Monday, January 15, 2007

Sunday Talk Show Highlights: Augmentation is Cosmetic Surgery

I oppose the surge in troops in Iraq for many reasons. Perhaps the best explanation I have heard so far was on yesterday’s broadcast of the McLaughlin Group. The host made the point (and I will put up the transcript when it is online) that Secretary of State Rice’s description of the escalation as an “augmentation” is illuminating. Augmentation is a word frequently used in the context of plastic surgery, used to hide flaws and create the illusion of beauty, at least temporarily. McLaughlin, I believe, correctly made the point that this augmentation is merely cosmetic in the strictest sense.

It may create the illusion of security and success for a few months, say the next 14 months, wherein Bush is able to pass the problem off to the next administration or least to make it a big enough issue for the presidential election. There will be no lasting security or political solution based on this “augmentation.”

Also on the program, UPI editor Martin Frost made the point that the surge will not work because it hasn’t worked in the past and in other areas of the nation. When we surged in Fallujah, the insurgency moved to Ramadi; when we moved into Ramadi, it moved to Mosul; when we surged in Mosul, it moved to Basra. I may be off on the chronology, and will correct it based on the transcript, but the point is valid. The surge is a cosmetic option that is useless against a faster-moving insurgency. You can bring reinforcements against a standing army in an area, but not against a group who holds no value in any particular piece of land, but in creating instability in the government and fear in the hearts and minds of the public.

We need to accept the reality, as Senator Obama noted on Face the Nation yesterday:

One of the things that I strongly disagree with Senator McCain, though, is this notion that we have future catastrophe to look forward to if we start phasing down troops. We are in the catastrophe that Senator McCain described right now. We've got bloodletting taking place, we see great influence of Iran in the region as a consequence as--of us moving forward.

Some people, notably the Administration, and add to that Rep. Greg Hughes of Draper, don’t understand that it can’t get much worse unless we add more troops. Yesterday’s broadcast of Take Two for some reason had Rep. Hughes, who was also on On the Record, talking about Iraq with Marshall Thompson, someone who has actually been there. Hughes is quickly approaching Paul Ray as the new media whore of the Legislature. Hughes had absolutely no idea what he was talking about on Take Two, spouting off the same old (and now rejected) Administration talking points on Iraq. We should take Take Two to task (too many stupid puns, I’m sorry) for not asking someone who has actually been to Iraq to make the case for the surge. I personally know of several veterans who would be more than happy to support the surge publicly. I may disagree with them, but they are still my friends because I value their service.

In conclusion, I feel we need to recognize that the Bush plan is nothing more than a boob job, designed to destroy life and create the illusion of beauty and success. I doubt it will succeed, because I believe the majority of Americans, and Utahns soon, will understand that the future of Iraq is now, and we need to leave.

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