I of course support the resolutions in the House and Senate deploring Bush’s insistence on pointlessly increasing troop strength in Iraq. Even if they had a plan to do something useful with those troops, which they do not, it is far too little, far too late. One of the most basic rules of military economy is “don’t reinforce failure” and make no mistake, Iraq is a failure. We won the battle to depose Saddam Hussein, but failed in the task of making Iraq a free democratic nation even before that battle was joined, with Rumsfeld et al’s plan for war on the cheap, and their wishful thinking that cooperative democratic governance would somehow just spring into being once the obstacle of Hussein was removed. Had we followed the advice of our generals then, and use a force twice to three times the size, with the extra troops being engineers, police, and civil affairs, we might have had a chance to win hearts and minds by swiftly restoring shattered infrastructure, retain order, and give the Iraqi people a chance to choose peace. Instead, we kicked over their anthill with nothing to replace it and then seemed surprised when anger, resentment, envy, geed and every other negative force in human affairs boils over. The key opportunity at the key time was lost, and such things never come again. It is time to withdraw and let the Iraqis get on with fighting it out.