Saturday, October 21, 2006

To Change or Not To Change

There have been a lot of headlines lately giving the impression of a President, with his heels dug in, refusing to consider any way, but his way. Ok, this is my mental image...perhaps not yours. Actually, my mental image is a sitting donkey being pulled on by two kids but that's neither here nor there. However, the one thing those headlines don't relay is that the President is relying on his generals in the field, and will make adjustments based on their recommendations. No, that's buried in the middle or waaaaaay down at the bottom. Unless you're a news junkie, most people never get that far in any article. Bush: I won't change strategy in Iraq
Bush, at a political fundraiser in Washington for the National Republican Senatorial Committee, railed against Democrats who criticize the war. Calling the Democrats the party of "cut and run," Bush said voters need to ask: "Which political party has a strategy for victory in this war on terror?' "
Well, unfortunately, we know what the Democrats have in mind. Pull out! I'm going to be tacky here, just can't help it. But if their daddies had "pulled out", they wouldn't be here, and we wouldn't be having this constant argument!
Despite calls for change, Bush said, "Our goal has not changed. Our goal is a country that can defend, sustain and govern itself, a country that which will serve as an ally in this war. Our tactics are adjusting."
If the goal was anything other than securing a reasonably peaceful Iraq, then I'd be out there with the antiwar crowd. Hmmm... probably not.
Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said the Iraqi government must become less reliant on the United States to handle security. He also said U.S. officials are working with the Iraqis to develop projections on when that might happen.
This is where I'm starting to have problems with the war. Just when ARE the Iraqis going to start stepping up? The sectarian violence seems to be getting worse, they are killing each other because one is a Sunni, one is a Shiite? Having grown up in a nation where all religions are free to flourish, and disagree without violence, I have a lot of trouble understanding this sort of hatred. If the different branches of the Lutheran Church started behaving like that, Waupun would be a very small footnote in the Wisconsin history books.
Doubts about the effectiveness of current tactics have risen, and the U.S. military has said its two-month drive to crush insurgent and militia violence in Baghdad has fallen short. Attacks in Baghdad rose by 22 percent in the first three weeks of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, compared with the three previous weeks.
Holy? I was always under the impression that if something is "holy", it's treated with reverence, not blown up. Oh, those whacky Muslims...the "Religion of Peace". pfft! Nothing is ever going to be effective until the Iraqis start living in the world of today. I wonder if the Iraqis got so use to having someone else (Saddam's goons) run their lives, they just can't adapt to the idea they are now required to provide for their own security? It's definitely time to change tactics in how the U.S. is dealing with Iraq. But, no, we should not abandon them, at least not yet.