Virtual Bourgeois

Just An Analog Guy Trying to Upgrade For a Digital World

Benchmarks and Memories

Posted by Gerald on July 8, 2007

In another Washington Post report, much of the administration has come to realize that the benchmarks set by Congress before the “surge” are not going to be reached by September, if at all.  There is a lot of discussion of the complicated situation, the intertwined problems of political progress and security problems, etc…

Two things jumped out at me in the story.

First is this quote:

“The heart of darkness is the president,” the person said. “Nobody knows what he thinks, even the people who work for him.” 

Hell, I’m not too sure HE knows what he thinks – beyond being absolutely certain he is always right. 

Second is this tidbit:

 “Late last year, amid strong doubts about Maliki’s leadership capabilities, senior White House officials considered trying to engineer the Iraqi president’s replacement. But most have now concluded that there are no viable alternatives and that any attempt to force a change would only worsen matters.”

Doesn’t this sound a bit familiar?  Try replacing “Maliki” with “Diem” and “Iraqi” with “South Vietnamese” and read it again.

What is really terrifying here is that the Diem government was basically brought down when the Johnson administration started sending mixed messages about their support due to the internal debate about whether to get rid of Diem.  Presto Chango!  A group of military officers pull a coup, Diem gets shot in the back of an APC, and the US begins escalating troop commitments.

Now I realize this ISN’T Vietnam and we don’t have anymore troops to send (yet).  Still, given how that whole thing worked out in 1963, you would almost think we might have learned our lesson about trying to stage-manage events in other countries.  We don’t do that well with our own.

I’ve said this before in this blog, but I’ll say it again:


We cannot bring stability to Iraq when our very presence there is polarizing.  We cannot determine for other people where their loyalties will lie or what their political beliefs will be.  We cannot unite Iraq or divide Iraq.  We cannot save Iraq.  We should leave Iraq.


One Response to “Benchmarks and Memories”

  1. imfunny2 said

    “our very presence there is polarizing.”

    I believe it is going to hinge on how many center and moderate people listen to their intellect and not “ideology.”

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