January 09, 2007

Clifford May on the Importance of Iraq

Today on KQED's Forum, Clifford May was explaining why it is so critical for us to "win" the war in Iraq. He, of course, touts the rightwing argument that Iraq is the frontline of the war on terror and if we leave there without winning, the terrorists will be loosened on world and soon will be killing us at home. Therefore, although he has some concerns about whether Bush's escalation will work, he believes that we have no choice but to trust Bush and let him try.

I was unable to callin to the program, but did send the following email to Forum:

When Mr. May starts talking about how critical this war is to our future, he should also have to say what he thinks will be required to "rescue" this war from disaster.

One major problem for the entire war has been the desire to wage it on the cheap. Experts before the war started said that an occupation that works would take somewhere around 400,000 troops to be successful for a country with the population of Iraq. Now that there is no peace to keep, 400,000 wouldn't be enough to bring back peace, so you are probably talking about 800,000 to 1,200,000 troops to "fix" the problem.

How do you get that type of troop commitment? Why you need to do two things: bring back the draft and raise taxes to pay for it. If Mr. May is serious about the need to "win" this war, then he needs to understand that it's going to take things on that scale to make a real difference. 20,000 troops is simply a non-starter.

I believe it is time for the warhawks to honestly admit what it would take to get our country on a genuine war footing. It's time they too sacrifice something for the war they believe is so essential to win. Of course, that begs the question of whether even that would work and the odds are that it would not. But at least then they could honestly say that we tried it their way. (Obviously, to do this they will first need to convince the American public that this type of mobilization is required. Yet if they really believe it is that important they should be willing to try.)

Posted by Mary at January 9, 2007 10:46 PM | Iraq | Technorati links |