Read: "He takes his secrets to the grave. Our complicity dies with him." Robert Fisk, The Independent
Read/Watch: "Olbermann: Special comment about 'sacrifice'" Countdown w/Keith Olbermann, MSNBC
It's unbelievable that we've reached this point. Over 3,000 U.S. troops killed on the battlefield. Many thousands of Iraqis have lost their lives. Nearly 47,000 U.S. troops, and God only knows how many Iraqis, have been wounded (link). And for what? Iraq has an insurgency that's been in its "last throes" (link) for a year and a half now, and there's no end in sight. It's even been reported that many members of the Bush administration, possibly even Cheney himself, may actually believe that the war is already lost (link).
So why, then, is a surge being considered? At this point, the reason is morbidly obvious: Bush does not want to be the guy who lost Iraq, does not want to be the one to oversee the withdrawal. NBC reported (link) that a pentagon official told them that the "surge" idea (a "surge" is not a strategy) was "more of a political decision than a military one." This is sickening. If you haven't, please watch Keith Olbermann's 'Special Comment' linked above.
Thankfully, the Democrats were able to take over both the House and the Senate, and we might be able to finally see some changes. The Democratic leaders of both bodies sent a letter stating, in the strongest terms ever used by Democrats, that a surge should not occur and that a phased withdrawal and shift to training and counter-terrorism operations must begin. Read it here.
And of course, Saddam Hussein was executed last week by hanging. His crimes, of course, are indisputably horrific, and there is no question that if anyone deserved the death penalty, he would be one of them. However, execution in this manor was a very, very bad plan. The 'trial' which got him to this point was a joke--a 'kangaroo court'--set up by a shaky Iraqi government under the guidance of the "Coalition:" lawyers and judges were killed, and Saddam's lawyers were hampered. In the end, he was only tried for one of his crimes and killed immediately. Why couldn't we have a proper international tribunal to fully document all of his crimes? Part of the reason, perhaps, is that U.S. complicity--and the people behind it--would very likely have been brought up, things they hope people would forget. Please read the first article linked at the top regarding this. It is a shame we rushed through this, and all for revenge.
The war did not start out impossible to win; we may have ended up in this place even if we had done things right, but we are certainly much worse off than we could have been.
Happy New Year.