Yesterday I was supposed to have my first GURPS WWII game of 2007. It didn't happen we started talking about Canadian and Quebec politics (mainly saying that we should change a lot of things), the economy, Canadia place in the world (why, and how are we member of the G8 for exemple), religion and religious fanatism, war (mostly WWII) and of course humor and jokes. We though to start the game around 9 pm but then remembered something, mister George W. Bush the president of the United State of America would be doing his first state of the Union address to his country, outlining his plan for Iraq. We where curious to see what plan he might try to pass or if he would decide to abandon Iraq, reconise it as a new vietnam, or something else entirely, so we listened to the whole address and discussed it afterward.
Basically if you did not listen to it, Mister Bush said that they will be deploying more then 20 000 new troops to Iraq, most of them in Baghdad. He said that his plan included a change of the mandate of the troop, giving them more autonomy and power on the group as well as increasing the number of iraqis troop to the anti-terrorist job. He just about implied that they would be targeting arm supplies in Syria and Iran that might help the forces in Iraq. He said that it was going to be bloody, hard, messy and probably a long term endeavor (but hinted that one or two year might be enough...) which in itself is a good thing since it is the truth.
Of couse that is not what many people wanted to hear they wanted to hear that the US would be pulling out, admiting defeat and seeing Iraq as another vietnam. Personally I don't think that would have been a good idea globally speaking (while the invasion of Iraq wasn't a good idea either, we cannot change the past, we can only try to fix the mistake), the abandonnement of Iraq to the civil war (because their is a civil war in Iraq, and not all of it is against the american, in fact most of it seems to be sect-to-sect) would only lead to more dead, more violence and probably another country "falling" to religious fanatism as a government. Will mister Bush plan work? I don't know, their are some elements in it that might in the relatively long term actually solve the problem, but internationally speaking it will not be pretty. This plan will involve bloody battle, house to house fighting and the unfortunate dead of many, to work this plan means that the US will have to actually wage a war against the Iraqis that are fighting each other (both shiite and Sunite even if one of the other is an ally of the US) and an actual war is not a clean war, you cannot fight it "cleanly". And even then, it might not work, Iraq is a big bloody mess and it's rebuilding cannot happen while their is fighting to keep the people from killing each other and the people of Iraq might not want the US to fight to "pacify" the country for them.
One thing I did notice and like about the address, not once did mister Bush refere to god, or claim that god was on either side of the conflict. Making the war a war of religion is the last thing the US and the Western world wants, and the previous addresses made me think that part of mister Bush strategy was to oppose his belief in his god to theirs. A sort of pissing contest going: My god is bigger then your god. Not a good idea, not against any one but particullary not people that already define themself as god warrior in an holy crusade against the heaten force of the devil.