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My personal musings about anything that gets on my radar screen--heavily dominated by politics.
|Maybe The President Should Listen To Them|
The Democratic Leadership has sent the President a letter:
Dear Mr. President:
The start of the new Congress brings us opportunities to work together [READ: do what we want you to do and we'll work together] on the critical issues confronting our country [like increasing the taxes on oil companies]. No issue is more important than finding an end to the war in Iraq. December was the deadliest month of the war in over two years, pushing U.S. fatality figures over the 3,000 mark.
The American people demonstrated in the November elections that they do not believe your current Iraq policy [or, at least, what we let the mainstream media tell them about your Iraq policy] will lead to success and that we need a change in direction for the sake of our troops and the Iraqi people. We understand that you are completing your post-election consultations on Iraq and are preparing to make a major address on your Iraq strategy to the American people next week [so we're going to do a really stupid thing and let the whole world know our dissent strategy ahead of time].
Clearly this address presents you with another opportunity to make a long overdue course correction [like Columbus should have done in the desperate weeks before reaching the new world]. Despite the fact that our troops have been pushed to the breaking point and, in many cases, have already served multiple tours in Iraq [including the huge numbers of them that have re-enlisted after their tours], news reports suggest that you believe the solution to the civil war in Iraq [ha ha ha, notice how we just call it that and take it as a given] is to require additional sacrifices from our troops and are therefore prepared to proceed with a substantial U.S. troop increase.
Surging forces is a strategy that you have already tried and that has already failed [again with the assumptions just slipping through]. Like many current and former military leaders, we believe that trying again would be a serious mistake. They, like us, believe there is no purely military solution in Iraq. There is only a political solution [and that would be for you to capitulate your Constitutional responsibilities as Commander-In-Chief].
Adding more combat troops will only endanger more Americans and stretch our military to the breaking point for no strategic gain. And it would undermine our efforts to get the Iraqis to take responsibility for their own future. We are well past the point of more troops for Iraq.
In a recent appearance before the Senate Armed Services Committee, General John Abizaid, [who you just fired] our top commander for Iraq and the region, said the following when asked about whether he thought more troops would contribute to our chances for success in Iraq:
“I met with every divisional commander, General Casey, the Corps commander, General Dempsey. We all talked together. And I said, in your professional opinion, if we were to bring in more American troops now, does it add considerably to our ability to achieve success in Iraq? And they all said no. And the reason is, because we want the Iraqis to do more. It's easy for the Iraqis to rely upon to us do this work. I believe that more American forces prevent the Iraqis from doing more, from taking more responsibility for their own future.”
Rather than deploy additional forces to Iraq, we believe the way forward is to begin the phased redeployment of our forces in the next four to six months [see, we told you we wouldn't ask for an immediate retrea . . er, withdrawal], while shifting the principal mission of our forces there from combat to training, logistics, force protection and counter-terror. A renewed diplomatic strategy, both within the region and beyond [let's ask the Iranians, the Russians, and the Congolese to intervene], is also required to help the Iraqis agree to a sustainable political settlement. In short, it is time to begin to move our forces out of Iraq and make the Iraqi political leadership aware that our commitment is not open ended, that we cannot resolve their sectarian problems, and that only they can find the political resolution required to stabilize Iraq.
Our troops and the American people have already sacrificed a great deal for the future of Iraq. After nearly four years of combat, tens of thousands of U.S. casualties, and over $300 billion dollars, it is time to bring the war to a close [with a nice, neat declaration of defeat] . We, therefore, strongly encourage you to reject any plans that call for our getting our troops any deeper into Iraq. We want to do everything we can to help Iraq succeed in the future but, [since we have power now, we don't really care that much] like many of our senior military leaders, we do not believe that adding more U.S. combat troops contributes to success.
We appreciate you taking these views into consideration.
Actually, I think the surge the President is apparently thinking about is a pointless act of futility.
In fact, the President should give them credit. Let's hear something a little like this:
My fellow Americans:
Last week, in anticipation of my announcement of a new Iraq strategy, the Democratic Speaker of the House and Majority Leader of the Senate sent me a letter with some advice. Their advice was to refrain fom increasing troop strength in Iraq.
And I thank them for their advice. In the grand spirit of bipartisanship, I have decided to accept their advice, and NOT increase troop strength.
Instead, I have ordered our generals to alter our approach to the problem of Iraq in two very specific ways.
First, I have ordered them to rewrite the Rules of Engagement for our troops. It is ludicrous, dangerous, and criminally stupid that our troops are more afraid of the paperwork they have to file after a shooting incident, or that they will end up on the front page of the New York Times, than they are of the enemy. The enemy are, by and large, fools and cowards who target the innocent and have no stomach for direct engagement with our troops. It is time for us to stop trying to fight them with one hand tied behind our collective backs.
Secondly, I have ordered the redeployment of several divisions to the border regions of Iraq. Their one purpose: shut down the borders of Iran and Syria by whatever means necessary. The evidence of Iranian and Syrian intervention in Iraq--by which I mean the murder of Americans and Iraqis--is incontrovertible. Therefore, the most important step we can take to protect the American troops in theater and the Iraqi people is to end the ability of Iran and Syria to stir the pot of sectarian violence in Iraq.
The enemy will adjust; the enemy will stage women and children in the middle of battle zones; the enemy will ship arms materiel in convoys populated by women and children. The American people need to understand that, as hard as we try not to hurt innocents, sometimes the enemy gives us no choice in the matter. There will be stories about unfortunate individuals hurt by our new approach, and we regret that.
But we regret even more that our brave American soldiers and Marines are dying right now--alongside innocent Iraqis--because we are trying to fight a war nicely.
So, to sum up, here is the change in strategy: we are going to resume fighting this war to WIN. All other purposes will be served best--rebuilding the power grid, securing the oil fields, and building a civil society--after we end the enemy.
Thank you, and God Bless America.
Or something like that.