Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Plan 9 From Outer Space

Consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.

The U.S. has spent nearly $360 billion fighting a war in Iraq that has no clear military objective, and therefore no possibility of victory. The Iraqi civilian death toll is astronomical; estimates range from 53,000 to 600,000 dead. Even the conservative estimate is staggering. U.S. soliders have been stretched to the breaking point, required to serve long past what one should in good conscience ask of a person in uniform.

Tonight, the president's plan shows that he is unfazed by his tragic and colossal blunder. Instead of introducing a sweeping plan for peace in Iraq, instead of listening to his critics, his colleagues, or even the man who helped deliver him the presidency in 2000, he keeps his own counsel. Instead of trying something wholly new, something unexpected, something inspiring, he has abandoned real reform in policy for more violence.

George Bush wants 20,000 more soldiers in Baghdad and Anbar Province. His plan speaks of brigades and troop strengths and clearing the threat of radical Islamic extremists. Lost in his wargame fantasy is that Americans have no interest in an open-ended conflict in a faraway land. The United States has neither the will nor the stomach to fight the Iraqi War. This is war in which one of the belligerents has no cause to fight. A war like that cannot be "won."

A review of the facts: countless dead, closing in on a half-trillion dollars spent, no credible exit strategy, and the global terror threat has increased since 9/11/2001. Faced with these sobering realities, Bush still thinks that more troops in Iraq will pacify the insurgency, quell international terrorism, and support the nation-building efforts of the newly installed government.

Consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.

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