Monday, June 27, 2005

Rummy's War

Many Washington officials came to label the gradual escalation of the Vietnam War as "McNamara's War", in recognition of the Secretary of Defense who blindly championed it. I think it is only appropriate that the current mission impossible in Iraq becomes "Rummy's War". Rumsfeld's comments on Fox News Sunday only confirm this assessment:
I mean, the insurgency is going on. It ebbs and flows. At the moment, the insurgents know they have a great deal to lose. The election was a big success. There's political progress. There's economic progress. The insurgency's been about level. And the progress on the political side is so threatening to the insurgents that my guess is it could become more violent between now and the constitution referendum and the election in December.

But does progress on the political side suggest that the insurgency ultimately will lose? I believe so, and I believe that others believe that. If you think about it, that's what General Abizaid said and General Casey and General Myers all said yesterday, that they do not believe that there's a, quote, "quagmire" as people are trying to characterize it.

We're not going to win against the insurgency. The Iraqi people are going to win against the insurgency. That insurgency could go on for any number of years. Insurgencies tend to go on five, six, eight, 10, 12 years.
The insurgency won't be demolished by US Coalition forces? The debate over an exit strategy seems more important than ever. US goals for occupying Iraq seem as fluid as the waves of insurgent activity. The justifications and means stay the same despite the ends always changing. There is indeed a stubbornness in direction despite the altered direction. It is as if by sheer will and force alone, the current situation will transform itself into the desired outcome militarily, politically, economically, and socially.

Both of these Defense Secretaries don't seem to understand the reality on the ground, but prefer to keep their heads in their own ideologies and assumptions. At least McNamara admitted his assessment in Vietnam was wrong and laid the mistakes squarely on his own shoulders. Mr. McNamara even lamented the historical repetition of Vietnam in current Iraq policy:
We're misusing our influence. It's just wrong what we're doing. It's morally wrong, it's politically wrong, it's economically wrong.
I only hope Mr. Rumsfeld will see the error of his ways before this "quagmire" devours more people and money.


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