One thing to keep in mind when looking at this chart and reading this story. This is a military assessment, not some bean pusher’s opinion.
WASHINGTON, Oct. 30 ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬? A classified briefing prepared two weeks ago by the United States Central Command portrays Iraq as edging toward chaos, in a chart that the military is using as a barometer of civil conflict.
The conclusions the Central Command has drawn from these trends are not encouraging, according to a copy of the slide that was obtained by The New York Times. The slide shows Iraq as moving sharply away from ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œpeace,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚? an ideal on the far left side of the chart, to a point much closer to the right side of the spectrum, a red zone marked ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œchaos.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚? As depicted in the commandÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s chart, the needle has been moving steadily toward the far right of the chart.
An intelligence summary at the bottom of the slide reads ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œurban areas experiencing ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‹Å“ethnic cleansingÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢ campaigns to consolidate controlÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚? and ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œviolence at all-time high, spreading geographically.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚? According to a Central Command official, the index on civil strife has been a staple of internal command briefings for most of this year. The analysis was prepared by the commandÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s intelligence directorate, which is overseen by Brig. Gen. John M. Custer.
My question lately has to be, again, “Is it worth staying?” Also, “Can we win?”
I know the Republicans like to say that we have to stay and win, but is that even possible now? We’re obviously not going to put more troops in there like myself and John McCain want to.
So if we’re not up for pouring more resources into Iraq, then why should we keep fighting a mission we’re destined to lose?