It Doesn’t Matter

Not to be callous toward the troops in the field, but the frustrating truth about our Iraq dilemma is that it doesn’t matter what we do there.

We may very well send a surge of additional troops. If I thought we could send enough to beat down the insurgency in an Enderian fashion—say, half a million troops or so—I would support it. Seriously. But we don’t have those kinds of resources. I must say, I have very much enjoyed the current president’s calls to grow the military, as if he has some magic wand he can just wave at it and make that happen. He has a wand, all right, but it isn’t magic. It rhymes with “belective bervice.”

We could leave. But there’s one thing the current president says that I believe: If we leave, all kinds of poop will hit the ceiling fan. The civil war will escalate. You risk invasions from all kinds of abutting nations. And, the United States loses more face and more ground in the Arab world. And, while I don’t drive Esther the Car all that much, I still wouldn’t like perhaps paying $12 a gallon for gasoline.

We could redeploy, but I’m skeptical about that option. I suspect we’d just end up having to invade all over again.

That, my friends, is why it is accurate to refer to Iraq as a “quagmire,” also known as “rock, meet hard place,” and it’s why the whole thing is so darned frustrating. There are no good options. None. As Joshua aptly noted in 1983’s “War Games,” the only winning move was not to play. Which, by the way, some of us have been saying all along.

So my hope is that the 110th Congress won’t spend a heck of a lot of time trying to frame our present Iraq policy. The current president is telegraphing quite specifically that he doesn’t intend to listen, and he can do that. I hope our new Congress will spend much of its time and resources investigating, investigating, investigating. I want the sky to turn black with subpoenas. I want impeachment hearings and war crimes tribunals. In particular, I want the Cheney Energy Task Force blown wide open: I predict that in 2007, we’re going to learn that the Task Force was central to this administration’s bit-champing.

Our new Congress needs to be a bulldawg. Hope they will.

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