Monday, March 12, 2007

Kagan's surge of sibling loyalty

By Libby Spencer

Robert Kagan must be plenty tired from heaving those huge buckets of White House water in this piece but I guess it's worth it to him to hear the applause from the few remaining true believers. This would have been funny as an Onion satire but it takes on a truly pathetic patina as a "serious" opinion piece.

Four months later, the once insurmountable political opposition has been surmounted. The nonexistent troops are flowing into Iraq. And though it is still early and horrible acts of violence continue, there is substantial evidence that the new counterinsurgency strategy, backed by the infusion of new forces, is having a significant effect.

Such is the disdain of the neo-cons for us little people that Kagan apparently believes we haven't noticed the political opposition has been ignored and circumvented -- not surmounted -- and only a thoroughly deluded partisan could describe the deployment of about 5,000 men into a city of 7 million as "flowing." Trickle would be more apt.

As for his substantial proof that the surge is having a significant effect, he makes vague statements about increased optimism among the remaining population and cites the disappearance of miltias within the city without noting that the bulk of the educated middle class Iraqis have long abandoned their country and the militias have not been disbanded, but have merely regrouped outside the limits of our reach. His "evidence" is peppered with a lot of ifs and maybes and willfully ignores that for the "stricter clear and hold" strategy to work in the long term would require US troops to remain in Baghdad for years, not months.

In short, Robert is saying he completely buys into his brother Fred's wishful thinking. Fred, you must recall for yourself, since the WaPo fails to mention it, is the author the surge strategy. Unfortunately, wishful thinking may buy the neo-cons some time, but it won't win a war. Nonetheless, I'll answer Robert's question.

If I'm wrong and the surge succeeds, I'll send sweets and flowers to his brother myself, along with my hearty congratulations. I'd ask in turn, if the critics are right and the surge fails, will he and his cabal of the clueless finally wake up and admit the neo-con dream has become a nightmare?

Meanwhile, for the ultimate short version of Kagan's column, see Heretik's not to be missed post.

(Cross-posted at The Impolitic.)

Labels: , ,

Bookmark and Share