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by MARKIN Monday, Dec. 04, 2006 at 10:03 PM




This writer freely admits that he is a political ‘street fighter’. And the rules of engagement for this activity are the same as in any rumble-kick your opponent when he or she is down, and give an extra kick when they are down just for good measure. Therefore I come to today’s commentary ready for bear.

Apparently in response to the aftermath of the 2006 midterm elections which, at least superficially, were a repudiation of the Bush Administration’s neo-con inspired Iraq (and Middle East) war policy these “pointy-headed” conservatives are circling the wagon for one last push for ‘victory’ in Iraq. Aspiring Republican presidential candidate Senator John McCain signaled that perspective before the Senate Armed Services Committee earlier this fall when he argued for an increase in troops in order to attain ‘victory’. In light of the already ‘leaked’ conclusions of the upcoming Iraq Study Group reportedly arguing for some kind of ‘graceful withdrawal’ from Iraq the leading neo-cons- Robert Kagan and William Kristol, the National Review and the other usual suspects- have issued their own call to arms, literally. Although I note, as always, that they did not personally offer to carry them. Locally, one Jeff Jacoby, a regular neo-con columnist on the OP/ED page of the Boston Globe in the Sunday December 3, 2006 edition took up the same call in his role as armchair military strategist.

Things must be getting politically desperate in neo-con land when they see their worst nightmares coming true. No, not the fiasco of their policy in Iraq, don’t be silly. No, it’s the reemergence of what today passes for the old Yankee Republican Eastern foreign policy establishment. The really interesting part of Mr. Jacoby’s argument for increased troop levels in Iraq is his trashing of Bush I’s foreign policy, which amounts to the old conservative war cry of appeasement before evil. I, for one, am getting pretty damn tired of that old one-size-fits-all Munich 1938 argument every time one of these cowboys decides to argue for and then go on some imperialist adventure. In any case, the scenario Mr. Jacoby lays out is that Bush I, abetted by the real villain of the piece, ‘evil adviser’ James Baker, today head of the Iraq Study Group, acted out the role of Neville Chamberlain while all hell was breaking loose in the Middle East and elsewhere in the 1991 Gulf War. Thus, the logical conclusion is that Bush II should politely decline that group’s recommendation for pullout and instead increase troop levels to insure victory. (Nothing new here-shades of Vietnam escalation strategy, frankly.)

In the event that Mr. Jacoby and the others have not been paying attention during the last four years of first the build up to war and then the subsequent occupation-what planet are you on? Even a superficial look at the situation as it has developed internally in Iraq points to one small kink in the argument for more troops. The problem is the United States presence. Continuing to kick down every door in Iraq, as American/Allied troops, have done since the start of the war in search of the ‘enemy’ is the problem. The sectarian civil war has gone on and will continue to go on regardless on American presence. The body count on any given day (and relentlessly, every day) should clue one to that fact. Thus, the American troops are, at best hostages, in the situation. Now, in true democratic spirit, I am willing to let every person have his or her opinion of military strategy whether they served in the armed forces or not. However, as Mr. Jacoby and the vast majority of his neo-con brethren have not, they should be circumspect, very circumspect, about sending some other mother’s son or daughter to fight for their ‘pet’ imperialist adventure.

In earlier commentaries I have argued that the real role for anti-war activists here in the United States is to form anti-war soldier and sailor solidarity committees in order to fraternize with the troops and get them the hell out of Iraq. I will not restate that case here. See my blog address below. However, I do have to admit that I can see one basis for an increase in troops in Iraq. That is to increase, by whatever necessary number, the number of truck drivers, jeep drivers, humvee drivers, air transport personals and sailors it takes to make an orderly withdrawal from Iraq. And be quick about it. IMMEDIATE, UNCONDITIONAL WITHDRAWAL OF ALL AMERICAN/ALLIED TROOPS!



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