Bush: Immoral Surge of U.S. Soldiers?

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Okay, all those who don't believe Bush's Iraq decisions have been dimwitted, visit a GOP loyalist site, this one won't make you happy. Everyone else should be asking if Pres. Bush is immoral to build up 20,000 more troops in Iraq, sacrificing even more American limbs and lives? For what? For the sake of his belief that one day he will be vindicated in invading Iraq? That appears to be what's coming.

The consensus of the troops is Bush is failing their mission in Iraq. The consensus of the Generals is that a surge is risky and unnecessary. The consensus of the American people is the same. And now, of the 49 Republican Senators, only 12 appear to support such a move by the President. Clearly, if President Bush goes through with this announcement, he has departed from his role as elected representative of the people. And he has donned the role of ruler who uses the people for his own ends regardless of their lives, welfare, grief, or good of the nation.

Those who support the surge in troops in Iraq, argue that the 85% of the violence in Iraq occurs in a 35 mile diameter area called Baghdad. Therefore, any political solution that permits the Iraqi government to gain control over the militias depends directly on quelling the violence in Baghdad. And the surge of 20 or 30 thousand more troops will hopefully accomplish this.

The argument is horrendously flawed. The argument is correct that such a surge in American troops could reduce the violence in Baghdad, but, not the way most people think. Initially, the American surge will provide more targets to both Sunni and Shiite militias. But, very quickly, those militias will realize the futility of trying to eradicate U.S. troops, and then, the militia leaders will do the most logical thing, imaginable. They will disappear their militias into the woodwork, hide their weapons, and wait.

They will wait for the inevitable draw down of American troops. And when that draw down occurs, they will come back with a vengeance resulting from the pent up frustration and demand for an end to the sharing of Baghdad with the other sectarian camp. They will come back to finish the blood feud interrupted by Bush's surge of American troops. All violence will not end. And American troops will continue to be targeted as occupiers by those militia followers unable to wait. But, the majority of the militia will follow the command of their leaders to disappear until U.S. troop levels diminish.

While this pause in Baghdad violence takes place, two outcomes are plausible. The Iraqi government will achieve all the appearances of getting its act together and present an image of a political solution beginning to work. But, then, the quagmire that is Iraq will only be deepened. That is because the militia's will not have been removed, swayed, converted, or disarmed. And the inevitable day will come when American troops will draw down out of Baghdad, and the militias will resume their war in full fury. This will cause Iraqi Army and police to take sides too within their own ranks. Something we have already seen take place. Nothing will have been gained: only delayed.

The lesson of Viet Nam was that in a civil war, the war does not end until one party, or the other to the civil war, has accepted defeat. A surge in American troop levels will only serve to delay that resolution in Iraq and during the delay, ever more American lives and limbs will be lost.

The second plausible outcome is that the militias in Baghdad, impatient with waiting, take their war outside of Baghdad to many other locations. Should the militias spread the violence in this cancerous fashion, the hope for Iraqi peace and sovereign unity will then demand not a surge of 20,000 troops, but something more like 1 million.

A surge of American troops will only serve to increase American losses in Iraq, without bringing Iraq a single step closer to ending its civil war. The surge will only grow the number of American grieving families. The surge will only grow the chasm between the American people and their government. The surge will only grow the profits of the war industries and prosthetic device industries and that of the suppliers of grave markers and coffin makers. And the surge will only serve to deepen the rifts within the Republican Party and the American people.

Given all these facts and advice which Pres. Bush has heard from the Iraq commission, the generals, and the polls of the troops and fellow Republicans, one has to ask what Bush's rationale would be for increasing American troops in Iraq? The answer is clear as day in the absence of any others that make sense. President Bush's ego is on the line. Saving it, is a simple matter of spending more American lives while "staying the course" until his time in office is over. With a new President will come a withdrawal from Iraq and in Bush's mind, that will mean his successor, not himself, will be responsible for leaving Iraq without victory.

And this is what it boils down to. Our President is willing to spend the lives and limbs of American soldiers to salvage a demented defense in his own mind that his decision to invade Iraq was not a horrible mistake. In the contest between admitting a mistake and saving the lives of American soldiers and the grief of their families, Bush's refusal to admit invading Iraq was a mistake wins. We are just now burying a President who chose the difficult act of withdrawing from Viet Nam after years of gross mismanagement by previous Presidents. History is judging Gerald Ford kindly for that act.

What will history say of President Bush, who chose to spend American lives in defense of his ego, which cannot accept that the biggest decision of his presidency was a grotesque and deadly mistake? If President Bush announces he will surge the number of American troops in Iraq for the purpose of quelling the violence in Iraq, he will have turned a mistaken decision to invade, into an immoral act of personal ego preservation and passing the buck.

Democrats in the majority of the 110th Congress will have a difficult choice of their own. How can they represent the will of the majority of the American people to end this destruction of our soldiers lives for no good outcome in Iraq? Many will not want to be labeled as the the ones who caused the Iraqi civil war to widen. And they will be faced with the same dilemma as President Bush. Withhold spending for Bush's surge, and they will be accused of not supplying our troops what they need. Fund the surge, and they become complicit in growing American casualties for no good outcome.

I have a suggestion for Congress. Defund Air Force One for any trips save those vital to our national interest. Defund the secretarial and support offices of every agency in the White House except Homeland Defense and the Pentagon. Defund the maintenance and staff of Camp David, and reduce the spending for the Secret Service to that needed for the Administration's use of the White House, personal residences, and official overseas visits.

In other words, pauperize the presidency except for essential functions, and in so doing, render President Bush the most ineffective and constrained president for all activities other than national defense. If President Bush is concerned about his legacy, let him choose between ending American losses in Iraq, or leaving a legacy of otherwise complete ineffectiveness rivaling that of Herbert Hoover or Ulysses S. Grant. Bush may not believe that he has a choice. But, Democrats in the 110th Congress do. I just gave it to them.

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This page contains a single entry by David R. Remer published on January 3, 2007 4:51 AM.

Ford: Healer or Corrupter? was the previous entry in this blog.

Is This A New Political Dawn? is the next entry in this blog.

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