02 December 2006

Biting the bullet

I don't mind ranting about the War on Terror (as those who know me are well aware). But I normally don't do a lot of that here because...well, this is a public place. But I'm going to go ahead and do it.

We're fucking this up big time. The United States and, I believe, Western Civilization as a whole, is locked in a no-shit struggle with the forces of savagery and darkness. Seriously - take a GOOD LOOK at the Middle East. Other than Isreal, do you see any place that doesn't just SUCK?

I'm not going to go into a ton of detail about economies, personal freedom, the god-awful treatment of women, life expectancies, etc. It's a basic premise of mine that the entire region sucks ass and has pretty much nothing to offer except seething resentment and hate.

When President Bush had sent troops into Afghanistan and was shifting focus onto Iraq, I thought - great! This guy gets it!

We were finally going to start Draining The Swamp. Now, we all know that U.S. policies since WWII have not helped the Middle East, and in no way have encouraged the growth of self-determination and human rights there. In exchange for continued access to oil and the opportunity for our companies to profit from said oil, we'd prop up any sonovabitch over there. And we did.

But post-9/11, I thought we had it figured out. Long war, national committment to changing that part of the world, the whole nine yards. Lose the dictatorships, standing up some representative governments, let people do better and have hope and maybe they'd leave us the hell alone. I could have skipped Iraq and seen us going into Iran or (god forbid) dealing with Saudi Arabia like the terrorist petty-cash box it is.

But the President said Iraq and, honestly, it was as good a place as any to start.

Then, all of a sudden, we're doing Iraq on the cheap. No, we were assured. Our military kicks so much ass that we don't need a giant troop buildup ala Gulf War 1. We'll just send a few divisions zipping up to Baghdad. Hell, we won't even worry about bringing the 4th ID in through Turkey. We won't stop in any of the little towns along the way. Piece of cake!

And it was. Of course. Our military does kick massive ass. Problem is, there we were in Baghdad and the oil fields and a few major cities with our collective thumb in our collective ass, while the Saddamites ran away and hid in all the little towns we'd bypassed.

And we never poured the bodies in. Because that would have been some sort of admission of defeat for the Bush Administration, which the hysterical shrieking bitch Democrats would have jumped all over.

Bush is so polarizing that we've been entirely deprived of the ability to have a useful national dialog about how to best conduct this war. The Republicans have, until very recently, been loathe to admit that maybe the ENTIRE plan wasn't ENTIRELY perfect from the VERY beginning. And the Democrats have not offered a single useful bit of input other than grasping at any straw to jump and holler "it was lie! And it's a failure! And we should bring all the troops home!"

Check this out - the troops don't want to come home like that. No shit. Listen vey cloesly: I do not want to have fought in a war we lost because we lacked the balls to win it. None of my comrades in arms want to have fought, bled or died in a war we lost because we lacked the balls to win it.

Our political leaders on both sides need to shut the hell up. They need to stop listening to mothers. We all love mothers, but all the mothers want all the warriors home safe, too often at any cost.

We don't want to be safe and shamed in the United States. We want to be safe, victorious and proud in the United States. We'll take not safe but able to look in the mirror in Iraq.

So the politics needs to stop. We need an assload more troops in Iraq and we need to turn the clock back.

Step 1 - Bigger military.

Yep. The military is overcommitted. But the services are making their recruiting goals. So our Congress needs to get off its dead ass and authorize a massive increase in the Army and the Marine Corps. The 9th Infantry Division colors are in a closet somewhere. Pull them out. Stand up the division again. Give the recruiters a mission - they'll fill it. The Army is just packed with NCOs and officers with combat experience. Fill that Division. Wouldn't take but a year or 18 months to see that full Division's worth of combat power come on line. And the Army has old barracks all over the county.

The Fifth Marine Division raised the flag on Mt. Suribachi. Reactivate. Fund. Fill.

Step 2 - Stop letting Iraqis fuck up Iraq

So great was our desire to declare our on-the-cheap war a success that we turned the running of Iraq over to the Iraqis far too soon. We needed to run that country for a year, while suitable Iraqis were found for key positions. Then we needed to let them run it, but with an American standing right there. We can't take it all back, but we can shove our way back into things. Every time a hospital administrator in Najaf calls Baghdad to try to figure out why they can't pay nurses, there needs to be an American standing by the phone in Baghdad, and the call needs to be on speakerphone. That way somebody is paying attention to who is stealing the money that's not getting where it needs to go.

This is an annoying problem when it's a hospital or school. It really sucks when the rank-and-file of the Iraqi Army isn't getting paid. No pay leaves them susceptible to bribery, which is a Bad Thing. Trust me. I can show you pictures of what a Bad Thing it is.

Iraq is a place where bribery and graft are a way of life. You can't blame these people - we're obviously working up to run out on them, so they need to steal while they can so they have enough money to flee hours after our last soldier gets on a C130. We must make them do better.

Step 3 - Blanket that country in Americans.

Story time! Once upon a time, a civil affairs unit was given an entirely stereotypical mission from their CA Higher. "Go forth," said Higher. "Ask around town and find a site for a Government Information Center, where we can have resprentative from each Ministry so the locals can find them easily."

This in a town where nobody who cooperated with the Americans LIVED. Oh, some officials who worked there were on our side, but they didn't LIVE there. They would have been killed. We had one non-dirty judge there and HE received death threats on a daily basis.

Nobody was going to openly side with the Americans, because we couldn't be there to protect them when the Bad Guys came. There simply weren't enough U.S. troops to have a patrol ALWAYS out and about in each neighborhood. And the IA didn't work at night.

So how stupid were our local Iraqis? Not stupid enough to do the stupid things we wanted them to if it was going to get them killed.

More Americans in Al Anbar. More Americans in Baghdad and Babil and Najaf and Karabala. 18 months of an American on every street corner will take care of a lot of problems.

Step 4 - Kill Al Sadr.

Yep. Don't know why we didn't do it before. Al Sadr is not helpful in the job of building a free and open Iraq where each individual is empowered to seek happiness as he or she sees fit.

We conquered the country. We're being very polite about it, but we're the ones with tanks and artillery, so we still own it. We get to kill whoever we deem worthy of killing.

All is not lost in Iraq, but we need to get past political posturing in order to win there. And win we must, for reasons I'll discuss shortly (I'm on a roll tonight).

Step 5 - Bomb the Hell out of Iranian nuclear sites

OK - I know we can't get away with this, but it would send a phenomenally valuable message. Remember - Iran is Not Our Friend. Iran is not a Friend of a Happy Middle East.