Thursday, January 10, 2008

While we're on the subject of charming...

Let's try the new catchphrase in the war: Iraqi Solutions. Which more or less amounts to saying, we're not going to force policy changes on unwilling Iraqis, we're just going to let them sort out things for themselves.

Naturally, it should beg the question: if we're going to let them sort out things for themselves, why are we keeping tens of thousands of soldiers in Iraq? Oh, that's right, so they don't kill each other sorting things out. Brilliant!

But should that be our job, for the indefinite future, especially given the fact we're running low on referees- sorry, peacekeepers- to send over there?

If they're going to sort things out themselves, eventually it's going to come down to them sorting it out between themselves, and that's either going to happen with us in the middle and in the way, or with our presence minimal. I don't think we should suffer from the illusions that this is going to be pretty whatever course we pick. We should also, though, not suffer from the illusion that staying in Iraq will do anything but continue to aggravate the problem, and get Americans killed for the sake of procrastinating, ass-covering politicians.

You know, those likeable fellows. How many Americans have to die so that Congress and the President can save face and avoid political risks?

Are they naturally charming, or do they have to work at it?

In Blackwater's distinguished career, this has to rate as one of their more beautiful foul-ups, probably highly appreciated by our men and women in uniform: dropping tear gas on our own troops, not to mention a bunch of Iraqis, at an intersection in Baghdad.

The blog this links to notes that both the Helicopter in the air and the vehicle on the ground released this stuff, so it begs the question, not only why this was released, but why they had it to release in the first place.

Update: For those considering the innocent mistake defense for Blackwater, This Wired Blog entry on the matter should put that bad idea to rest. Repeat after me: Smoke grenades are yellow on green, CS grenades are red on grey. Unless Blackwater is employing visually impaired people just for the purpose of confusing these two different kinds of grenades, they ought to know the difference, and they ought to have people with the sense not to inflict tear gas on friendly forces.

Here endeth the lesson.