Thursday, December 21, 2006




Nobody in America today, it seems, likes the idea of sending more US troops into the deathstorm of Baghdad. Some of the most astounding objections are now coming from the Pentagon's Joint Chiefs of Staff, the most senior and powerful military figures in the United States.

President Bush actually now faces a situation where he, as commander in chief, could try and order 30,000 more troops be sent into Baghdad and have the military command say, "No, Mr President, we don't be doing that." They would say this to him privately first, but if continued to push, they would then make it public, already knowing from their own polls that the decision to directly disobey commands from the president would be welcomed by most Americans.

Bush was asked about exactly such a situation yesterday. He called it "a dangerous hypothetical'.

The Revolt Of The Generals surfaced in February to April this year, when a slew of former generals and colonels hammered Bush for his War On Iraq and demanded defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld be fired, without hesitation. Bush refused to listen and kept Rumsfeld in place until the Democrats won control of the Congress.

But this Revolt Of The Generals is something altogether different. They're not just opposed to Bush's choices in Iraq, but how he deals with the troops themselves, now that he is considering massive troop deployment options that would see 22 year old Americans returning for third and fourth tours of Iraq:
The Bush administration is split over the idea of a surge in troops to Iraq, with White House officials aggressively promoting the concept over the unanimous disagreement of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, according to U.S. officials familiar with the intense debate.

...the Joint Chiefs think the White House, after a month of talks, still does not have a defined mission and is latching on to the (US troop) surge idea in part because of limited alternatives, despite warnings about the potential disadvantages for the military...

Just in case you were wondering why the president declared "We're winning in Iraq" just a few weeks ago, while a conga line of US generals, government officials and ex-Bush Co. insiders insisted "we're not winning", Bush has decided to clear the air and explain exactly what he meant.

He gave the explanation a crack during an interview with the Washington Post yesterday :

Q: You said October 24th, "Absolutely, we're winning." And I wanted to --

A: Yes, that was an indication of my belief we're going to win

Bush had another entertaining go at how "Absolutely, we're winning" became "we're not winning, we're not losing" in the space of a few days during a press conference today :

Q Mr. President, less than two months ago at the end of one of the bloodiest months in the war, you said, "Absolutely we're winning." Yesterday you said, "We're not winning, we're not losing." Why did you drop your confident assertion about winning?

THE PRESIDENT: My comments -- the first comment was done in this spirit: I believe that we're going to win; I believe that -- and by the way, if I didn't think that, I wouldn't have our troops there. That's what you got to know. We're going to succeed. My comments yesterday reflected the fact that we're not succeeding nearly as fast as I wanted when I said it at the time..."

Complete babble. There was much about his mini-speech and answers during the press conference. What were once almost cute 'Bushisms' are now becoming troubling dementia-like fumblings for coherency. Does he not believe anything he's saying? Is he still being fed lines through an ear-piece? Is there some problem with the communications?

Here's a couple of examples of Bush simply not making any sense at all :
one thing we cannot do is give up on the hundreds of millions of ordinary moms and dads across the Middle East who want the hope and opportunity for their children that the terrorists and extremists seek to deny them, and that's a peaceful existence.
It was Bush himself who brought war and carnage to Iraq and Afghanistan, and backed Israel through its month long destruction of Southern Lebanon.
I'm speaking to the American people, of course, and I want them to know that I know how tough it is, but I also want them to know that I'm going to work with the military and the political leaders to develop a plan that will help us achieve the objective.
Is Bush admitting here that they don't actually have a plan right now, at this moment? Is Bush really fighting a war without a coherent, calculating plan in place, despite what new strategies might be introduced?

I understand that we're going to be in a long struggle against radicals and extremists, and we must make sure that our military has the capability to stay in the fight for a long period of time. I'm not predicting any particular theater, but I am predicting that it's going to take a while for the ideology of liberty to finally triumph over the ideology of hate.
So the 'War On Terror' has become the Long War, and the Long War is actually a "long struggle" against...radicals? What happened to the terrorists? If it's hard enough to come up with an internationally recognised definition of A Terrorist, it is all but impossible to agree on what makes someone A Radical.

This is important. In a war you must know as clearly as possible who the enemies are.

In summary, the 'War On Terror' has become "a long struggle" against radicals preaching an ideology of hate. That could mean some medieval-minded imam calling for violence against Western targets or it might be some anti-war protester shouting outside a Parliament for the war criminals to be brought to justice, by the people if necessary.

A lot of Americans understand the consequences of retreat. Retreat would embolden radicals. It would hurt the credibility of the United States. Retreat from Iraq would dash the hopes of millions who want to be free. Retreat from Iraq would enable the extremists and radicals to more likely be able to have safe haven from which to plot and plan further attacks.
There's those radicals again. Now they're plotting attacks. Are there no terrorists left in Iraq?

it is important for us to be successful going forward is to analyze that which went wrong. And clearly one aspect of this war that has not gone right is the sectarian violence inside Baghdad
Ahhh, what the hell did he just say?
There's issues in the south of Iraq, mainly Shia-on-Shia tensions. But primarily, the toughest fight for this new government is inside of Baghdad. Most of the deaths, most of the violence is within a 30-mile radius of Baghdad, as well as in Anbar Province. In other words, a lot of the country is moving along positively.
Almost 50% of Iraq's total population lives in the An Bar province or within 30 miles of Baghdad. The concentration of horrific violence in Baghdad, where dozens of dead people turn up on the streets every day.

And Bush remains, as always, obsessed with his place in history.
...the true history of any administration is not going to be written until long after the person is gone. It's just impossible for short-term history to accurately reflect what has taken place.

Most historians, you know, probably had a political preference, and so their view isn't exactly objective -- most short-term historians.

And it's going to take a while for people to analyze mine or any other of my predecessors until down the road when they're able to take -- watch the long march of history and determine whether or not the decisions made during the eight years I was President have affected history in a positive way.
We'll say 'No' for now, and stand to be corrected later on. In a few decades time when a way to erase the cavalcade of misery and suffering that have become hallmarks of this presidency (from 9/11 to Iraq, from Hurricane Katrina to Abu Ghraib) is in regular use.

It may take more than one memory erase to clear the images of horror and human degradation that have followed the Bush presidency like the dark cloud that formed on the day of his inauguration.

Bush Maintains That Victory In Iraq "Is Achievable"

April, 2006 : The Revolt Of The Generals

Joint Chiefs Demand Bush Produce Mission Plan In Iraq Before They Back Call For More Troops Into Baghdad

Top US Generals For Iraq & 'War On Terror' To Retire, Leave During "ReShuffle" To Give New Defence Secretary Free Rein

Bush : When I Said 'We're Winning In Iraq' I Meant "I Believe We're Winning In Iraq", Despite Morning CIA And Military Briefings Where I Get Told Just How Goddamn Horror Story That Place Has Become

Transcript Of Bush Interview With Washington Post

Bush Year End Press Conference Transcript

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