Even MORE Proof It’s Not Working In Iraq

After three months of the “surge” which initially was sold to have a noticeable effect by now, it is clear that things just aren’t working. While violence in Baghdad and Anbar, the target for the increase in troop levels, have dropped some, this has only resulted in a relocation of fighting as violence elsewhere has increased to compensate.

The largest increase, apparently, in the areas outlying Baghdad.

Which of course is cue for administration officials and war apologists to take up the narrative molding, attempting to remind people that the point of the surge was ever only to reduce violence in Baghdad to give Iraqi leaders the ability to politically solve the problem.

But as we recently learned, this in and of itself may be a faulty tactic as Iraqi leaders representing the contentious groups in Iraq seem ill-disposed towards an amiable solution. In other words, we can give them all the peace we can offer and they’re still going to be at each others throats.

On top of that, it seems as though the Iraqis are equally ill-disposed and ill-equipped to quelling their own sectarian violence, resulting in not only the attack of a Shia Shrine, but the retaliatory attacks on Sunni mosques.

It’s a desperate situation, one in which almost immediately after selling the surge as a winning strategy, Bush has been spinning in the opposite direction, pointing again to the mismanagement and overall inability to detach from the fantastic goals of the neocons and ally the administration with the realities put forth by his generals:

Not the least of which being the new “war Csar” that Bush has put into place, General Lute. During his senate confirmation hearing, he has made it clear that a “surge” would not work unless there was serious effort from Iraqi leadership to politically fix the problems plaguing the beleagured nation.

Which brings us right on back to the failure of Iraqi’s in parliament to do exactly that.

In the end, what you have is a fundamentally different view. One held by Bush and whatever you want to call those who support his efforts; neocons, warhawks, war apologists, or moronically optimistic, take your pick. This view is that if you stay there long enough, and you fight hard enough, and you wait long enough, Iraq will eventually magically turn into a flowering democracy, a Middle Eastern shining city on the hill.

But this is unlikely. The rift that divides these people goes back not generations, not centuries, but for eons (perhaps a tough pill to swallow if you are of the mind that the Earth is only a couple thousand years old which may explain part of why Bush doesn’t get this), and peace through force is the norm. Saddam was able to keep Iraq peaceful, but at what cost? And as Reagan has said, we don’t understand their politics.

Progress is possible in Iraq, and the Middle East, but not the way we are doing it. We are using our military to inject ourselves into the political debate, something no one likes. I mean, look at when the death penalty was revoked for minors. Justice Kennedy had cited in his opinion the consesus of our Eurpoean friends, a sentiment that sparked a firestorm within the conservative media.

That wasn’t even passive influence from a foreign entity into our politics, that was just someone looking at what someone else was doing and thinking it was a good idea. Imagine if someone came over here and through force tried to interject themselves into our politics. You can’t tell me every libertarian and card carrying NRA member wouldn’t be arming up and ready to go to war.

Which is essentially the situation we have put the Iraqi’s in, only they are far more divided than we are, and much more willing to do harm because of it.

The opposing view to the Bush rose colored one, therefore, is far more bleak, but realistic. No matter what we choose to do in Iraq, things will not get better, not any time soon. Every choice available to us is a bad one, and is doomed to result in either more violence, or at least maintaining the same level of violence that exists today. In this regard, our presence there should not be a military one, for one because then our troops and our citizens are dying for a wholely Iraqi cause, and the benefits are hardly worth the cost, and for two, because it’s not wise policy. It’s hard to expect us to be able to amicably and peacefully interject ourselves into the Iraqi political sphere with a military presence that is widely seen as an occupation.

It is a view that suggests that perhaps we should back out and approach the problem from a completely different angle, one that is political and diplomatic in nature, one that realizes that the conflict going on over there has nothing to do with us, or at least, could have nothing to do with us so long as we extricate ourselves.

Whatever the case, it is clear that what we are doing right now is more of the same, just another status quo strategy that has already failed for the past four years. The definition of foolishness is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Or, as a prominent American politician once said, “You fool me once… sh-shame on you… You fool me twice.. you… you … youdon’tgetfooled AGAIN!”

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