Tuesday, November 27, 2007

ANOTHER SUCH VICTORY AND I AM UNDONE. The new idea is that the War in Iraq has been won. Actually that war was won in May of 2003. The subsequent occupation has been a dicier proposition. This too is supposed to be going much better, but we can see the problem in one of the victory declarations:
Do the Iraqi’s like us? Hard to say, but so long as they’re not killing us, let’s be thankful for these small victories and let's pray that the trend continues.
The emphasis, here and elsewhere, on the Iraqi citizens' turn toward the U.S. Armed Forces for protection from militants does not suggest a state of democratic equilibrium, but a Mexican standoff.

It is certainly good news that fewer people are being killed. But Petraeus wants to withdraw the surge troops by July 1. We are still down for a lengthy and (thus far) slow reconstruction, and Administration supporters are downplaying the role of democracy in keeping the lid on. How is that supposed to work?

The aforementioned author says: hearts and minds, and let's take it to Afghanistan (where, we are informed, things ain't going so hot). It seems strange to put such faith in propaganda when the only demonstrable positive effect so far has been achieved by increased force of arms, especially as we are preparing to reduce them.

The Vietnam echoes that Bush resurrected when he announced the surge persist. No one wants a helicopter rooftop scene, so we adjust troop levels, first higher, then lower, in hopes of finding a Goldilocks mean. Conservatives are enraged by the Archbishop of Canterbury's assertion that the U.S. just isn't very good at imperialism. There's a backhanded compliment in there, but I'm afraid the fiddlers of our occupation don't know how to take it.

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