Saturday, January 06, 2007

Selective Hearing

Pelosi and Reid agree with Generals Casey and Abizaid that a troop surge wouldn't help. They seem to have forgotten that the Generals were also against premature withdrawal... Why they should want to listen to two generals who have done such a bang-up job at the war so far is anybody's guess. Since they are Democrats, we shouldn't be too surprised to see two contradictory sentences right next to each other in their joint letter.

"They, like us, believe there is no purely military solution in Iraq. There is only a political solution."

So, is there a mixed military/political solution, as indicated in the first sentence, or is there only a political solution, as indicated in the second sentence? The answer to that question has interesting implications.

Judging from the context of the rest of the letter, there appears to be some military component, mostly our training of Iraqi native troops, who would then form the main fighting force. (So, there appears to be an actual need for a fighting force... good start.)

The "political solution" is what then? Obviously, there needs to be a coming-together within the framework of the Iraqi constitution. How this is to happen, exactly, is apparently left as an exercise for the reader.

Within a mixed mil/pol solution, the military force (in whatever form it might take) would provide some security for the political weenies to decide to come together. In a political-only solution, it seems that we should just hand out doobies and sing "kumbaya" while the bombs go off - at the best. At the worst, we would be "negotiating" with Sadr and other equally unsavory folks, probably giving away the store. I wouldn't be the first person to suggest that negotiating with folks rabidly opposed to everything we and Iraqi democrats stand for isn't going to accomplish anything.

Which brings us back to the surge. It's the only plan that could theoretically work. It's the only plan that tries to provide the basic security that is a necessary precondition for a political solution. All the other plans are plans to mitigate failure. If you eliminate the bad plans until only one is left, that's your plan. The last plan standing is a surge of significant size.

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