Iraq doesn't know, and hasn't given it much thought, the questions really aren't being seriously asked. I don't know why (other than the probability that very few people saw that exchange) this doesn't anger the hell out of us and scare the hell out of us at the same time!!!!
And the most important questions of all: What are our intentions toward Iran (that is somewhat of a rhetorical question - despite howling protests to the contrary, I believe that our governments intention toward Iran is war)? How can we, as Americans stop our government from attacking Iran?
Is there any way that this can be stopped? There are a lot of pieces out there that predict what will happen in a war with Iran. None of them are pretty. Bill Lind has said repeatedly that because of the dynamics in Iraq (having to escape through Shiite country, and Iraq bordering Iran) and Afghanistan, we could literally lose whole Armies in those countries - defeats like this are incomprehensible (right now) to Americans.
But the sad fact is that they've happened to other empires who have believed that they were indestructible and unbeatable. 200 years from now, are they going to read about us the same way that we read about the Romans?