Move Over, "Stay The Course." Your Time As Top Iraq War Catchphrase Is Nearing It's End.
(Not the first time the Idea came to my mind) but for the first time I heard people on the boob tube say, among other ideas, that part of the "Exit Strategy" is, at a certain point, to "Just Let Them All Fight it Out."
This seems to my mind to be the "Yes, We Can Comprehend Reality" based counterpoint to the simplistic slogan about "Staying The Course."
And, way I understand it, it is not meant (as it was used by Mr. McLauglin, particularly) just pull out and leave them (Iraqis) to it. To paraphrase my understanding, it is a recognition that the insurgency is not going to end anytime soon, and if We (the Nation, as a policy) actually believe that we can and should be turning over control of Iraq to Iraqis, we should actually be doing THAT. Tied to that end-idea are others, such as getting the Iraqi Forces into the nastier nooks and crannies, and redeploying the US/Coalition forces to the borders (to do the interdiction function) and other places where they can still provide a "support" function, and finally doing what (in my mind) should have been a prerequisite to Starting the war:
getting the Arab League states significantly involved in the matter (as alternative peacekeepers.) Frankly, and even if I thought getting some sort of Global Mandate (ya know, like from the UN Security Council) would have legitimized the adventure, We (or to be specific, the Bush Admin.) should have AT MINIMUM, waited until we had some sort of Regional Mandate, and broad support and SUPPORT before going in. Even better would have been Us supporting Them, in an attempt to clean up their 'hood. It is their 'hood not ours, am I right???
Sounds like a much better idea than fighting someone else's war for them.
If there is any lesson to be learned by the Vietnam war it should be this:
DON'T fight other people's wars. BAD IDEA! VERY BAD!
In any event, I expect that much like Mission Creep, the Administration will be creeping to this for an exit strategy. If not on their own, they will likely be forced to adopt it. It is not as if a speech by Bush is going to greatly change the overwhelming numbers of Americans who are experiencing buyer's remorse over this Now Very Unpopular war.
It does seem that a majority of Americans are less concerned about how it ends (if it should end something too closely like the end of the Vietnam war than something Bully-Bully, like the Spanish American War) as much as they want to avoid another costly 10 years spent on some foreign dung-heap, where even under the best of possible outcomes, the payoff for the Nation is sure to be paltry.
I hope this doesn't come across as partisan. I am still trying to avoid that crap. However, the idea that We (the Nation) need to think seriously about realistic best case scenarios, and knowing and deciding when to play the end-game, warrants serious attention now.
And slipping back into my usual subject areas of late, yes, we need to avoid Sloganeering, and Sophistry, and Fallacious reasoning, and do some serious empirical thinking, if We want to avoid getting bogged down there much longer. That is, if you are willing to see that that, getting bogged down there for much longer, is a bad thing (or that things are fairly bad there, already.)