It's not Vietnam
It's not Vietnam
The Army Times says, in running a picture of nearly every dead serviceman from Iraq and Afghanistan, that more men and women have been killed in combat in 2003 than at any time since 1972, our last year of involvement in Vietnam.
I saw two things which truly disturbed me today.
One was Weekly Standard columinst and war cultist Max Boot pontificating on how the war was going. I didn't have to look too hard to know that the war merely another political point for him and thus, I changed the channel.
Later on, I saw Joe Lieberman being pompous and stupid on CNBC, denigrating Howard Dean for claiming Americans are not safer because of the capture of Saddam Hussein. This isn't revealed wisdom, but a fact. Homeland Security is demanding foreign countries place armed marshals on their plans and that we all look out for almanac-carrying Muslims. So exactly how did the capture of Saddam Hussein make a single American safe? Because 10 families got a dead child for their Christmas gift. Others got wounded, some who may never be fully independent again.
While I was away, the local news did a piece on a reservist who was fluent in Modern Arabic. She'd joined the reserves with a friend to attend the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, California, widely regarded as the best language school for adults in the world. Well, her friend chose Mandarin and thus was assigned somewhere safe. She chose Arabic, wound up with an intelligence billet, and off to Iraq.
Her future plans? Getting the hell out of the Army. Exactly the kind of soldier the Army needs to retain, hell, promote and commission and she's trying not to say on TV she made a big-assed mistake. If they can't keep her, think they're keeping the combat arms and MP's?
The security situation in Iraq isn't getting any better, either. There is this idea that we can "hand over" security to Iraqis in the next few weeks and that's delusional at best. The police, as 60 Minutes showed on Sunday, is riddled with guerrillas. There are still open ammo dumps and the police have neither weapons nor vehicles to patrol. More importantly, we still don't know who the guerrillas are and this is eight months into the war.
At some point soon, all these illusions will come crashing down. We haven't brought democracy to Iraa, but unleashed party rivalries, anarchy and blood feuds. We can't even fix the schools.
In 1946, the Irgun blew the King David Hotel to shit, killed dozens of people. At that moment, people realized what they were in for. We are fast reaching that moment in Iraq.
posted by Steve @ 1:03:00 AM