Prediction is very difficult, especially about the future.
At this point in the Bush Administration’s troop surge it is evident that little if any change in Sunni, Shiite and Al-Qaeda violence is occurring save the random ups and downs you might expect from terrorist bombs and sporadic but frequent attacks. From the very beginning, the Bush predictions about the war – its cost, its duration, its estimate of the U.S. troop strength needed, the appeal of a democratically-elected Iraqi government, and the attitudes of the Iraqis toward their liberators – have failed to come true. The military can’t even keep the lights on.
The Administration is overdue with a propaganda report that will identify the areas of progress, exclaim that there’s still work, hard work, to be done and that the U.S. needs more time – and more troops – to succeed in Iraq (and by the way, what’s the flavor of the month definition for succeed in Iraq? Doesn’t matter, it will change next month). I expect, as do most of my colleagues, that other than the rhetoric little will change before the next President takes office.
With 3,519 troops now dead and more dying at a rate of 95 a month, by January 20th, 2009 we will likely have 5,300 troops buried in the ground, not to mention all those civilian contractors who also paid with their lives. I am certain that these people have died in vain, in an unjust war. I am certain that they are never coming back.
Funny how this country has held a cigar used as a sex toy and a lie about a private moment so much more politically important than what our current leadership has done to thousands of lives.