What sinkhole you ask? The one in Mesopotamia of course. According to an Op-Ed in the LA Times that's what eleven more months of this stupid "surge" are going to cost you and me:
The president will ask the nation to pay for the next 11 months in Iraq with billions of dollars and hundreds of lives. We think this sacrifice will be in vain, because only Iraqis can heal their national wounds. And so we ask instead: What else could the United States do with a guesstimated $100 billion to reduce the strength and the appeal of Islamist terrorist groups worldwide?
That money may be needed to defend Afghanistan against the resurgent Taliban, or to track Al Qaeda elsewhere. But does our creative country have no better ideas for winning Muslim friends and thwarting terrorists? How about spending $20 billion on anti-poverty and education programs in Afghanistan and the tribal areas of Pakistan, to give the population a reason to fight the Taliban? Or distributing $20 billion in emergency support to impoverished Iraqi families? Wouldn't $10 billion help repatriate the 2 million Iraqi refugees abroad and resettle the 2 million inside Iraq who have fled sectarian violence? Would $10 billion for child-health programs in Islamic nations help demonstrate that Americans are not, in fact, at war with Muslims? Certainly another $10 billion could pay for more than 55,000 bright students (from anywhere in the world) to spend four years studying Arabic, Islamic thought and counter-terrorism at the University of California. And heck, that would still leave $30 billion to beef up domestic and international law enforcement, intelligence and homeland security.
Is staying the failing course in Iraq truly the only prudent course of action?
$100 billion more. And what have we gotten for the $450 billion that we've already spent in Iraq? Well, according to Petraeus and Crocker, all that money has purchased us a country that will immediately splinter and degenerate into chaos, mayhem and genocide the instant we leave. Money well spent wouldn't you say?
Given that our massive expenditure in terms of money and human lives has provided us with nothing but fleeting gains, and given that we have spent 4 and a half years, nearly 4,000 lives, and almost half a trillion dollars on this miserable and disastrous fiasco what guarantees do we have that spending more money and sacrificing more lives will eventually give us some results? None, whatsoever of course, but we are supposed to stay the course anyway! Indefinitely!
Why should the American people trust the same people who have lied to us repeatedly, consistently and blatantly over the last 5 years about Iraq? Again yesterday they lied to us about what's really happening in Iraq and what the surge has accomplished. They pretended like the surge is responsible for the Anbar "miracle" when it's really the Sunni tribes themselves who have subdued the foreign jihadists who alienated the populace with their brutal tactics and strict version of Islam. What Petraeus and Crocker didn't tell you is that these same Sunni tribes offered to work with us to defeat Al Qaeda years ago and we rejected them. Instead, we insisted on fighting them to force them to submit to a constitution and a government that they don't recognize and don't support. Who in the administration has been held accountable for this major screw-up?
And now they tell us that the "bottom-up reconciliation" in Anbar is a model for all of Iraq. What they don't tell you is that 97% of Anbaris voted against the Constitution and they are still vehemently opposed to the Shiite-dominated government that they consider to be a tool of Iran. What they don't tell you is that the weapons and cash that we are giving the Sunni tribes will likely be used against that same Shiite-dominated government whenever we eventually decide to leave. What they didn't tell you is that we are strengthening the Sunni tribes so as to prevent genocide against them at the hands of the vengeful and murderous Shiites.
Iraq's problems are for the Iraqis themselves to work out. Our troops have performed above and beyond the call and they deserve to be brought home to a hero's welcome NOW!
Note: Wizbang Blue is now closed and our authors have moved on. Paul Hooson can now be found at Wizbang Pop!. Please come see him there!