Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Surge. Escalation. The adjective does not matter.

McQ writes "the Democrats are right to characterize this more as an escalation than a surge."

Frankly, I don't give a damn what word is used to describe it. My support is not going to be decided on nomenclature.

I want a simple war policy for America, with two prongs.

I want us to go to war only as a nearly last resort. We do not have to try everything else first, but we have to try nearly everything else first.

I am satisfied that we, as a country, did this with Iraq. Sanctions were tried, for years, spanning administrations of both parties. We had worked through the United Nations. We tried a limited war in the First Gulf War. We tried talking tough. Spare me the "Bush lied" nonsense. He said nothing that had not been said by politicians from both sides of the aisle for well over a decade. My support is not going to be decided on partisan hackery. I supported our decision to go to war.

I want us to fail in war only as a last resort. We have to try our damnedest, once engaged in war, to win it. We can withdraw and lose the war, or we can win the war and withdraw. Both options involve withdrawing. The primary difference is winning and losing. Winning requires more effort, and more cost in concrete terms of dollars and lives directly harmed or lost. Losing, however, is not without costs, both in dollars and in lives directly harmed or lost. This is so obvious that I am alienated, immediately, by those who act as if there is no cost to losing.

I am greatly dissatisfied with the way the war effort has gone to date. I believe that mistakes have been made, and not corrected with sufficient speed or diligence. However, I do not think that we have tried everything, and as such I am not with those who want us to withdraw immediately. I am interested in seeing what General David Petraeus will do. I hope, for all of our sakes, that his plan will be effective.

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