Why now, and not three years ago?

John Derbyshire makes two points that had also occurred to me about the president’s speech. Bush says failure is not an option, then he clearly suggests that if the Iraqis don’t get their act together, we’ll leave. So failure is an option, isn’t it? Second,

The President: “Iran is providing material support for attacks on American troops. We will disrupt the attacks on our forces. We will interrupt the flow of support from Iran and Syria.” We haven’t been doing this? We haven’t been doing this?

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“Snouck Hurgronje” writes:

You quoted Derbyshire’s rather rethorical question: “We haven’t been doing this? We haven’t been doing this?”

At least money has been allocated to do this. I recall an article by an U.S. officer about Iraqi fortresses and their use in controlling Iraq’s borders from two years back.

Iraq’s borders are not easily secured. The densely populated river plain is ringed by desert and mountain areas which are heavens for smugglers. I read a book written by Shlomo Hillel, a speaker of the Knesseth about his experiences in smuggling Jews out of Iraq into Israel.

The conclusion from the book from a security perspective is that Iraq’s borders are extremely porous, not just because of the terrain, but also because of the minorities living on the borders, whose loyalty to Iraq is very low. This loyalty has not improved in recent decades.

A further quote from earlier last year: “In the process, the United States will spend $437 million on border fortresses and guards, about $100 million more than the amount dedicated to roads, bridges and public buildings, including schools. Education programs have been allocated $99 million; the United States is spending $107 million to build a secure communications network for security forces.”

Perhaps Bush’s words are an indication that there are offensive plans against Syria and Iran. Ill advised offensive plans IMO.

LA replies:

It’s ambiguous. It could mean that the stationary border fortresses and guards are inffective, so now we are sending forces to intercept the convoys of man and materiel.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at January 12, 2007 12:14 AM | Send

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