But I realize many readers who have been following my evolving position on the War in Iraq know how pessimistic I have become over the last six months about the chances of that bloody land achieving anything like a stable, democratic government. For them, it may come as no surprise that I have reached a point where I believe we must make a decision as a nation about whether we want to continue our involvement – which would mean an increase in resources and a direct confrontation with Iran and Syria over their massive support for the terrorists and insurgents – or whether we should pack up and go home. In other words, escalate or leave.Rick is saying we have plan "A", escalate our involvement, or plan "B", leave. Of course there are a couple of problems with plan "A" the first of which is we really don't have the resources to escalate. The second is that Bush would have to admit that the administration had done something wrong.
Why now? And why bother writing about it?
Simply put, the reason I have come to this conclusion now is that the enemies of Iraqi democracy have established a clear upper hand in the country and it is uncertain at best whether the situation can be retrieved at this point.
And the reason to write about it is equally simple; to join a growing chorus of conservatives who are becoming very critical of our involvement and try and break through the spin and myopia of the Administration which is making the situation worse by pretending that things are getting better or are not as bad as we think they are.
For if there is a victory to be had in Iraq – and one can just barely make one out in the distance amidst the blood and ruin – it will take courage on the part of the President to confront these problems and do what is necessary in order to reverse course. And this will entail both risks and probably a larger casualty count among Americans fighting there.Of course judging from the last five years it seems very unlikely that Bush would admit any mistakes. So Rick's conclusion is:
Yes we need more troops – a lot more at least temporarily. Order must be brought to Baghdad and its environs and to do that we would need, according to General Trainor, is perhaps as many as 50,000 more Americans to both police the area and ferret out insurgents and the death squads.
For that to happen, the President would have to admit he and Donald Rumsfeld have been wrong all along and that in order to achieve stability, the additional troops must be sent. It is of the utmost distress to me that this President has failed to take responsibility for past mistakes and admitted to error in prosecuting the war. The grudging admissions of mistakes just isn’t getting it done. If he is serious about winning in Iraq (and he has called Iraq the “frontline” in the war on terror”) then he is going to have to go before the American people and explain why additional troops are necessary.
But if we are not willing to do what is necessary to win, then the only sane, moral course of action is to bring the troops home as fast as humanly possible. Such a humiliation should not result in a single additional death or injury to the men and women who have performed so bravely and selflessly in the face of blunder after blunder by their superiors.Go read the entire post.