Saturday, February 03, 2007

The unwinnable war

By Michael J.W. Stickings

The truth about Iraq is nothing at all like the spin coming out of the White House. Here's the The Washington Post on the latest declassified National Intelligence Estimate (NIE):

The U.S. intelligence community yesterday released a starkly pessimistic assessment of the situation in Iraq, warning that even if security improves, deepening sectarian divisions threaten to destroy the government and ultimately could lead to anarchy, partition or the emergence of a new dictatorship.

The NIE states that the "bleak situation" in Iraq "will sharply worsen unless 'measurable' military and political progress is made". For Bush, this assessment provides justification for the surge, "the deployment of 21,500 additional U.S. combat troops to Iraq". But is there any reason to believe that this "new"strategy, so similar to previous deployments, will bring about progress in Iraq? No. Here's how the editors of The New Republic put it:

It's now clear that the Maliki government is not going to unify the country; it's interested in U.S. participation only to the extent that it can turn our Armed Forces into an instrument of sectarian warfare. Our military must get out of the business of helping Shia death squads -- a business in which the surge will only implicate us more deeply.

There is civil war in Iraq and there is no reason not to believe that the situation will worsen, as the NIE predicts it will. There may once have been some possibility for progress, but not now, not with the war so thoroughly and grossly mismanaged by the civilian warmongers in Washington and, to a lesser degree, by the civilian occupiers in Baghdad. Simply put, it is too late. The war, perhaps never winnable in the first place, has already been lost. It cannot be won.

This is the fundamental truth about Iraq and the Iraq War. Bush may continue to dream his characteristically Panglossian dreams of progress and puts into motion desperate attempts to realize those dreams, but, in the end, the truth will win out over the spin. The only question is when.

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