A university is just a group of buildings gathered around a library. ~Shelby Foote

Monday, May 08, 2006

It's all about the big B

Omar has a thoughtful, intriguing, and somehow both encouraging and despairing essay on the future of his country. But I think he's right-- securing Baghdad is the key to making things work in Iraq. Building schools, securing oil pipelines, eliminating terrorist strongholds are all important aspects of taking down Zarqawi and the terrorists that still plague Iraq, but Baghdad is the center. If the center cannot hold, the rest will likely fall apart (with apologies to Yeats).

Of course, recognizing that reality, and altering our approach accordingly, would require Donald Rumsfeld to admit that he's mucked things up rather badly. And unfortunately, I have no faith that Donald Rumsfeld has ever admitted he's mucked anything up, nor that he's capable of adapting to changing circumstances. I also have zero hope that Bush will come to his senses and realize that his misplaced loyalty to Rumsfeld is costing us lives, money and the possibility of succeeding in Iraq.

I mean, why would he start now?

Still, if Omar can still see a bright future for his country, we owe it to him, and the millions of other Iraqis who want nothing to do with either Baathist thuggery or Shia extremism, to make sure neither of those elements becomes the de facto ruler of the country.

UPDATE: Interestingly, Orson Scott Card puts forth a fairly vehement defense of Mr. Rumsfeld in his most recent column. And to be fair, Rumsfeld did do much of what Card cites-- the problem being that Rumsfeld seems to be so thoroughly enamored with the plan as created by Rumsfeld that he cannot adjust easily or rapidly to changing circumstances. That, and I think OSC might have actually been frothing at the mouth when he wrote that piece-- my goodness but he was vexed mightily.

That said, OSC's later points about TV and torture and media in general are pretty insightful-- until he starts frothing at the end, again.


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