President Bush has just finished his address to the nation where he describes the new way forward in Iraq. The plan is actually pretty simple: an increase in troop levels to deal with the increasing violence in the Baghdad area, to secure the Anbar province where al-Qaeda has been attempting to take over, and to secure the country’s borders with Iran and Syria. The additional troops in Baghdad will clear and hold the areas of the city where the terrorists are running rampant (as opposed to just clearing them and then moving on, thus allowing the terrorists to retake them after we’ve left).The troops on the borders will help stop the influx of terrorists and materials from Iran and Syria. And the lessening of purely political prohibitions on the rules of engagement will give the troops a freer hand in doing what needs to be done. It’s a well conceived plan.
Can it work? Yes.
Will it work? No.
The fatal flaw of the plan is that it doesn’t address the biggest threat of all, namely the huge network of allies and co-conspirators that the terrorists have built up in the media and in congress. There are simply too many people in positions of power in this country who have some sort of vested interest in seeing America lose.In days past, an atrocity committed by the enemy was seen as further confirmation of the justness of our cause, and served to strengthen the resolve of the people. In this bizarro world in which we now find ourselves, every atrocity committed by our enemy is blamed upon us. The ‘splody-dopes in the middle east have been killing each other in wholesale lots for thousands of years, but because we’re over there now, suddenly it’s all our fault. The only thing that’s changed there is that now they have cameras to record the carnage for broadcast. And the media in this country and throughout the world will re-broadcast that footage over and over, gradually weakening what little resolve they haven’t already managed to destroy in the American people, till the catcalls for retreat and defeat will become so loud, that even a man as stubborn as Bush won’t be able to fend them off. Congress will cut funding (they’re already making noises about not funding the plan the President is proposing as it is), Iraq will collapse, our troops will slink home with their tail between their legs, and the terrorists will follow them. The domestic terror attacks that all of us (well, most of us, anyway) have been dreading, and that have been absent for the last five years, will return anew.And we’ll have no one to blame but ourselves.