I'm trying, believe me...April 13 2006 at 10:58 AM
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Response to Want another?
DA, I'm still a believer in the rightness of the mission, and I'm completely amazed by the job our troops are doing, under extremely-difficult and paranoia-inducing conditions. The fact that we haven't had a spate of "My Lai"-type massacres, in the areas where you can't tell the daytime farmers and layabouts from the nighttime sappers and IED techs, is so impressive to me, I can't express my admiration for our restraint and professionalism in glowing enough terms.
I'm almost done with Bing West's Fallujah book, thanks again for that. It's one of the most intense descriptions of long-term, day-to-day fighting, I've read in my life. Hobbled by the political, though, it reminds me of Vietnam, a former obsession of mine. I've already ordered a paperback copy of West's "The March Up," I was hoping would get here by the weekend.
It just seems to me, that just like Vietnam, an overwhelming force unshackled by negotiations with impotent imams and local jefes of no special significance, would have secured the borders and "hot spots" by now, and the enemy would be in full retreat. We could have fought that way, from the start, despite the intransigence of Turkey. Shinseki wanted to do it that way, and he was dismissed by Rumsfeld. Other generals are coming forward, with the same kind of story, where their input wasn't wanted or heard by a Defense Department that had its own blueprint, carved in stone already.
The Islamic jihadis want total chaos in Iraq, they thrive on it, so they can impose their religious-themed fascist controls, as the Taliban did in post-Soviet Afghanistan. We should be fighting them with everything we have, and we're not. Where our troops are allowed to fight, they kick ass in short order.
There is some room for optimism, with the elections and the ongoing training and engagement of the Iraqi armed forces and police. Clearly, our troops are still generally upbeat about the mission, and also clearly, the majority of the Iraqis want us to stay and help them secure a workable, democratic government. It's not the majority we're fighting, except on the home front, where the majority of Americans are losing faith in the current administration's capabilities to win this thing.
Do you think Rummy should be replaced? If so, do you have any likely candidates?