Saturday, June 11, 2005

Isn't there someone who will let us surrender? 

A month ago, I titled a post "Americans surrender in Iraq", based on a NYT story which said that the insurgents were ready to negotiate a surrender. To my eye, it appeared that America was using the media to declare its own intent to surrender, but saving face by implying it was merely responding to an insurgent initiative.
Now, here's another straw in the wind showing that America is giving up -- this Boston Globe story Decisive victory doubtful in Iraq says that "Military operations in Iraq have not succeeded in weakening the insurgency, and Iraq's government, with U.S. support, is now seeking a political reconciliation among the nation's ethnic and tribal factions as the only viable route to stability, according to U.S. military officials and private specialists."
So it looks to me like America is still trying to surrender through the media, but this time saving face by implying that the Iraqi government wants to negotiate peace and America is merely supporting them.
But perhaps I need to make a significant revison in my surrender thesis.
Perhaps it isn't actually "America" which wants to surrender, but rather just the American military. Maybe they're trying to get their boys and girls out of Iraq before the military collapses again as badly as it did after Vietnam. But the Bush administration isn't listening.
The Globe article points out that "despite US estimates that it kills or captures 1,000 to 3,000 insurgents a month the number of daily attacks is going back up . . to at least 70 per day", that the insurgents have "steady streams of funding and weapons", that they are "mounting an effort comparable to where they were a year ago", that in the first five months of 2005, almost 1.000 Iraqi police and security have been killed, that more than half of the attacks now involve suicide bombers, and that an average of two US soldiers day each day "and untold thousands of Iraqi civilians are being caught in the crossfire." And we've all heard the stories about how miserable the military recruiting numbers have been lately, to the point that they are recruiting less qualified candidates, and refusing to discharge people who shouldn't be in the military anymore. And fragging may be making a comeback.
So how can Dick Cheney say that the insurgency is in its "last throes"?
The article quotes a military specialist on the Cheney remark - 'There is simply no basis for making that statement". He's obviously forgotten that the Bush administration thinks they do not have to deal with actual facts -- they can create their own reality by wishing it to be so.
So as the military gets weaker and more desperate to surrender, how long can the Bush administration sustain its mythical but comfortable belief that freedom is on the march? How long will they continue to believe that the combination of tough talk and Tinker Bell clapping can suspend the laws of time and space and physics, so that they can continue to think that things are going exactly according to plan in Iraq.
If the military is trying to surrender, will the Bush administration let them? Or will the military be forced to stay on and on in Iraq, hunkered down in their bases year after year, seeing thousands of soldiers and ten of thousands of Iraqis die? The Bushies are, after all, a bunch of chickenhawks, backed up by the 101st Fighting Keyboarders. They've always thought they knew better than the military how to win a war -- yeah, just talk them to death!

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