Friday, February 23, 2007

Let the Intelligent Discussion on Iraq Begin

Paul Ryan (R-Janesville) has always been a level-headed Midwestern-values kinda guy. That's why he's re-elected in an area which is 'borderline' in terms of party affiliation.

Ryan visited Iraq for a few days last week, and made some trenchant observations.

U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan returned Thursday from a trip to Iraq, expressing support for the new U.S. strategy and buildup there but warning that "it is our last chance to get this right" before going to "Plan B" and starting to withdraw troops.

"This whole thing is a big gamble, but it's probably the best gamble to take before throwing in the towel and allowing sectarian genocide to take over," said Ryan, who was visiting Iraq for the first time. "I personally give this three to six months to find out."

Ryan said he was encouraged about the new military leadership and recent changes in tactics and strategy, including more latitude for troops to pursue militia groups,...

The Order of Battle changes are extremely important and will loose the handcuffs our troops have worn since the fall of Saddam.

He's concerned that the Rumsfield plan ain't so hot--echoing John McCain:

"It strikes me as the right strategy to take. It should have been done three years ago. But it seems to me they don't have enough forces."

And he doesn't get much nicer about the ex-SecDef, either:

"We've made so many mistakes," Ryan said. "Number one, they sent about half to a third as many troops as were needed at the beginning, so the Tommy Franks-Rumsfeld-Bush master strategy was way off on troop levels."

Well--it might be said that Franks' battle-plan was to defeat Saddam's army. THAT was a success. What followed was another thing, and Ryan has some thoughts on that, too:

Ryan also cited the decisions under former reconstruction head Paul Bremer to disband the Iraqi army and prevent former members of ousted ruler Saddam Hussein's Baath Party from participating in the government.

Bremer was running a dilettante-op over there, with a bunch of kids who needed a job. Among other ludicrous ventures, some of these children were setting up an Iraqi stock market before there was regular electrical service in most of the country. And the graft/corruption numbers, now estimated at $12 BILLION, aren't a feather in his cap, either.

Ryan praised Gen. David Petraeus, the new top U.S. commander in Iraq, as the "right guy finally to do the job." He also said he found troop morale to be high and called the performance of U.S. troops "astonishing."

Let's see how it plays out.

We've read and heard far too many monomaniacal commenters yapping about "withdrawal is surrender." They're tiresome, and it's becoming obvious that they don't really give a damn about What Makes Sense.

Ryan does. Thanks, Paul!

1 comment:

Jay Bullock said...

Let the Intelligent Discussion on Iraq Begin

Whew! I'm glad we're finally getting around to that!