Wednesday, October 25, 2006

A Question Mr. President

If you saw the president's press conference this morning -- or any portion of it -- you may have been as frustrated as I am.

Even with 2-3 Americans dying in Iraq each day, our press refuses to ask tough, relevant -- and obvious -- questions about this conflict and the rationality of our stated goals.

Given the president's rhetoric, here's the most obvious question:
Mr. President. You say that we need to continue to essentially "stay the course" in Iraq to ensure the Iraqi government can quell or otherwise effectively deal with the insurgency and otherwise keep the government  functioning. You say training, equipping and deploying Iraqi security forces is key to this effort. However, from 2003 until now the Iraqi Army and security services have gone from essentially zero percent readiness to approx 75% ... but during this same time span violence - both sectarian and violence directed at coalition forces -- has only increased. Why is it reasonable to expect that violence will somehow decrease once the final 25% of Iraqi security forces are trained?
The "no spin answer" is -- of course -- that a reasonable person would NOT expect violence to decrease with a modest increase in the number of Iraqi security personnel (esp. since those personell consist of the same sectarians that are committing the violence). The simply fact is that sectarian violence is increasing despite the increasing numbers of trained Iraqis. Of course, it doesn't take a college education to know why: Sunni and Shia have been engaged in a ideological struggle for 100's of years ... and simply putting on a police uniform isn't going to change deeply held religious convictions -- especially when more and more Iraqis know of a close friend or family member who has been killed in the struggle.

The only logical course of action is to give the Iraqi government a deadline: "you WILL take-over all security operations in your country as of next year."

When will someone with a voice say what is obvious: too many Americans have already died for Iraq... and they have died to ensure the existence of a pseudo-theocracy that will undoubtedly have close ties to Iran.