Yet, the fact remains, we are in a critical phase in the Iraq campaign, right now. The MSM has been remiss in making sure the negative gets much attention (and that much is expected). So it is not wonder there's an Iraq fatigue factor, in play right now. They also downplay or fail to report (altogether), any good news that comes about. That makes it hard to be optinistic about much. So with the understanding that I fully know that not everything I see is a particularly accurate picture (as it pertains to specific events), I still see some things that need to be considered (by those that have the ability and authority to say, yea or nay to whatever they will).
The crux of the matter rests on one straight question and it must be directed towards those that think our present course is good, as is:
What is Plan B going to be, if this surge does not work as hoped?
I have to say, I am not convinced that there is a strong desire on the part of many Iraqis, to be self-reliant and be responsible for their own security and welfare. Any doubts? Read this article from the AP:
WASHINGTON (AP) - About one in six Iraqi policemen trained by U.S.-led forces had been lost through attrition by last year—they were killed or wounded, deserted or just disappeared, a senior U.S. military commander said.
And continuing violence is prompting officials again to increase the size of the Iraqi army, said Lt. Gen. Martin Dempsey, who until recently headed the training effort.
Then, there is this story from The Australian. And then, there this from IHT.
So, in the spirit of healthy debate I will pose some questions for any and all to ponder, or answer.
What is our real objective here now? Is it realistic? Does it give us a good opportunity for success, or is it a long shot? I ask these things because, we need to be thinking about what (if any) our next approach will be, if this surge does not work. Will we stay further and if we do, will it really matter? I really do not see how it can, if the Iraqis don't grow some testes and defend themselves against those that hope to plunge it into civil war.
I have heard some early reports that there was lax security at the Samarra mosque, and frankly, it doesn't surprise me. The Iraqi government is on the take and reeks of putrid corruption, the police and military are not functional, and are infiltrated with agents from the enemy. So all of the troops we have would not be able to get into the hearts of the Iraqis, themselves. All of the resources in the entire military cannot make someone want freedom. And they cannot make them want to defend it, if they do not want it.
Now, I am not saying that pulling out is necessarily the answer. I am not not saying it isn't, either. But folks, the American people are not going to be so long suffering if something doesn't make a turn in a positive direction, and soon. I have to ask myself if I am willing to support much of the same, forever. Mind you, I am not saying that I expect the moon, the stars, and the sun, on a silver platter for my personal enjoyment either. However I want it clear that I am saying, if we have any sense about this, we will look at another path to achieve the same results, if this surge is does not produce satisfactory results. Or we will have to cut our losses, let the Iraqis sink or swim, and find another way to combat the jihadists.
There may come a point in time where we seriously need to consider partitioning the country and let the chips fall where they may. We may have to secretly give them some ultimatums and benchmarks. We may have to pull something else entirely out of our hat, to throw the enemy off guard. We may need to consider that whenever we finally pull back (be it tomorrow or ten years from now), there's going to be a civil war. That's a lot to ponder, I know. But whatever we do, we need to be prepared to do something, because there is much to consider here. The stakes are high now. There is dissension as there has always been from the beginning, but now it's gaining steam from people that are seeing a dependent, floundering, incompetent, and unwilling Iraqi government, use this great nation as a pro bono police force and while the Iraqis are becoming nothing more than welfare recipients, militarily. In short, the gravy train cannot continue indefinitely, without some serious modification in behavior on the part of the Iraqis.
I am not in the mood to watch the US go down for a cause that the Iraqis do not care enough about. I do not want to see us take the heat because they are not willing to defend and protect their fragile democracy. So, to all my my very fine conservative friends that I love and respect dearly (and liberals too), help me understand this from a more intelligent and realistic perspective. Or better yet, help me understand why the Administration is being so rigid in it's approach towards shifting strategies. Help me see that there is a chance and that we will do what it takes to achieve victory in a convincing way. I ask all of this, because I am starting to think that the status quo isn't a good bet, right now. We need a new strategy, before the rug gets pulled out by Congress and it's all for nothing.