Tuesday, December 19, 2006

"no can do, sir"

If this Washington Post report is to be believed, the Joint Chiefs are standing firm against the White House/John McCain idea of a "surge" of troops for Iraq. As Colin Powell pointed out Sunday (and Eugene Robinson writes today), it ain't clear that such a "surge" would actually ACCOMPLISH anything on the ground. Politically, it would mostly just make it look like the White House is trying something new in Iraq, to cover for the fact that it isn't really because it is out of ideas, and that its entire Iraq and Middle East project is a flaming wreck. Which probably explains why de facto President Bush's big speech on Iraq has been delayed and delayed and delayed.

Apparently, the Joint Chiefs figure that insurgents and terrorists in Iraq would just melt into the background during the "surge", and would re-emerge essentially unscathed after it was over. Gosh, where have we heard that thing before? Sounds like Vietnam. But unfortunately, Bush was alternating between flying obsolete airplanes and going AWOL from the National Guard, while Dick Cheney famously had "other priorities", and they clearly didn't learn anything from that fiasco.

And adding to the general gloom and doom, a new Pentagon report acknowledges that violence in Iraq is worse than ever, that American and Iraqi attacks on insurgent forces have essentially no effect, and anti-American forces are succeeding in destroying whatever political institutions Iraq has.

Welcome to Mr. Bush's New and Improved Iraq.

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