Surge? What Surge?

The American military’s much hyped “surge” in the Iraq war was in truth a failed attempt to correct past blunders. Before America invaded, Iraq had a modern infrastructure and national security forces that were holding foreign terrorists and native criminals in check. But instead of taking out the tyrant Saddam Hussein, declaring that in itself a victory and returning home with American prestige intact, the invaders stayed on with the pretext of creating a Western-style democracy and, in short order, destroying the country’s infrastructure and dismantling its security forces. In the chaos that ensued, criminals were left free to prey on law-abiding citizens, foreign Al-Qaeda terrorists poured into the country to battle the invaders, rousing Jihad extremism throughout the Muslim world, and, joining ranks with Al-Qaeda, former cops and soldiers of the dismantled security forces resurfaced as “insurgents” bent on waging guerilla war against the Americans.

Now, after blowing billions of dollars bringing Iraq to ruin, America is blowing even more billions trying to little avail to rebuil Iraq's infrastructure and bribing the selfsame insurgents that killed and maimed thousands of American troops to fight on America's side, with no expectation that they will ever deign to serve under Iraq's cobbled democracy once American troops scale back, unless America continues to finance them. The number of casualties among American troops has, of course diminished considerably, the bulk of fighting having been turned over to the former insurgents, but the sectarian violence and overall misery among Iraqis goes on unabated.

The destruction and chaos that Barack Obama's Surge is wreaking on Afghanistan and neighboring Pakistan bodes to wax even worse than Bush's war in Iraq. But ultimately, the real losers are the American taxpayer, the ones footing the bill. The argument that the billions (by some estimates trillions) being squandered on those unwinnable, open-ended wars is a necessary investment in America’s national defense no longer holds water. Those astronomical heaps of money would be better invested in alleviating the recession verging on outright depression back home. American leaders get real. Blind jingoism is not synonymous with patriotism. Time to cut and run, and call it victory.

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