Tuesday, July 24, 2007

The lights are off, the doors are locked and everyone else has left the building-- but President Bush still is talking about a 'win' in Iraq.

Today President Bush said once again that we have to 'win' in Iraq.

Leaving aside the fact that we've grown tired of this stale old line in support of keeping us moving in place in a war that has become intractable and likely unwinnable, I'd like to know exactly how he defines, 'win.' The ever-murky and changing mission has made it virtually impossible to even know what exactly a 'win' was.

Certainly if a 'win' was to get rid of Saddam Hussein, then since that is done, we should bring all our troops home, in say, four years ago. If it was to get rid of any WMD's, then we should also bring our troops back years ago, certainly after the administration made the announcement on January 12, 2005 that they were calling off the search for WMD's after two years of exhaustive searching had turned up nothing other than a handful of left over and decomposing mustard gas cannisters from the Iran-Iraq war of the 1980's that had apparently been stuck on a back shelf somewhere and forgotten about. If it was about letting the Iraqis elect a government, then that has also been done, though they elected a fundamentalist Shi'ite government that is essentially a puppet of the Shi'ite militias who support them. If a 'win' was to keep Iraq peaceful and prevent Islamist terrorists from disrupting the country, then-- wait a second, Saddam was doing that. If a 'win' means some sort of a smashing military victory, then somebody better read about what exactly a guerilla war is.

As a matter of fact, George W. Bush himself declared that all major combat operations were over on May 1, 2003 under that 'Mission Accomplished' banner. The cost then was 139 American lives and about $45 billion, in the course of six weeks. According to what was said then, that was a 'win.'

Since then we've lost 25 times as many American lives, spent fifteen times as much money, and been there for about 35 times as long.

So I figure by now, we must have 'won' Iraq at least a couple of dozen times. So let's bring our troops home now, I don't know if we can stand much more of this kind of 'winning.'

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