Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Simply murder:

Will wonders never cease? The WaPo reports: "Senate Democrats scored a surprise victory yesterday in their bid to force President Bush to end the Iraq war, turning back a Republican amendment that would have struck a troop withdrawal plan from emergency military funding legislation." (With the help of Chuck Hagel, of course, bless his heart.)

What a stunning victory for the Dems! And this was in the Senate no less; I thought we were all going to die of old age before they'd get around to doing anything. The vote this time around was 50-48 (the opposite of two weeks ago), the result of which was that Darth Cheney, reportedly lurking nearby, didn't get a chance to cast a tie breaking vote. Things were looking so bad for the Republican's attempt to block the language at the beginning of the week, in fact, that according to the WaPo, John McCain "canceled a series of fundraisers and meetings in Florida to return to Washington." Skipping fundraisers is serious business, but McCain said he needed to "beat back this recipe for defeat that the Democrats are trying to foist on the American people."

You know, if anyone is doing the foisting here it's deadenders like him and Joe Lieberman -- who's stand on this issue is rapidly losing Joe-mentum -- backing a war and a president that's lost the support of 60% of the American people. Despite McCain's increasingly fevered delusions about the surge achieving "significant success," the body count of US soldiers tells a different story.

AP reports that since the surge began on Feb. 14 we've lost 114 GIs, four just this past weekend in one IED attack. [78 soldiers for March so far] And the civil war goes on, too: AP reports two truck bombs in Tal Afar -- A city W. just said gives him "confidence in our strategy" -- killed 63 Iraqis and wounded 150 others on Tuesday, the second attack in the past four days. Also yesterday, another Marine was killed in Anbar and a soldier and a civilian contractor were killed inside the Green Zone from yet another rocket attack on the supposedly heavily secured enclave. Around Iraq, Iraqi police said 109 people were killed or found dead.

Naturally, since the IP are riddled with Shiite militiamen, that number probably only accounts for Shiites killed, not all the Sunnis they slaughtered. And today the LA Times reports: "Shiite militants and police enraged by massive truck bombings in Tal Afar went on a revenge spree against Sunni residents in the northwestern town today, killing as many as 60 people, officials say." All in all, truly a dazzling success; why wouldn't the American people want to keep sending GIs into the Iraqi meat grinder?

Strangely, they don't, though. About two thirds of us seem to of the mind that sending more young Americans to die for Nuri al-Maliki and his band of ethnic cleansers isn't in our national interest anymore.

The argument on the other side -- growing weaker by the day -- is that if we announce that we're going to start the process of pulling out in four months, that'll embolden the insurgents to wait us out. My question is; isn't that what they've been doing for the past four years anyway? Regardless of what all we've thrown at them since the insurgency began, which is the might of the most powerful military the world has ever seen, they've adjusted to every tactic and hung on. Hanging on is all they have to do, after all, that's the nature of the war W. landed us in: They win by not losing.

And, by the way, regardless of when we leave, whether it's next year or ten years from now, we're going to leave eventually. They'll still be there no matter what happens, they live there. So, if we do what some Republicans want to do, give Patreaus' plan more time to work , say until sometime around Thanksgiving, then revisit the withdrawal idea if things don't turn out they way we know they will -- a dazzling success- by then, the way things are trending, we will have lost another 700 soldiers dead with perhaps another 10,000 wounded, who will be shuffled off to bat infested VA hospitals.

That's not a strategy for victory, that's a date certain for ignomious defeat (to paraphrase John McCain). I suggest he and Lieberman read "The War in the Words of the Dead" in the current issue of Newsweek and tell me if keeping those who are still there, hoping to return home to their wives and children in one piece, indefinalty is in any way morally justified. They've done all they were asked to do deployment after deployment and they've done it in the finest American tradition, it's time to bring them home.

George W. Bush's threat to veto any bill that requires a pull out is, I think, somewhat equavilent to Ulysses S. Grant's ill-concieved assault on Confederate entrenchments at Cold Harbor in 1864, which cost the Union Army 7000 dead in the matter of a few minutes. Grant said of the attack afterwards: "I have always regretted that the last assault at Cold Harbor was ever made. . . no advantage was gained to compensate for the heavy loss we sustained."

Oh, for such honesty nowadays! Recognizing mistakes and not repeating them is a sane course of action. Repeating mistakes and expecting different results is insanity and in this case is, like Cold Harbor, is simply murder.


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