Friday, May 04, 2007

Vietnam Redux?

John Kline often quoted statement 'we're making progress in Iraq' contrast with reports coming out of Iraq. More American troops were killed in combat in Iraq over the past four months than in any comparable stretch.

With the surge and Bush sending thousands more U.S. troops to Baghdad and western Anbar province, the prospect looms of even higher U.S. casualties. When Kline asserts that 'the victory on the war of terror depends on a victory in Iraq', does that include using false information to justify and 'sell' war to the American public and congress?

"United Nation officials accused Iraq on Wednesday of withholding civilian death figures to try and deflect attention from the escalating violence and worsening humanitarian crisis despite the U.S. -led Baghdad security crackdown." (AP)

The American placed Badhdad spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh says there is 'confusion' over the number of casualties. Would his statement be double-speak for 'we did like the numbers so we gave lower figures'? Ali said the system for tabulating casualty figures "is not easy" because "...the number of casualties increased". He specifically cited the numbers from the April 12 suicide attack on the Iraqi parliament. There were eights deaths first reported by U.S. military but then lowered to one by the next day.

Figures seem to be lowered once the U.S. gets them but at least 2,078 people died in Iraq last month, 15 percent more than in February despite a massive security crackdown and surge of troops in Baghdad, the epicentre of violence. Civilian deaths topped the toll with 1,869 Iraqis killed, while another 2,719 civilians were wounded.

But playing with figures isn't the real problem . The problem is that Bush, Congressman Kline and all other cheerleaders for this losing war continue to delude themselves into believing that the problems in Iraq can be solved simply by managing the news through mis-information much like was done Vietnam. The events on the ground in Iraq reflect centuries of deep seated sectarian and ethnic strife. Surge or no surge, our U.S. troops cannot create effective security forces or even provide such security for themselves! Because of this, the Sunnis, Shias, and Kurds in Iraq are seeking protection from their own militias.

Bottom line: any functioning government requires, at a minimum, that the people be protected. If it cannot fulfill that task then the government has little chance of being accepted as legitimate. Until that problem is solved Iraq will remain in the throes of a low-grade, but escalating, civil war with U.S. troops in the middle.

Reminds me of the gypsy saying, "Never try to stop a knife fight between brothers; you'll end up dying from knife wounds". America is in the middle of a knife fight we have no business in and can't win. I'm just wondering why Congressman Kline refuses to see the reality of this. Does Kline still want a win in Vietnam so badly that he's reliving events through Iraq hoping for a different ending?

Either way, terrorism is inflicting wounds that are slowly bleeding us to death by financially strapping us to the Iraq war while bankrupting us at home. Again, it's the all too familiar story of Vietnam. Which reminds me of another quote: "Those that don't learn from history, are doomed to repeat it".

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