Now that the U.S. involvement in Iraq is longer than the involvement in World War II, I am still wondering just what we're up to over there. Losing people, that's for certain. But what is the strategy? What is it that "we" are trying to accomplish? Didn't we accomplish whatever it was when (a) Saddam Hussein was removed from power and (b) WMD didn't seem to exist (or at least be discovered)? A change in Congress notwithstanding, the forthcoming Baker Commission recommendations aside, it seems as though we are going to continue to, in effect, "stay the course," yet precisely what the course consists of is mysterious. According to a story in The New York Times, "Bush Blames Al Qaeda for Wave of Iraq Violence," the president said in a news conference, "We'll continue to be flexible and we will make the changes necessary to succeed." Once again there is that "succeed"? How do we achieve the results, when the results seem undefined; how do we accomplish what is intended when what is intended is cloaked in banter about being flexible.
And, as the headline proclaims, the president is quoted as saying, "There's a lot of sectarian violence taking place, fomented in my opinion because of the attacks by Al Qaeda causing people to seek reprisal." This, apparently, is a ploy to avoid having to admit that there is a civil war occurring there. Undoubtedly, the terrorist organization is in the game, but isn't claiming that it is responsible for "a lot" of the "sectarian violence" a bit disingenuous? Isn't it fairly clear that there are sects over there who are sufficiently angered at one another such that they really don't need anyone to throw gas on their conflagration because it is so big that the additional fuel is comparatively imperceptible?
And so it goes on. And on. Flexible. Change. Succeed. The code words are wearing thin.