There was an interesting quote today by new Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates. According to AP, Gates said,
"But as the president has made clear, we simply cannot afford to fail in the Middle East. Failure in Iraq at this juncture would be a calamity that would haunt our nation, impair our credibility, and endanger Americans for decades to come."
We've already failed
What both Gates and the Bush administration don't seem to understand is that we have already failed.
Sectarian violence has spiraled beyond any control. More Iraqi and American blood is spilled daily. The billions spent in reconstruction have resulted in very little improvement in the Iraqi infrastructure, with massive fraud by contractors going unexamined to this point.
Additionally, Afghanistan, by all accounts, is falling apart, thanks to America's lack-of-interest and diversion of resources into Iraq. The Taliban has regained a solid foothold and opium production is funding the terrorists.
Is this not failure?
Violence in Iraq at an 'all-time high'
I realize that the media has a very short attention span, but how can no news about Iraq, outside of the Gates quote, make the front page of CNN today?
How can the mass rounding-up of victims not be an ongoing story, for at least the short-term?
Couple the continued bad news with a Pentagon report that says in the most recent 3 month period being measured, through November 10,
"attack levels - both overall and in all specific measurable categories - were the highest on record."
Changing the mindset
Obviously we are in the midst of stunning failure, so why do the Bushies, and their enablers in the media, keep bringing up scenarios of what might happen 'if we fail?'
We need to change our mindset.
We need to admit the fact that our policy to democracize Iraq, and raid Iraqi resources for corporate profit, has been a debacle.
Acknowledging that failure of policy, we need to then determine how to best alter our course with the least amount of further bloodshedding and regional instability.
In other words, it's not taking endless tests to determine if the patient might indeed, fall ill. It's recognizing that a sick patient has been made even sicker by the incorrect, invasive treatment and, being cognizant of that fact, doing all we can to try and halt the progress of the disease.