Tuesday, December 19, 2006

11 percent?


Barely more than 1 in 10 Americans believes Bush should send more troops to Iraq.

Nearly three-quarters said Bush administration policy needs a complete overhaul or major changes. But only 11 percent of those polled backed calls to send more American troops to Iraq, as President Bush is said to be considering.
You could get more than 11 percent of Americans to agree with invading Canada. You could probably get more than 11 percent of Americans to vote for Osama Bin Laden as the next senator from the great state of Alabama. Heck, you could find 11 percent of Americans who think blowing up the moon is a pretty good idea.

Is it possible that Bush really does not care how little support there is for sending tens of thousands of more American troops into that meat grinder? Could he be that detached from reality? It won't work. There is nothing to "surge" against. The enemy is blended into the population. Sure, we can kill tens of thousands, maybe even hundreds of thousands of more Iraqis, but that will not result in anything that we can credibly call "victory."

If Bush does this, the Republican Party is finished for at least a generation. John McCain, who gambled on this not happening despite saying that it should, might be able to get elected Maricopa County tax assessor, but he won't become president. The Democrats will gain a supermajority in the House, and widen their lead in the senate. Pauley Shore could get elected president against anybody the GOP put up as their nominee.

Somebody close to Bush needs to drag him over to the White House portrait of Nixon and just let him drink it in for a minute.


Oh, by the way, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the country's top military officials, are unanimously opposed to the Bush/McCain/Lieberman "surge" plan.

At regular interagency meetings and in briefing President Bush last week, the Pentagon has warned that any short-term mission may only set up the United States for bigger problems when it ends. The service chiefs have warned that a short-term mission could give an enormous edge to virtually all the armed factions in Iraq -- including al-Qaeda's foreign fighters, Sunni insurgents and Shiite militias -- without giving an enduring boost to the U.S military mission or to the Iraqi army, the officials said.

The Pentagon has cautioned that a modest surge could lead to more attacks by al-Qaeda, provide more targets for Sunni insurgents and fuel the jihadist appeal for more foreign fighters to flock to Iraq to attack U.S. troops, the officials said.

The informal but well-armed Shiite militias, the Joint Chiefs have also warned, may simply melt back into society during a U.S. surge and wait until the troops are withdrawn -- then reemerge and retake the streets of Baghdad and other cities.

Even the announcement of a time frame and mission -- such as for six months to try to secure volatile Baghdad -- could play to armed factions by allowing them to game out the new U.S. strategy, the chiefs have warned the White House.

The idea of a much larger military deployment for a longer mission is virtually off the table, at least so far, mainly for logistics reasons, say officials familiar with the debate. Any deployment of 40,000 to 50,000 would force the Pentagon to redeploy troops who were scheduled to go home.