Danny Taggart's Blogarama

A more-or-less daily dose of news, politics, techmology, and any random thoughts that pass through my head.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

The Iraq situation

My thinking on Iraq has changed a bit recently. Here are some excerpts from my posts on FreeRepublic today:
    The real issue in Vietnam is that we were fighting a proxy war without attacking the source. Until Bush rolls up his sleeves and takes out Iran and Syria, Iraq will continue to be a target for foreign infiltrators. This isn't the War on Terror he promised us. It's time to get to work.
    The only thing I can think of that's holding us back is that a widened war would spike oil prices so high it might bring down our economy.
    I'm getting nervous because of an analogy I see to Vietnam, which other people have seen, and Bush isn't taking any pains to address it through his speeches. The analogy is NOT the left's version, i.e., people are dying, America evil, blah blah. My concern is specifically about Syria and Iran, and if you look at the pattern of attacks within Iraq, it is clear as day that the infiltrators are coming in and getting supplied from Syria and Iran. There are plenty of reports from the borders to confirm this, even though Bush seems to want to ignore it.

    The "kill zone" strategy [whereby Iraq acts as a magnet for terrorists, which US troops proceed to kill] is a valid one, although it has never actually been articulated by Bush (for good reason). That's because it would contradict the stated reason for our presence: to build an Iraqi democracy, to serve as a model for the region. If we intend to achieve this aim, then we do indeed need to take out the source of the problem. The Iraqi system simply will not survive if we don't do this. And the terrible thing would be that it would kill our future credibility in these situations. "Look what happened to Iraq, we don't want that here in Iran", etc. So I think it is a legitimate concern to have.

    Now, if Bush dosn't think this is a priority, then fine, he should say that. Instead, it looks as if he's trying to lower expectations without making a change in policy, which makes me really nervous.

Even though I'm getting nervous, I don't buy the panic mentality coming from the left. Take a look at the latest Brookings Institution report on Iraq. It's a mixed bag, but the situation seems to be improving. A quick summary:
    Numbers which are decreasing

  • US/coalition troop casualties
  • Number of car bombs
  • Civilian contractors killed
  • Attacks on Iraqi oil and gas assets

  • Numbers which are stabilizing

  • Iraqi civilians killed as result of war

  • Numbers which are increasing

  • Insurgents detained or killed
  • Daily attacks by insurgents
  • Percentage of Iraqis who think country moving in the right direction

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Your government at work

From the Boston Globe [via Biz-Opportunities]:

    Dominic Serino, 9, and his neighbor, Ryan Decker, 11, were forced Saturday to shut down their lemonade stand at Salem Common after an employee of a nearby sausage vendor called police, complaining that the boys were hurting his sales.

    The budding entrepreneurs had to call it quits, under orders by some reluctant police officers. The boys, after all, did not have a license, and rules are rules. The two packed up and trudged home. But they said yesterday that they remain fans of the sausage man.