[FoRK] Re: iraq

Dave Long < dave.long at bluewin.ch > on > Mon Nov 20 09:06:24 PST 2006

in a fit of optimism, I'd suggested this:

> Now, however, it's a little more likely[1].  What if we were to say  
> "OK, iff you all want to play one-man-one-vote, we'll stick around.   
> Not to pump oil, not to build billion-dollar embassies, not to see  
> just how much we can screw things up in limiting contact with Syria  
> and Iran[2] to black ops, not to help (those who we hope are) our  
> friends and punish (those we think are) our enemies, not to be just  
> another (albeit sorely lacking in homeboys) warlord gang, but only to  
> sit on things and help you all put a lid on those of you who seem to  
> insist on playing the very different game of  
> one-less-man-one-less-vote."?

but today, reading the remarkably low bar ("the goals we have set for  
ourselves are to avoid having failed miserably") defining success for  
our military involvement, I am failing to see how, this late in the  
game, occupying Iraq is doing much more than making our army be the  
heaviest armed but least clueful milita group in the region.


> Asked to describe the Iraq he would like to see at the end of his  
> 12-month tour, Odierno said: "Bottom line? Full restoration of civil  
> authority in Baghdad. Sectarian violence reduced. Extra-governmental  
> armed groups diminished, and their influence diminished. And the  
> government of Iraq viewed as a legitimate institution in the eyes of  
> the Iraqi people.
> "Those are the goals we have set for ourselves," he concluded. "Will  
> we attain those? I don't know."

If that's truly (ignoring sunk costs, of course) the best use of lives  
and time, fine.  Otherwise, I have to conclude "don't reinforce  


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