Ah, the old rope-a-dope. Cheney gets to play the dope, too.
Any dope should notice the fact that coalition casualties have gone up over twofold since the Iraqi elections -- hardly a basis to proclaim success. This month is shaping up to be one of the bloodiest so far, especially for the Iraqis themselves. Why should anyone believe that Iraqi police can stop the insurgents anyway? Do our police stop illegal immigrants from crossing into our country? Usually not... all they can do is stop a fraction of them. The simple truth is this -- so long as we're in Iraq, militants from both inside and outside of Iraq, will want to attack us.
Dopier still, however, is the Bush administration claim that our enemies are weak when they choose to actively fight us, but a fearsome threat when we need a justification to attack them. Our enemies in the Islamic world aren't feigning weakness or a lack of determination -- they're in this fight for the long haul, despite what twits like Cheney would like us to believe. Although it is uncertain whether more or fewer Iraqis are still actively involved in the insurgency, it *IS* quite clear that foriegn Islamic insurgents are coming into Iraq to fight us at a greater rate than ever before.
Not surprising, perhaps, considering that the Bush administration has ignored the fact that many, if not most, of these militants are coming in from Saudi Arabia. Rather than trying to plug the borders there, the U.S. has tried to place the blame on Syria, despite serious, expensive efforts on their behalf to perform the nearly impossible task of keeping their border closed.
Just as Syria's efforts to police their border indicate a level of cooperation with them not seen since the first Gulf War, Syria's recent withdrawl from Lebanon was also a historic, meaningful event. Both of these acts, however, have only brought additional threats from the Bush administration. All stick, no carrot. Unfortunately, they have threatened Syria one too many times, and now Syria has withdrawn military and intelligence cooperation with the U.S., thereby reducing the longterm security of their borders.
As in most of their dealings with foriegn powers, the Bush administration have shown themselves to be a bunch of ingrates. As always in their dealings with their own citizens, they have shown themselves to be intentionally self-deluded and dishonest. It's a pity that our soldiers will have to pay for their mistakes.
Too much dope. Not enough rope.