Friday, August 31, 2007

How is the Iraq War Going?

September is the month in which factions of our government will attempt to convince Americans that the Iraq War is going well or not so well. The Government Accountability Office says things are not going well. In fact, the GAO says 15 out of 18 benchmarks for political and military progress mandated by Congress have not been met in Iraq. The latest National Intelligence Estimate also thinks things could be going better in Iraq. Many military commanders say the Army cannot sustain the occupation of Iraq at its present levels.

On the other hand, President Bush continues to think the War is going well enough, that he is ready to request another $50 billion to proceed (at least $600 billion has already been spent). Bush is determined to get out of office without "defeat in Iraq" on his record. Many congressmen continue to return from trips to Iraq saying how quiet and how good things are going in places like Iraqi markets. Oddly, just as many congressman return from Iraq appalled at the lack of progress.

The surge is working. The surge isn't working. One thing I miss from the days of old is the kind of war coverage on TV that we saw during the Vietnam War. Every evening before dinner I'd sit with my friends in the TV room of Lehman Hall North (SUNY Potsdam) and listen to the latest war coverage by Walter Cronkite. He would always end the days coverage by stating the number of dead soldiers for the day. Of course we all had a vested interest in how things were going because we all carried draft cards.

There are no news programs like that to watch anymore. True evening news programs have been deemed not "entertaining" enough. So we are left with a lot of differing opinions about the progress or lack of progress in Iraq. One thing that has become increasingly clear is that we will remain in Iraq at least until the next President is elected. Maybe even longer.

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