Thursday, December 21, 2006

On The Surge, The Thrust and The Bulge

Tut, tut. This post is all about the Iraq war. As all wise people know, the only serious blogging topic is the surge. President Bush's idea that the mess in Iraq can be fixed by stirring in more troops. Reminds me of one of my more desperate cooking attempts and the last minute experimentation with various spices to disguise the fact that the stew tasted awful.

Anyway, what a blogger is supposed to do is this: Assess how likely it is that more troops are to be found, except by squeezing the already existing ones drier of vacation time and sleep and so on. Then assess what adding extra troops could achieve, assuming that they were either sprinkled over Iraq evenly or stuffed all into one problem area or used to make Baghdad look acceptable. Finally, a blogger is supposed to discuss the role of the Saudis, Iran and Syria and such in all this, to assess how mad the Shias are going to be if the U.S. starts chasing them more than has happened in the past. Inbetween all this earnest investigation, a few comments about how Bush doesn't listen to anyone and will do his own thing, no matter what, are also expected, but they must be snuck in elegantly and in polite-speak.

I'm having none of it. I'm totally pissed off at the people Atrios calls the Wise Old Men of Washington. It doesn't much matter what Bush does at this stage. Iraq is down the drain, and more military force will not work unless the force is truly enormous. And nobody is talking about sending in an extra million soldiers.

But then nobody is interested in my opinions in the first place, because I was always opposed to this war (and only those who woke up too late are worth listening to) for the simple reason that a glass vase, once broken, never looks the same again. I didn't break the vase and I'm not going to discuss how to glue it together again. Though I will say this: The Wise Old Men in Washington are misled in their recommendations by the truism that the United States is the greatest military power on earth. This is true, but only in the total-devastation sense. The United States could use nuclear bombs to kill everything that breathes on this earth. But knowing this doesn't help us in managing Iraq. The skills needed are not those nuclear bombs possess. Or those that George Bush possesses, obviously.