Sometimes I get an incredulous and go MEGO – Mine Eyes Glaze Over. I get that look on my face when I listen to the statements on Iraq oozing from both Republicans and Democrats behaving like a bunch of disoriented bumbling fools trying to dance a tango to an orchestra playing a waltz. Going MEGO allows me to stop giggling in a way that to the casual observer would call for closer scrutiny of the type usually reserved for the criminally insane.
The surreal nature of the Iraq war has taken on a kind of quixotic overtone that suggests on the one side “America is winning in Iraq and we’re winning the war on terror.” That’s Bushspeak for “I don’t know what the heck is going on over there with those camel F***ers.” Then there is the “oh, really?” crowd silently mumbling to our severely challenged commander-in-chief “O, you poor, poor silly and disillusioned man, can’t you see that because you broke it you must now own it?”
Limited military successes are blown up and out of all proportions, magnified by sycophantic media spin to hype these small victories to make them appear bigger and bolder than the reality of the situation. With suicides now becoming as regular in the armed forces serving in Iraq as text messages and the admission that the insurgency is becoming more and more sophisticated and effective we’ve turned to blaming Iran and Al-Qaeda for everything that’s wrong in Iraq.
Now our dear demented leader is contemplating arrogantly naming the national army of a nation that he does not like a special terrorist organization. Maybe Iran’s enigmatic president will then retaliate by naming American forces in Iraq an illegal, occupation force that is committing acts of terrorism on a daily scale. We alone, rather President George Bush alone, is allowed the near divine right to meddle, invade, sell arms, decide who is a terrorist, enemy combatant, rogue state, dictator and American friend and ally.
Of course, this also comes on the heels of President Bush announcing a $30 billion military aid package to Israel, Saudi Arabia and a few other oil-rich Middle East states and nuclear cooperation with India. So while President Bush berates and threatens Iran about a nuclear program that it claims is for peaceful means he not only wants to arm Israel – a state that reportedly does have nuclear bombs – to the teeth; he rewards the Saudis with more military hardware – the same nation whose cousins are fighting and killing American servicemen in Iraq and whose nationals killed innocent Americans right here in 2001.
And we wonder why America has lost credibility around the world.
The daily propaganda drivel that the troop surge and new military tactics in Iraq are working is for domestic consumption only. The Iraqi insurgency is testing each and every day the capabilities of the world’s most technologically equipped military. Urban guerilla warfare is a 100 times more deadly than rural guerilla warfare. In the jungle the lines are more distinct. In an urban setting there is absolutely no way for a 19- year old kid from Ohio, scared so stiff that he’s literally crapping in his pants, unable to speak any other language other than English, to know that the nice guy who said “God Bless America” at 8:00 a.m. when he drove by is the same guy how pointing an RPG-7 at his humvee 8:00 p.m in a dark street in Sadr City.
But what the United States and its allies in Iraq have forgotten is that while counter insurgency tactics boils down to a military contest between two groups of armed combatants there is a vitally more important component that does not have a military tag on it. Insurgents derive their power from the support that they receive from the population. Without that the insurgency in Iraq would have long ago fizzled out.