Sunday, January 14, 2007

A pinch of salt

I was watching a recent episode of the Daily Show, and Jon Stewart was talking about Bush's new plan for Iraq. While lots of good points were made, what struck me was the ending line. "George Bush cooked up this huge pile of shit, looked at it and said 'Hmmm....needs a pinch of Salt'"

It's a potent phrase. A 15% increase in troops in Iraq is not a huge, significant thing. I mean, it's a lot more people on the ground, in one area. They have no army to rout, no sieges to lay. They are there to be there.

The commentatory on the Daily show said that, while it was a terrible idea from both the tactical and strategic standpoints, it was great operationally. It is great operationally because it can be done, which is really the only reason to justify it.

The war has a stated objective (leaving a stable, Democratic Iraq) but has no effective plan. A strong presence by an occupying military can often force stability. At this point, we don't have the military necessary for the occupation we need, and so instead we are fighting a counter-insurgency, while other competing forces control the course of the war. We have not only lost the initative, but we have no way to regain it. A conventional military can fight a conventional war. We are not in a conventional war, and we cannot fight an insurgency.

Lots of people are probably pointing this fact out. The "Pinch of Salt" approach just cuts through the bullshit best.

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