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June 10, 2007



Nice similes, but you could have been more decisive. I have a lot of respect for Patreus, and the other soldiers who figured out years ago that we need a counter-insurgency strategy to have any chance at all(bucking the position of their then boss, D. Rumsfeld). Still, the idea that a six-month surge will turn things around runs counter to history and common sense alike.

We know where this puck is going, AND we know it has a lot of momentum, AND its trajectory is not favorable to the Bush Administration's goals. Indeed, those goals are simply not achievable in any of our lifetimes.

One of the realities on the ground that Perle and Wolfie and Bolton and Feith were blind to is that the presence of a foreign conqueror is a deep and abiding humiliation to the Iraqi people. Any faction we support will ipso facto lose support among the locals. Call it Arab pigheadedness, misplaced pride, irrational resistance to policies that are in their own best interest, but there it is. We are not going to change that cultural orientation in six months or six years or twenty-six years.

What would it take, and how long would it take, for the Bush Administration to win the love and loyalty of the citizenry of New York City? What would it take, and how long would it take, for Hillary Clinton to win a majority of the white vote in Mississippi? Impossible you say? Believe me, it would be far easier to achieve either of those objectives than to establish a stable, benevolent government in a peaceful Iraq.

The real question is why we assume that a politically absurd objective in the U.S. is somehow within our grasp if we try something equally absurd in a foreign country. Its fatuousness boggles the mind.

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