OxBlog

Saturday, February 17, 2007

# Posted 12:32 AM by Ariel David Adesnik  

THIS POST IS NOT ABOUT ISRAEL: The Israeli-Palestinian conflict may be heartbreaking and maddening, but it is also intellectually compelling. A Gordian knot is an irresistible challenge to all those who begin thinking about how to untie it.

Anyhow, other things have been going on in the world this past week. Apparently there is a still a war going on in Iraq, and we're fighting it. No matter how dark the tunnel gets without a light at the end, some refuse to even acknowledge that we have an option other than defeating our adversaries. Minority Leader John Boehner told Tim Russert last Sunday that:
I believe that victory in Iraq is the only option...who doesn’t believe that if we withdraw and leave that chaos in the Middle East that the terrorists won’t follow us here to the United States? Victory, victory is the only option.
Well, victory is certainly the preferable option. And there may be some hope that Gen. Petraeus can produce an outcome worthy of the name. If he doesn't, the only responsible approach will be to ask which of our objectives are dispensable. Instead, I expect politicians on both sides to avoid the question by insisting either that the war was the other guys' fault or that the other guys just want to cut and run.

Yeah, I'm feeling cynical right now.

Anyhow, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer told Tim Russert that we need right now is "a diplomatic surge, not a troop surge." Yes, politics are integral to counterinsurgency. But so is force, and Democrats seem determined to reinforce their image as soft by pretending that only diplomacy matters.

However, Rep. Hoyer did strike a slightly more hawkish note when he said that:
The fact of the matter is we didn’t send enough troops initially, and it now is clear that one of the reasons we didn’t is because we didn’t contemplate the challenge that was confronting us.
Now, there is one way to argue that we didn't send enough troops initially but that a surge is a bad idea now. All you have to day is say that victory is no longer possible. But it seems those words are ones that Democrats are afraid to say. As Rep. Hoyer puts it:
We’re going to make recommendations. And those recommendations will be focused on success. We don’t want to fail.
Nobody does, I guess.

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