Friday, December 23, 2005

Donald Rumsfeld has announced (funny how they always make these announcements in the middle of the night so it will read 'Friday' but still make the headlines in the papers) just a few moments ago that The Bush administration will cut U.S. troop strength in Iraq by as much as 7,000 troops during the spring of 2006.

Now, of course this reduction in force (amounting to about 5% of the overall U.S. force in Iraq) will be touted as a smashing success, as proof that our policies are working, that the country is stabilizing, that the Iraqi army is now ready to take over or some such baloney.

And, I suppose it is good to the extent that there will be 7,000 fewer American soldiers walking around in Iraq as targets for the insurgents to shoot at. I don't mind President Bush taking credit, as long as they are out of there. However, let's call this what it is: a politically motivated stunt that does very little towards actually getting us out of there. 95% of our troops will still be there, inflaming the country and feeding the insurgency as much as they are fighting it.

The Sunni insurgents held their fire so that the elections could take place because they calculated that it would be beneficial for them to do so. They are still going to be, as patriotic Iraqis, attacking Americans so long as America is seen as an occupying force (after all, wouldn't we do the same if a foreign country occupied America-- remember the movie, 'Red Dawn?') Iraq is ultimately not getting any closer to being a Democracy (although one outcome of the elections seems to be that it is much closer to being an Islamic Republic). But there is one thing that we are getting closer to, and that explains the sudden need to reduce troop levels:

The November 2006 elections in the United States.

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