Thursday, January 11, 2007

It's time for Bush to throw in the towel

Rather than listen to common sense, including that of his own generals and a blue-ribbon panel of wise men and women, George W Bush thinks that escalating the war in Iraq may the only way to save the situation. So he's sending 20-22 thousand more troops. Needless to say, most Democrats (with the natural exception of Joe Lieberman) are furious and are sticking by their promise not to give Bush the funds he needs to escalate operations.

Until recently, I thought an escalation -- going big, as it's called in street talk -- was the only solution. After all, America made the mess, it had to get out of it. But in the last couple of months as it's become clear the police action has become a civil war, having American troops on the ground at all makes no sense at all; they're just target practice for the real aim -- Sunnis killing Shias and vice versa.

If it was just a question of getting rid of terrorists making imminent plans to attack a NATO country, I'd support a targeted mission to get rid of cells associated with Al-Qaeda and allied groups. I'm no pacifist -- protecting the home front sometimes means taking drastic action abroad. In the present situation, though, it's impossible to tell who's with the terrorists and who isn't. It's partly that, that explains why the killing has become so indiscriminate.

Even if this worked the way Bush thinks it could, it only buys America some time -- three to six months at most. The fact is the insurgents on both sides will simply catch their second wind and start all over again. The pottery barn rule can only go so far. America has had nearly four years to purchase the broken crockpot -- all they've done is subcontract the repair job to Big Oil. It's time for America to bring its troops home so they can fortify the country for the next terrorist attack, which will probably be sooner than later. Let the Iraqis themselves figure out where their country goes from here -- not the Pentagon.

There's no dishonour in admitting defeat -- in fact, doing so rather than just saying "mistakes were made" may be the best way Bush can salvage his reputation.

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