Thursday, March 20, 2008
Happy Birthday Gulf War II
[First we totally screwed the pooch for years during the occupation phase of the liberation. Then we switched to General Petraeus:]
The Petraeus strategy was nothing if not counterintuitive: He gave the enemy more targets and assigned them to more vulnerable positions — outside the well-guarded FOBs and in the shadowy streets. But once the Iraqis understood why the Americans were there — to defend them from terrorists — they provided a wealth of intelligence. Before long, Americans and Iraqis were fighting side by side against their common Islamist enemies.
That was historic. It should have been big news. But the media were not much interested. As one well-known reporter told me: “It doesn’t matter.” The important action, he said, was taking place not in Baghdad but in Washington, where politicians were reading the polls and finding Americans discouraged and ready to cut their losses.
One can say the invasion of Iraq was unwise. Before committing troops to battle, a president should have a realistic understanding of what can be achieved, in what time frame, and at what cost. One can say the occupation of Iraq was bungled.
What one can not say is that regime change in Iraq was unjustified: Not if you know Saddam’s record, his clearly stated intentions, and his ties to international terrorists — including, as a new Pentagon report reveals, a group headed by Ayman al-Zawahiri, now al Qaeda’s second-in-command.
Labels: Gulf War II
No one ever said Saddam was a good guy. What has bugged me all along is the claims of 6 months and $60 billion. I estimated $1 Trillion as early as 2004. Looks like I'm going to be right.
Of course the real point is not how bad Saddam was, but how good the future government will be. Will the upgrade be worth the cost.
We shall see.
I think Mike has said in a few paragraphs what I have tired to say in multiple comments.
What I find most disheartening about most people who voice their opinion, one way or the other, is that few have an understanding of may be achieved b/c few are educated in the history and culture of Iraq.