Monday, January 02, 2006

"The U.S. never intended to completely rebuild Iraq"

Coulda fooled me. I've been misreading all the stuff I've been reading about "winning" and all that. Seems to me that since "winning" clearly doesn't mean bringing an end to casualties, it must have meant...well, forget it. I got it all wrong anyway.
That was what was quoted in the Washington Post today by an Army Corps of Engineers General. He said, "This was just supposed to be a jump-start."

Got it. Now I understand.

Helena Cobban caught it and put together another take-down of the administration. Check out the entire post for an interesting take on how all this figures in the '06 elections at home. (But...but...they wouldn't be putting politics ahead of principle, surely! Nah. Surely not...)

Truly breath-taking, how they tried to sneak this latest declaration past an unsuspecting public while Americans were still dozing off their post-New Year's hangovers, and while Congress is most assuredly out of session.

Still, all caveats having been taken into consideration, I have to breathe a massive sign of relief. Phew!!!! It looks as though they have finally decided they need to bite the bullet of a large-scale (if still not yet total) reduction of the troop presence in Iraq.

[I have noticed, by the way, that nobody blogging from the Middle East cares much for Helena Cobban. For that matter they don't like Juan Cole either. And Cobban, despite a grudging academic respect for Cole, is more often than not in disagreement with what he writes as well. Moreover, the bloggers who know the most often argue among themselves about most issues and conclusions, including those on the ground who can undersand Arabic! I'm still looking at them all trying to make sense of what they are saying. John Burgess strikes me as the most even-tempered of the lot. At least he seems never to engage in ad hominem remarks aimed at other writers. Well, not often. What's that they say: JMHO?]

I wasn't the only one who misunderstood our aim in Iraq.
This makes "winning" something different than I had imagined.

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