I wrote in this space recently about what I see as a widespread fundamental misconception about The Surge.
Here, I believe, is what we need to recognize about Our War in Iraq…
This was my comment:
“…about that Surge. Think of it this way: if you were to put 22,000 extra police on the more troubled streets of any city in the U.S. you would expect crime to come down. More cops, less crime. More U.S. troops, fewer violent incidences.
That is no surprise.
But here’s the real way to put The Surge in context: General Shinsecki said we had to have a 300,000 troop-strong US army in Iraq if we wanted to win.
So, what did the inept triumvirate of Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld do? They put in a pathetic, minimal “surge”, a mere 7% of the Shinsecki figure, and they put them in FOUR YEARS LATE.
And we can’t even keep that small number in Iraq any more than a few more months. This is no Surge. This is…a mini-Surge.
This too-little, too late failure is the most painful of all.
Even though I disagree utterly with the war, let me be clear about this central point: if in March 2003, four and a half years ago, we had proceeded with the Shinsecki-Colin Powell formula of “overwhelming force” four years ago, it seems to me undeniable that that war of invasion and overthrow of Saddam Hussein –regardless of legitimacy and rightness– would have been over in a matter of a few months.
Just think of all the deaths –on both sides– that would have been avoided. And the incredible amount of money –our own money– that we now do not have for a long list of essential services at home. Services that will now not be available.
Blood and treasure –stupidly and ineptly spent. Gone for ever.
The war is a stain on our conscience. This stain on the soul of our country needs confessing if it is to be expunged and we are to correct our course. We will need a Commission on The Iraq War, a non-partisan commission. We need to hear the truth, to insist on the truth. (Remember the 9.11 Commission which the Administration did not want? Remember, they interviewed Bush and Cheney –but not under oath! Would we accept that now?)
We need to face up to our responsibilities –not just the responsibilities of Messrs Bush, Cheney & Rumsfeld.