What Fresh Hell Is This?

December 14, 2006

One Big Fat Mess

So Bush is considering a plan to "double down" in Iraq "with a substantial buildup in American troops, an increase in industrial aid and a major combat offensive against Muqtada Sadr, the radical Shiite leader impeding development of the Iraqi government."

Meanwhile, "At least two-thirds of Army units in the United States today are rated as not ready to deploy -- lacking in manpower, training and, most critically, equipment -- according to senior U.S. officials and the Iraq Study Group report. The two ground services estimate that they will need $18 billion a year to repair, replace and upgrade destroyed and worn-out equipment," and "'We are concerned about gross readiness . . . and ending equipment and personnel shortfalls,' said a senior Marine Corps official. The official added that Marine readiness has dropped and that the Corps is unable to fulfill many planned missions for the fight against terrorism."

On top of that a defense specialist, "who requested anonymity because the discussions were private" is saying that it will be impossible to follow the recommendation of the Iraq Study Group because there's no way that the Iraqis will be ready: "The message to Bush, the defense specialist said, is that the U.S. cannot withdraw a substantial number of combat troops by early 2008, as suggested in the Iraq Study Group report, because the Iraqis will not be ready to assume control of their country. Bush is delaying making public his new Iraq policy plan in part to allow officials to work out the funding, he said."

Add to that the fact that "Saudi Arabia has told the Bush administration that it might provide financial backing to Iraqi Sunnis in any war against Iraq’s Shiites if the United States pulls its troops out of Iraq, according to American and Arab diplomats," and that "Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the United States, Prince Turki al-Faisal, has abruptly resigned after 15 months on the job, an embassy official said Tuesday."

It becomes hardly surprising that Bush has decided to delay his speech on his big new strategy for Iraq until after the holidays.

If he wasn't personally responsible for tens of thousands of death resulting from his Iraq misadventure, you'd almost have to feel sorry for the guy.


Anonymous said...

Maria, this is not a "double down" strategy. It is a double or nothing strategy. You "double down" from strength, you "double or nothing" out of hopelessness.

From talkingpointsmemo.com:

Since the Pentagon has decided to discuss its new strategy in gambling parlance, it should at least use the proper terminology. Today's LA Times article says that a Pentagon official has referred to the option of sending more troops in to Iraq as a "double down" strategy. The reference is to a bet in blackjack when, based on the cards that have been dealt, the player seeks to maximize a payoff that is more likely to occur in that hand, given the probabilities. The double down is a calculated bet, made from a position of strength when the odds are favorable to the bettor.

In Iraq, we are certainly not in a situation where the odds are favorable to winning. Our bet is not a double down. Let's call it what it is: double or nothing. This is is more like the gambler who has been on a bad losing streak deciding to empty the savings account and put all of his chips on red, hoping that the roulette wheel will spin his way and bring him back close to even. Double or nothing is a desperation play. It is an ill-advised way to gamble, with chips or human lives, and such a strategy inevitably leads to another appropriate gambling term. Gambler's ruin: winding up completely broke.

Synergy-synthesis said...

Good point. I have referred to this a Bush's last stand. It could also be viewed as a Hail Mary play. Bush is dealing for weakness and has no options left which will succeed short of an immediate and unconditional U.S. withdrawal from Iraq which the Idiot-in-Charge has ruled out.

I'm glad Maria and Dayvoe are staying on top of the Iraq thing because it is the number one issue facing us. Bush is considering his "options" between escalating the war and escalating the war. Whenever one of the military men he consulted spoke of "winning" Bush was reported to sit up straight, become animated, and take copious notes.

Bush is probably going to send more troops which will sink McCain. McCain only looks good if he urges more troops, but Bush sends none. Then McWarrior could say "I told you so". McCain's candidacy lives and dies on what happens in Iraq. The U.S. war in Iraq is going down no matter what we do.

Bush is going to ask for $100 billion in emergency funding and will "follow the recommendations of the commanders". He probably will send extra troops as part of a "temporary" surge option.

Bottom line. Nothing that Bush does will succeed. Nothing! The United States has already lost in Iraq. The civil war is rapidly becoming a regional war.

No Democrats save Dennis Kucinich are willing to cut funds. Not Levin and not Kennedy. Damn any Democrats who continue funding this folly! The only funds approved should be those to ensure the immediate and safe extraction of U.S. troops from Iraq.

Unless and until somebody with real authority becomes aware and is willing to use their power, the war will grind on. Bush is prolonging the war and the inevitable political and military defeat.

We can never overstate how stupid continuing this failed policy is.

Gary said...

It's like Mr "And I Reject Those Ideas" is daring the Dems to try to Impeach him!

What other choice are we to have if we wish to take charge of this conflict and our part in the policing of this civil war?!

With the Chimperor at the helm, he will never listed to what others tell him. I even see the potential for a constitutional crisis within our own nation. He respects and listens to no one outside of his circle. He functions like a king, even now as it is clear the rug was pulled by the people. He is going to run this ship into the ground no matter the consequences, so I think we are left with little choice but to hobble this lame-duck with articles of impeachment.

We desperately need to create some sort of distraction for him before he sends too many more of our kids off to their deaths in Iraq.

Anonymous said...

re: distract him

let's deploy a million shining objects to DC immediately.

HopeSpringsATurtle said...

You're kidding right? "Feel sorry for the guy"? I wouldn't piss on him if he were on fire.