January 8, 2007

Flip Flopping Political Elite and Troop Surges

Tweedle Dem and Tweedle Rep are at it again.

You SAY, "surge today" and I SAID, "surge yesterday," or was that a year ago? Dunno. Soooooooooo lets call the whole thing off.

Much has been said in recent weeks about Bush and how he listens to "commanders on the ground," or doesn't. My version of the story, with some derision spooned out for the deserving Democrats, is provided following the salient bottom line.

Salient Bottom Line:

Even if the political elite keeps flip flopping, some people have known all along what we should all know by now. The American political elite is discredited when it comes to Iraq troop levels and other matters.

We hear more sobering, consistent information from the independent media, here represented in a recent interview with journalist Dahr Jamail.

It's very important for people to understand that there is this illusion that the military has some kind of control in Iraq, as if... "we have control, but maybe if we send 20 or 30 thousand more troops, that will help somehow, we'll have a little bit MORE control."

Well, the reality is there is no control. The British recently got kicked out of their base in Southern Iraq down near Basra. They were being mortared so heavily they had to evacuate the base they were sharing with some of the Danish troops that are over there. Well, same thing in al-Anbar Province for the Americans. I, for example, got an e-mail from a woman whose son is a marine in Ramadi and she was passing on some of his e-mails to me, and this is a little more recent than last Spring, but he was saying that they had 400 marines in Ramadi that were responsible for patrolling half the city of 400,000 people. [1]
The situation is far more horrific than this. The US set up Shia death squads to do the dirty work against the Sunni insurgents, and now the death squads are getting out of control.

We can expect a discredited President to call for a troop surge, intended to stabilize Baghdad. No mention of Southern Iraq, or al-Anbar Province, or other no-name areas of Iraq that don't even make it into the American lexicon. The phrase "pissing on a forest fire" comes to mind, though others would say "pissing in the wind." Unfortunately, the wind is blowing our way.

So, it's time to pull tight on the purse strings. The Congress needs to hear from us, as do the major media outlets. Tell them that King George has no clothes, and that there will be hell to pay if they fund Bush's bogus troop surge.

Write the US House of Representatives
Write the US Senate
Write the Major Media Outlets

The Sad Story: To Surge or Not to Surge

To surge or not to surge, that is the question —
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of admiting the US debacle,
Or to take more arms and troops against
A sea of troubles and, with head in sand,
Prolong them.

In 2003, Army Chief of Staff Eric Shinseki urged the President to deploy more troops to secure Iraq. Bush didn't listen, and Iraq suffered looting of the antiquities that defined its heritage. According to numerous generals, that failure was also largely responsible for the downward spiral in Iraq; we missed a window of opportunity. [2]

In May 2004, Bush said, "General Abizaid and other commanders in Iraq are constantly assessing the level of troops they need to fulfill the mission. If they need more troops, I will send them." and "Commanders on the ground will pay close attention to local conditions. And we will do all that is necessary -- by measured force or overwhelming force -- to achieve a stable Iraq." [3]

In November 2004, Bush said, "I have yet to hear from our commanders on the ground that they need more troops," [4]

In 2005, Senators Biden, Kerry, McCain all urged Bush to deploy more troops. In June 2006, Bush said, "Some Americans ask me, if completing the mission is so important, why don't you send more troops? If our commanders on the ground say we need more troops, I will send them. But our commanders tell me they have the number of troops they need to do their job. Sending more Americans would undermine our strategy of encouraging Iraqis to take the lead in this fight. And sending more Americans would suggest that we intend to stay forever, when we are, in fact, working for the day when Iraq can defend itself and we can leave." [5]

Democrat Joseph Biden, who at the wanted MORE troops in 2005, said "I have the phone numbers of generals" who were seeking more troops. Funny how familiar Bush's argument in 2005 sounds; isn't that what the Democratic leadership said on the Sunday talk shows last weekend?

On January 16, 2006, Bush said, General Casey's "recommendations will determine the number of troops we have on the ground in Iraq." Er, maybe not. Bush has decided to replace general's Casey and Abizaid. [6]

But, that was then, and now is now. "You say tomato, I say tomatto." Let's see. Now Bush wants MORE troops and the Democrats want LESS troops (Lieberman doesn't count).


[1] Flashpoints Radio, January 4, 2007. Nora Barrows-Friedman spends an hour with Flashpoints Special Correspondent and independent non-embedded journalist Dahr Jamail on the year that was 2006 in Iraq. Web LINK

[2] Rolling Stone, The Generals Speak, November 2004. Web LINK

[3] May, 2004. President Outlines Steps to Help Iraq Achieve Democracy and Freedom. Remarks by the President on Iraq and the War on Terror. United States Army War College. Carlisle, Pennsylvania. Web LINK

[4] CBS News, November 8, 2004. Web LINK

[5] June 28, 2005 President Addresses Nation, Discusses Iraq, War on Terror. Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Web LINK

[6] Washington Post, President Confronts Dissent on Troop Levels. Bush Indicates Military Won't Dictate Numbers; Top General to Retire. December 21, 2006. By Peter Baker Web LINK

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