19 February 2007
Representative Loretta Sanchez (D. Ca.), says she doesn’t understand what the troop surge is intended to accomplish. She doesn’t understand how this troop surge is going to succeed where previous surges have not. She doesn’t know what the plan is.

All this can be only because she isn’t listening. In that she is not unlike a caller to the Limbaugh show last Thursday. This caller had what he no doubt thought was a brilliant question: Given that there are presently around 130,000 troops already in Iraq, what is the addition of 21,000 going to accomplish? Rush tried to explain that the 130,000 troops are stationed around the country; he wanted to go on to explain that the additional 21,000 will be stationed in and around Baghdad, but the caller stopped Rush right after he said that the troops were stationed around the county, saying, “We’re not talking about the country. We’re talking specifically about Iraq.” He was convinced that ‘around the country’ meant a country other than Iraq, rather than the country of Iraq.

See? These people don’t know because they don’t want to know. They don’t understand this war because they don’t want to understand it. And they don’t want to understand this war because they don’t want to fight this war.

What should we have expected? These are the same type of people who didn’t want to fight a cold war. I know: I was in that war. Had these people had their way back then, we’d have lost that one too. Can you imagine losing a war –perhaps the only one in all of human history -- in which no bullets or bombs fly? (Just my luck, to be in the only war in history in which no bullets fly. But I digress.) Should we really expect people who had not the stomach for a cold war to commit to fighting a hot one?

The real question is not how this troop surge will work when the others didn’t. The real question is why wasn’t a troop surge specifically targeting Baghdad implemented before?

To come up with the answer to that question one should probably think political appearances, not military realities.


I know it’s difficult to believe, but there really are people who do not want to know certain things. I was still in my teens when I realized that there really are people who do not wish to know things. I’ve often wondered why. My favorite hypothesis: Knowledge often brings with it responsibility. I’ve been reading philosophy since at least age twelve. But my clue to this did not come from reading philosophy, however, but from watching “Hogan’s Heroes”. Think about Sergeant Schultz, who, when confronted with some of the activity of the POWs of Stalag 13 would respond by leaving the area, saying, "I hear nothing, I see nothing, I know nothing!" You see? If he acknowledged what he knew, he’d have to acknowledge a responsibility to act upon what he knew. All Schultz wanted to do was wait out the war and go back to his toy company.

But can we have a whole party who doesn’t want to know? Why not? What if a whole bunch of Sergeant Schultzes formed, or joined, a political party? Why, you’d have a party that didn’t want to know, wouldn’t you?


About Me

James Frank Solís
Former soldier (USA). Graduate-level educated. Married 26 years. Texas ex-patriate. Ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church in America.
View my complete profile

Blog Archive