Saturday, January 06, 2007


You may disagree with the content of Keith Olbermann's commentary, but it is refreshing to see someone other than FOX News brewing up a pot of righteous indignation. This video comes in just a week before President Bush is slated to address the nation and deliver us his plan for future prospects in Iraq. I would have to agree with NPR, that it is likely that Bush's message is going to look exactly like the plan for Iraq just released by The American Enterprise Institute (,filter.all/pub_detail.asp).
I mean... almost everything he does mirrors AEI.

Already the Democrats have issued a statement to President Bush asking him to reconsider what they (and basically everyone else) anticipate his Iraq plan to be, the increase of troops. Troop increase, I can't imagine that this is a good idea, how could it be? We are not fighting a war in Iraq, at least not in the traditional sense, where there are distinct forces on each side of a conflict. In a traditional war, numbers matter, strategy matters, and perseverance matters. How are the tactics of traditional warfare going to help, are we to increase our troop levels by ~20% and knock on every Iraqi door and ask if they are terrorists or terrorist sympathizers? We are fighting people who are defending their crumpled status quo and who really don't like the United States. The only way to "win" militarily would be to kill every last terrorist and detain/kill every single person that we think might one day become a terrorist. I think at that point we would be teetering on a cloaked form of genocide. We are attacking symptoms and not causes, and by not focusing on the cause, things have been escalating out of control.

What are the causes? Historical relations between Sunnis and Shi'a, the former Baathist party, and the inability of countries such as Lebanon and Iran to provide better social services and political strength to its people outside of terror sponsoring organizations such as Hezbollah and Hamas. Is it a surprise that there are so many that support Hezbollah and Hamas? Given that they have extensive social programs including education, health care, etc. and national unity, how can we be surprised? President Bush and his cabinet have shown little effort in factoring these elements into US-Middle East policy and as we all know (or at least will eventually come to realize) it has been disastrous.

As a side note, Americans should observe Hezbollah and Hamas. They provide everything that a government should provide to its people, but their foreign policies are also driven by the religious convictions of their leaders; foreign policies that have dragged them into war with Israel, with no end in sight. We should take note of this as our politicians suggest and promote that the United States be a Christian nation.