August 21, 2006

INVADING IRAQ: A BAD BET



Caption: Even this neocon chickenhawk is starting to see the light.

With the number of US military deaths in Iraq now above 2,600 and no end in sight, it has become increasingly clear that the Bush administration's Iraq gamble was a losing bet.

As the AP recently reported,

By nearly every yardstick, the situation in Iraq is getting worse.

Last month, about 3,500 Iraqis died violently--the highest monthly civilian toll since the war began more than three years ago.

In all, 2,625 explosive devices either detonated or were discovered before they could explode in July--nearly double the figure for January, U.S. officials said. About 70 percent of the 1,666 bombs that did explode targeted U.S.led-led forces.


CNN reported yesterday that

Opposition among Americans to the war in Iraq has reached a new high, with only about a third of respondents saying they favor it, according to a poll released Monday.

Just 35 percent of 1,033 adults polled say they favor the war in Iraq; 61 percent say they oppose it -- the highest opposition noted in any CNN poll since the conflict began more than three years ago.


President Bush has often stated that he does not consult opinion polls in making decisions and has argued that the foiled London plot demonstrates the need to stay the proverbial course. But as Hendrik Hertzberg wrote in the August 21 New Yorker

...the war in Iraq is wholly irrelevant to the means chosen by the London terrorists, and the means that thwarted them - dogged police work, lawful surveillance, international cooperation - are precisely those which have been gratuitously starved or stymied on account of the material, political, and human resources that have been, and continue to be, wasted in Iraq. Why not change the game to one that relies less on gambling and bluff and more on wisdom, planning, and (in every sense) intelligence?


A lot of damage has been done, and at this point there are no easy answers. But more of the same is likely to lead to more of the same.

GOAT ROPE ADVISORY LEVEL: ELEVATED

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