The surge “worked”? What does that mean?

Re speeches by McCain and Obama today.

McCain does not understand, nor do the voters who approve of him. Barack Obama said the surge would not accomplish the task that needs to be accomplished, to wit: disabling the threat of terrorism. That’s true: witness Afghanistan.

McCain derides Obama for saying today that he figured the surge would work. We all figured that if you put in the number of troops required for the job the job had a better chance of being accomplished. The same people who now support McCain supported Bush and Rumsfeld when they silenced the experts who said we’d need more troops than they were sending. So after their stupid policies caused the deaths of hundreds of Americans and thousands of Iraqis, they decide to send in more troops. And guess what? The troops can suppress some of the violence. Of course.

But McCain, like all conservatives, puts his faith in force, coercion, and violence. What Obama realizes is that guns shoot both ways. As long as we keep trying to suppress people in the Middle East and treat them like villains or children, we will continue to breed terrorists. Obama understands that, as have many of us all along; McCain does not and never will. Nor will his supporters. We can only hope that we outnumber his supporters in votes. Our country’s welfare depends on that. Another four years of Republican disasters will cripple us, perhaps permanently. After several decades of Democratic administrations, the voters can try the way of threats, violence, and jingoism by voting Republican again.

Oh. How does this relate to foreign language teaching? It’s our students who are going to fight in Iraq and Afghanistan to save our butts, those same students many teachers label ’entitled, stupid, lazy, unmotivated, drug-addled, inattentive, and immoral.’ Doesn’t fit, does it?

Addendum 7/27/08

I forgot to point out, as many others have, that it was Iraqis who worked in various ways to quell the violence: by declaring a truce unmotivated by any of what passes for diplomacy in this administration; by watching several million Iraqis leave the country and be no longer available to be killed; by killing everyone in a Shia neighborhood who wasn’t Shia and everyone in a Sunni neighborhood who wasn’t Sunni; and simply by killing so many people there aren’t that many left to kill.

After an orgy of violence, five years uncontrolled by the occupying (oops! Sorry neocons)/// librating forces of the Coalition, people get tired. The British left, the Italians, with good old Americans left behind to clean up Bush’s mess. No worry. Anyone with the temerity to question the military genius in the White House will be immediately smeared by the Right as unpatriotic and treasonous, the same tactics they used against the Civil Rights Movement they now so piously invoke. Lying hypocrites.

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