Imagine There Is an Unending War

RECEIVED Mon., Feb. 5, 2007

Dear Editor,
    Michael Ventura’s Baghdad Alamo [“Letters @ 3am,” Feb. 2] sheds a lot of light: the Sunni predicament, the impotency of the Iraqi parliament, and the Iraqi security force “contributions” thus far. Quoted from The Week, surge plan co-author and American Enterprise Institute frontman Frederick Kagan believes 30,000-80,000 additional troops will be enough to quell the violence and restore order in and around Baghdad. The Kagan-Keane estimates are among the lowest available.
    Gen. Anthony Zinni (Rolling Stone, November 2004): “We had a plan for an invasion of Iraq, and it had specific numbers in it. We wanted to go in there with 350,000 to 380,000 troops. … We knew that we would find ourselves in a situation where we had completely uprooted an authoritarian government and would need to freeze the situation: retain control, retain order, provide security, and seal the borders to keep terrorists from coming in.”
    We have 140,000 troops in Iraq now. The Bush administration is proposing a 21,000 increase.
    Imagine being a part of an understaffed unit with orders to actively engage and contain the entropic center of a Third World religious and civil conflict. Imagine the new Iraqi parliament can’t agree on anything (no quorum since November). Imagine the violence is escalating. Imagine you’ve already been there off-on, mostly on, for just under four years now.
Mike Stewart
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