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A Stone in the Lake

Last week’s Operation Swarmer was ballyhooed as the largest U.S. combat air operation in Iraq since 2003. Designed to take the Iraqi insurgents by surprise and wipe out the obstacle to peace in Iraq. (Seems I have heard that line before.)

Utilizing a succession of military and civilian bureaucrats, Washington has spent three years trying to impose its blueprint upon an increasingly resistant Iraqi population. The world’s most expensive military has been deployed to try to force political change and define the boundaries of a conflict which knows no boundaries. After three years, Washington is farther than ever from its illegal goals. Take Operation Swarmer.

Utilizing 50 transport and assault helicopters and 20 tactical vehicles ferrying 1,500 U.S. and Iraqi troops, the force set off for an "insurgent stronghold." According to Lt. Colonel Edward Loomis of the 101st Airborne, "We believe we achieved tactical surprise." Yet, apparently nobody was home when they arrived. According to reports of the operation "No resistance and no casualties were reported." The 1,500 Swarmers nabbed a whopping "40 suspects…10 of whom were later released." (MSNBC.com March 17, 2006) Undoubtedly, the release of the remaining suspects will quietly follow. All in a day’s work in Iraq.

Operation Swarmer is a symptom of U.S. failure in Iraq. Our entire invasion and occupation has been like throwing a stone into a lake. There is a splash, followed by some ripples, before everything returns to its natural level…and the stone sits uselessly at the bottom of the lake surrounded by water.

The Administration deluded itself into believing that our military could forcibly transform a nation of millions into their compliant lap dogs. Three years ago the Administration deluded many Americans into believing the same fable, but the public has seen enough and is no longer the dupe.

Bush has tied his approval ratings to the results of his policies in Iraq and both are sinking like a stone. When the ripples of our military occupation subside Iraq will return to its natural level and we will be sitting at the bottom of the lake wondering how we got there.

March 23, 2006