Merry Christmas, Middle East! More US Troops Headed Your Way?

After weeks of expressing their skepticism at the idea of a troop surge, The New York Times reports that the head honchos on the ground in Iraq, Generals George Casey and Raymond Odierno, now are open to the idea of a troop surge there.

From the Times:
Until recently, the top ground commander in Iraq, Gen. George W. Casey Jr., has argued that sending more American forces into Baghdad and Anbar Province, the two most violent regions of Iraq, would increase the Iraqi dependency on Washington, and in the words of one senior official, “make this feel more like an occupation.”

But General Casey and Lt. Gen. Raymond T. Odierno, who has day-to-day command of American forces in Iraq, indicated they were open to a troop increase when Mr. Gates met with them in Baghdad this week.

“They are open to the possibility of some increase in force,” a senior Defense Department official said. “They are supportive of taking steps to support the Iraqis in their plan, including the possible modest augmentation in U.S. combat forces.”

Why the sudden change of heart?


Paul Hue said...

Our friend Vassar, working for KBR in a US military base a few hundred yards from Sadr City, may have the answer (to wit):

For about two years now the US military as been operating on a "no shoot back" policy, trying its damnest to pacify US political critics who portray them as marauding baby killers and destroyers of Iraqi infrastructure. Vassar and his fellow workers can see the nihalists in the distance setting up their rocket launchers and morter mounts, but the US troops never take any action, even as ordinance comes raining down. Vassar traces this policy back to Abu Graib, which he views as a catastrophic US mistake. Since the troops have stopped fighting back, attacks by the nihalists have increased dramatically.

Vassar is certain that the tyrants in Sadr City are getting all of their munitions fresh from the Iranian govt. How is this any different than the US intervention? The Iranian govt seeks to establish a religious dictatorship, whereas the US govt seeks to establish a free democracy.

The attacks by these tyrants surged to noticibly greater hieghts, Vassar says, after the Democrats won the last election, which the tryants took to mean that US troops were leaving. But Vassar says that "something is happening" starting about two weeks ago: the US troops are fighting back again, finally. Vassar and his coworkers no longer see tyrants setting up attacks, and no longer fear leaving reinforced bunkers nor face round-the-clock incoming.

The prospect of US troops fighting back excites Vassar, who has come to love Iraq and wants to see success for those there who seek to live in peace, toleration, prosperity, and freedom. He recognizes that sometimes US troops either make deadly mistakes, or even behave abhorantly, as at Abu Graib. But he says the only forces there worse than those of the US are all the other ones.

Paul Hue said...

Vassar today informed me from Iraq that although the US troops near Sadr City are "fighting back", the tyrants are giving as good as they're getting. "It's going to get worse before it gets better", he assures me. He says that the Iranian missles now include a more potent and reliable one manufactured in Brazil. Prior to these Brazillian missles, the Iranian missles used by the Sadr tyrants would fail to explode about half the time. The new ones, Vassar reports, explode much more often.

Vassar remains starkly fearful for his life, and adamantly opposed to those who fight against the US troops, who he remains convinced seek to make Iraq into a free, independant, safe, and prosperous place.

Nadir said...

I appreciate Vassar's concern for his well-being, and I share it, though I am more concerned about the troops who, for the most part, are not there voluntarily.

I don't see how anyone can be upset with Iranians or Brazillians selling weapons to the Iraqi insurgents. US weapons manufacturers often sell munitions to both sides in a conflict, and the US is the world's most prolific supplier of weapons of mass destruction.

What goes around comes around. The problem is US troops are the ones dodging the missile fire, not the military suppliers like KBR, Lockheed and Boeing or chicken hawk politicians like Bush, Cheney, McClain, Lieberman and Clinton.

Paul Hue said...

I agree with Nadir's charactorization of Bush and Cheney as chickenhawks. They did dodge the draft, Bush most repulsively. And their regard for the war that they orchestrated is shameful compared to the example set by Lincoln.

But I believe that they may have been right to instigate this war, and history may well applaud the golden chance that they have given the Iraqi people.

I am unaware of the US govt or military corporations selling or otherwise supplying arms to people using them to counter attempts to establish or secure any free democracies. If such suppliers assist one side in a war between tyrants, I hardly accept that as equivelant to supplying tyrants against democrats.