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My personal musings about anything that gets on my radar screen--heavily dominated by politics.
|Of Politics and Artificial Deadlines|
I've been thinking a lot in the last couple of days about the state of War on Terror, as it presently stands in both Afghanistan and Iraq.
And, frankly, I shouldn't do that. It depresses me.
Ten days ago the President went on national TV, prime time, to make a case directly to the American people that we can win this war, and that we have a new plan to achieve this.
And the President's numbers have, well, not exactly surged.
And now the Senate is about to pass a resolution opposing the new strategy, and it even has a couple Republicans supporting it.
And then there's this lovely poll, which shows that barely half of those identifying themselves as Democrats even WANT the strategy to work, much less think it will do so.
All of which leads me to the conclusion that the American public no longer has the intestinal fortitude for this war, or is tired of the President's schtick, or--most likely--both. Which leads me to the further conclusion that this new strategy has to--HAS TO--work in fifteen months.
That's right: fifteen months.
And when I say work, I don't mean a decrease in sectarian violence; I don't mean power in Baghdad operating at 70%; and I don't mean the turn over of a couple more provinces to Iraqi control.
I mean WORK, as in American presence being substantially drawn down already, and plans on the table for the return of almost all of the rest of them.
By April, 2008.
Why such a strict, artificial timeline? you might ask.
Because the reality of American politics makes it so. Because by April, 2008, both the Republicans and the Democrats will, most likely, have chosen their candidates for President. And if the war isn't basically over by then, the Democrat will win; if it is, the Republican will win if he has been a supporter of this strategy.
I could take the time to work all the way through the logic of my conclusion, but, instead, I am going to go into hypothetical speech writer land. My reader for the day: any of the hundreds of Islamicist militant leaders/Immams/martyrs addressing his followers.
By the bye, the following is in no way intended as a parody of Islam, a direct insult of Islam, or any sort of disrespectful expression. But the reality is that the enemy is Muslim, so to capture the voice, I must adopt some affectation.
Dear Brethren, Holy Warriors, Jihadists, and Fashion Consultants:
Today, Allah has blessed us with the opportunity to destoy the infidel Imperialist.
The infidel has no stomach for the Holy War we bring to them; already, he shows signs of weakening. Starting with the glorious campaign in Spain, which caused them to run away; then Italy; in England, the criminal Blair--may Allah curse him--has been driven from power and replaced by those who do not have a fight in them. And our greatest success, against our greatest enemy, is already starting to take shape.
Just months ago, the cowardly American people threw out of power the men who would make war on Islam; now, in their decadent halls of power, they have grand debates over what price is too great a price to pay for war, and what number of warriors is too great to commit to this great battle, and whether or not they should use any means to protect themselves.
But they are WEAK! These debates of theirs serve nothing but to prove to the worthy how cowardly they are. We have no such weakness: WE WILL COMMIT EVERY RESOURCE, EVERY MAN, WOMAN AND CHILD, AND WE WILL USE EVERY WEAPON ALLAH HAS PUT BEFORE US TO STRIKE DOWN THE INFIDEL AND SPREAD THE CALIPHATE ACROSS THE GLOBE!!!
Now, is a critical time for our great cause. The Great Satan proposes to send 20,000 more soldiers to fight for Iraq, but he has no stomach for fighting our Holy Army. These 20 thousands, and all of the rest of them, will go back to America in a coffin, or with their tails between their legs like the cowardly dogs they are.
But we must be shrewd like a fox, brothers. The American believes they can end this holy battle in a few months--we must not let that happen. The American will be choosing a new President next year, and if we prevail in Iraq, the next President will be one who WILL NOT fight. And the next body of leaders will be even less likely to fight than this one now.
We must keep the pressure on, brothers. We need all martyrs to take their place in Allah's garden, if they must, to show the American people that WE ARE THE STRONGER. We need every Muslim to commit to making this war last until the spring of next year--if the American people are still wailing over their dead sons and brothers, they will never again choose a leader who will challenge the Armies of Allah anywhere in the world.
Brothers, this fight must last until next year. We must have martyrdom operations every day to be broadcast on CNN to show the American people that they cannot win. These extra soldiers are nothing to us but more targets for our great Jihad.
I must ask you, holy warriors, to pray to Allah for the strength and courage to see this battle through until its glorious conclusion with the cowardly retreat of the American. Allah asks us to fight this war until the infidel is crushed and humiliated! We must answer the call!!
Then we can return to our regular lives of plotting to obliterate Israel and topple the infidel governments all through the caliphate.
Or something like that.
The point is, the President, General Patraeus, and all of our great soldiers, airmen, sailors and Marines have a deadline for this war to succeed. The 2008 elections will, once more, be a referendum on Pres. Bush: if the war is going well, the GOP will be okay; if the war is not going well, the GOP could be dumped to minority status for a generation, and we will have a replay of 1972 all over again. And, as I think we saw this past election, opinions harden early--think how the high price of gas in the spring never allowed the country to realize that the economy is SMOKIN' by election night.
So I think April, 2008 is the new drop-dead date for Iraq. Not because our troops cannot succeed at a later date than that, but because, if they haven't succeeded by that date, their new civilian leadership will not allow them to succeed beyond that date.
Good luck, Gen. Patraeus et al.--many of us out here will be praying for you.