Saturday, February 25, 2006

When Thing Get Tough - The Neocons Bug Out

What a difference a week makes. If the report from the Pentagon to Congress had been dated a week later this line probably wouldn't have survived the first draft:

... the term "insurgency" is not necessarily appropriate anymore because the synergy that once existed among various rebel elements "is breaking apart." The report asserted that the insurgents have alienated most ordinary Iraqis. "Terrorist attacks have failed to create and spread sectarian conflict," it said.
The report was written the week before the bombing of a Shi'ite mosque and the series of reprisals. Oh, if they'd only held off by a week. Of course, the civil war which most Iraqis will tell you has been going on for months was actually noticed over a year ago.

The report held another piece of bad news for the Bush administration.

The report provided a detailed description of progress in training the full range of Iraqi security forces, but it did not mention how many army battalions are rated "Level 1" -- those judged to be fully independent.
The reason for that? Well, this:

In a briefing for reporters at the Pentagon, Lt. Gen. Gene Renuart disclosed that the number of battalions at Level 1 had dropped from one to zero...
Well done.

In all fairness, the number of "level 2" battalions have increased, meaning they can plan and lead missions with US support. In reality, they do nothing of the sort. Everything they do is supervised and most operations involve the same US units which would conduct operations without the Iraqis.

Despite the slowness of the Pentagon report, after hearing it and listening to reports like this, some of the iron pins of conservative establishment are calling the Iraq experiment a failure. First there is the clown factor appealing to the masses and then there is the more sophisticated approach from William F. Buckley.

Our mission has failed because Iraqi animosities have proved uncontainable by an invading army of 130,000 Americans. The great human reserves that call for civil life haven't proved strong enough. No doubt they are latently there, but they have not been able to contend against the ice men who move about in the shadows with bombs and grenades and pistols.
Buckley goes on to say that the American postulates were absolutely correct but that they didn't work in Iraq, as you can see, because the Iraqis didn't cooperate.

Both Buckley and O'Reilly, representing both ends of the right-wing intelligence scale, place the blame for the failure of the US adventure in Iraq squarely in one court: the Iraqis. They both claim the US plan was sound, noble and oh-so good, but the Iraqis didn't follow it.

Perhaps it would have been better if the plan had had been sent to the Iraqis in advance. That way they would have known that they were expected to accept the death of thousands, rampant unemployment and a permanently crippled infrastructure.

So, now that Iraq doesn't seem to be improving, and the evidence is everywhere, the right-wing is calling the whole thing a failure. The experiment failed.

And they want to run away.

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