Tuesday, May 22, 2007

How We Could Have Won

Yeah, I know this is Monday morning quarterbacking, but this is how it could have worked. You send twice as many soldiers right at the beginning, not to secure Iraq, but to secure Baghdad. Right behind those troops you bring in a shitload of engineers for the biggest overseas infrastructure project ever. I mean, they're unrolling electric power lines so fast, the spools are smoking. They power up every house they can and give everybody a TV. If somebody urinates, a toilet and a pipe to the new sewage plant appear before pee hits the ground.
You erect a state-of-the art military style mobile hospital and you hang a sign out front that reads: Baghdad Civilian Hospital. If an Iraqi kid limps in because he sprained his ankle playing soccer, you patch him up, give him a lollipop, and send him home. Give people food. You tell Shiite men that if they help rebuild their homes and businesses, you'll pay them $100 a day - If they help a Sunni do the same thing, $300 a day.
You make this stuff WORK in the first six months, and people start to feel good about you. Even Mussolini got popular because he made the trains run on time. People love that kind of stuff. And once Baghdad is a functioning place, you move on to the next town, do the same thing, get some real help from other countries, and maybe, just maybe, it could've worked.
(Oh, also, DON'T move into Saddam's old prison at Abu Ghraib and start doing the same crap he did).