Thursday, April 12, 2007

And the hits just keep on coming...

A student of mine who believes the Iraq war is a good thing informed me yesterday that CNN had reported on "an actual positive development" there, something about Baghdad college students determined to press on with their education despite multiple neighborhood bombings. That IS admirable, and positive, but it has been overwhelmed by a tsunami of terrible news just from the last couple of days.

ITEM: The Independent of London reports that General David Petraeus and his brain trust are planning to seal off neighborhoods in Baghdad, establishing checkpoints that will admit only those residents with a newly-minted ID card. That is supposed to deny access to insurgents and would-be suicide bombers. This sounds like a good idea, except when you remember that the French tried this against the FLN insurgents in Algeria, and the US followed up with the creation of "strategic hamlets" in south Vietnam. In both instances, a dismal failure. It's unlikely that this recycled version of an old strategy will have any effect in Baghdad.

ITEM: Nearly half of the West Point class of 2001, the first class affected by Afghanistan and Iraq, are opting out of continuing in the army at the end of their required 5 years. The reason most often given is repeated tours in either or both places. This is the same phenomenon we saw at the end of Vietnam, and it means the best and the brightest think a) that this war is going nowhere and b)the Army is not the place to be for the forseeable future. When you consider that these guys were gung-ho to be the next generation of officers not so long ago, that's very bad news indeed.

ITEM: We're assured that the surge is making things safer in Baghdad, that the plan is working. Someone forgot to tell the insurgents, though, who penetrated the impregnable Green Zone today for a suicide attack on the Iraqi parliament. The latest reports indicate that the death toll stands at 10.

There is NO military solution to this problem...why can't anyone see this, or be MADE to see it?!


Blogger TomCat said...

Bush refuses to accept failure.

2:41 PM  
Blogger betmo said...

one positive does not negate hundreds of thousands being killed, wounded and displaced. it is admirable that these kids are continuing their education- but to what end? to emmigrate? iraq is a negative hole that military might can not fill in. it has to be done diplomatically and it has to be done right. i guess bush was correct when he said he would leave this to the next admin.

9:47 PM  

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