I tell ya, sometimes these things just write themselves. Today's nominee for easiest blog entry written today is Oklahoma senator James Inhofe. His offense? Calling the events in Iraq as "nothing short of amiracle." Gosh, where to start? First, I guess I should site the original article in case there are any context issues. Here are a few juicy quotes:
U.S. involvement in Iraq has been incredibly successful and developments there
have been "nothing short of a miracle," Sen. James Inhofe said Monday.
Contrary to most reports, Inhofe said, many Iraqis are pleased about the U.S. intervention.
"Iraqi security forces now number 275,000 trained and equipped," he said. "The commanders in the field and the Iraqis say when this reaches 325,000, that would equal 10 divisions, and that's what we need to take care of our own security."
"What's happened there is nothing short of a miracle," he said.
Nevertheless, Inhofe said the current international situation makes him "wistful for the Cold War."
"Then we had one powerful opponent, in the Soviet Union," he said. "They were predictable; we knew what they had. This is not predictable."
'Nothing short of a miracle,' huh? Senator Inhofe, I'd like to direct you to a little website that I was able to find after a quick Google search: Iraq Body Count. It's a site that appears to do a fairly exhaustive job of tracking the daily death toll of Iraqi citizens. I ask you, Mr. Inhofe, based on the latest numbers supplied by this website, would you like to, during your next trip to Iraq (he's reportedly made 11 trips), visit just a handful of the over 40,000 dead people's families and ask them if what the U.S. has done in Iraq is 'nothing short of a miracle?' And would you mind reporting those responses, if they are in fact printable in this family-friendly blog? And while you're there, perhaps you could perform some polling and give us some numbers to back up your statement that 'many Iraqis are pleased about U.S. intervention.' You know, if you can actually leave the Green Zone and get a wide sample. Oh, and I guess that you can't do the polling at night since most Iraqis don't get more than five hours of electricity on any given day. Give us some numbers to back it up and then tell me how grateful the Iraqis are that we've thrown their country into the chaos of civil war.As for his troop numbers, I will be the first to admit that I cannot speak for the actual numbers being where he says they are since I don't have ready access to whatever DOD or administration report/talking point he might be parrotting. And honestly I really don't know if anyone truly has a definitive number, but I will say that I am skeptical of any number thrown around by someone with a vested interest one way or another. But let's just say that his numbers are totally correct - then why can't American troops begin to come home if there are some many trained and equipped security forces? There are currently about 130,000 U.S. troops in Iraq as you read this. Why can't we bring home, say 20,000 right now. That would drop the total force of over 400,000 (which would be a conservative number by your estimates) by only 5%, which should be ample to enough to deal with what's going on, right? Hell, we held the country together with the same 130,000 or so for a couple of years; wouldn't it stand to reason that, though the violence has increased, then the massive influx of 'trained and equipped security forces' could do the job so that our overextended soldiers and marines could start coming home.
Oh, one more point that I'd like to bring up; if his troop numbers are even close to being correct, then why did the 172nd Stryker Brigade out of Alaska get called back to Iraq just as they were returning home from an extended tour? Could it be because, like most numbers out of the Pentagon, these troop figures are wildly overblown and just more BS coming out of this administration and their respective mouthpieces?
Finally, the statements about his misty recollections of the Cold War are just painfully naive. It seems to be another transparent effort out of the neoconservative movement to equate a clash of ideologies that resulted in occasional proxy wars and that could have resulted in the total annihilation of all life on earth with a much more limited scope conflict. A conflict, I might add, that is no doubt being fueled by the wrongheaded foreign policy of this administration and, by extension, the neoconservative movement itself.