23 Aug 2006

Frightening the Liberals

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How much force does it take to intimidate the American left into screaming for withdrawal and surrender?

General John Abizaid tells Hugh Hewitt the strength of the forces in Iraq confronting 133,000 American, 17,000 Coalition (source: Global Security, and (as General Abazid notes) an additional 275,000 lraqi troops amounts to “less than 20,000 active, and the Shiia militias that are actively confronting the coalition forces are less than about 5,000.

That’s right, folks. Our side’s 425,000 cannot possibly hope to defeat under 25,000 insurgents, the liberals conclude fearfully. It’s hopeless. Better withdraw.

Hell, that’s 17 to 1. Even General Bernard Law Montgomery would have been willing to fight with 17 to 1 odds in his favor.

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Mark Zanger

The problem is not our ability to beat the Shiite or Sunni militias in a real battle. The problem is that the Iraqi coalition government we have created can neither restrain not defeat them as rooted militias, and therefore there is no prospect of a unified Iraq except as policed indefinitely by US and British troops.

This either ties us up from other security needs, forces us to hold a military draft, or requires us to negotiate an exit with other powers than can unify or successfully partition Iraq.

Delaying a choice on these three politically difficult options makes inevitable the fourth option of simple withdrawal. Liberals or leftists or however you want to label the near-majority of the American people who are already dissatisfied with the situation have very little to do with imposing the situation or the choices.

I suppose you could blame us for the shortfall of military volunteers and resistance to the idea of a draft. But we have had no part in creating the coalition government in Iraq, the sectarian divisions there, the failures of the occupation so far, the fact that our security is stretched, or the lack of international partners.

Conservatives are hoist on their own petard in Iraq, and having brought the country along with them, so are all other Americans. We’re all going to pay, so why divide us further by attempting to shift blame at this late date? You never listened to us before; suddenly our voices sound so loud to you?



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