Saturday, July 21, 2007

Golly, two more months. Time to lift the sheets.

You don’t have to lift the sheets too far to see what is going on in bed. When it comes to the Iraq Occupation, a simple Reuters article will do.

President Bush now wants to move his real assessment of the Iraq situation from September to November.

The best part is that he wants a spending bill passed right away that gives US troops more equipment and a pay raise. Of course, this was never on the radar screen until it appeared that support for his war and the support of the Republican Party were about to implode to an infinitesimally small size. The whole thing smacks of political opportunism.

I liked this paragraph best.
Another general, Marine Corps Maj. Gen. Walter Gaskin, who commands U.S. troops in Iraq's Anbar province, said Iraqi security forces will need at least two more years of mentoring and support.
Golly, isn’t Anbar supposed to be one of the bright spots these days?

After over four years of fighting, how is it possible that a military assessment in Iraq can take a half a year to put together? What exactly are our military leaders using for intelligence to carry out everyday operations?

The Bush Administration has always been short on project management skills unless its goal is to obtain some political advantage. The current ploy of asking for a couple of more months attempts to divert attention from bringing the troops home. Any new assessment, if it contains a modicum of truth, will say that it will take years of occupation to turn the situation in Iraq around and even then, the goals remain sketchy at best.

Of course, if the goals are to secure Iraq’s oil fields and operate them under the control of US companies, you have at least one clear mission statement. You might deplore the mission, but all the cards expose themselves on the table.

If the Bush Administration had not flip flopped so many times in its mission statement some of those who oppose the war might still be in the Bush camp. (To me that is a scary thought.) If the occupation was several months old rather than years old, pleas for more time to publish a report two months behind schedule might go unnoticed.

Iraq is not a secure place to live and work or raise a family. Anyone with the wherewithal to get out of Iraq has done so. The Iraqi security forces are no more ready to take over security than they ever were. The democratically elected government is nothing but a hollow governing body along with being hostages in the Green Zone. No institutions are in place to make Iraq a western style liberal democracy.

Poll numbers indicate that the vast majority of Iraqis want the US troops to leave. Of course, you can always trot out anecdotal evidence to the contrary, but the polls are designed to get at the hard and uncomfortable facts of popular opinion. Anecdotal evidence is a pure political play.

The American public votes for troop withdrawal. The Bush Administration increases the troop levels. Public opinion against the war increases. The Bush Administration drags it feet.

As an ex-Marine, I can assure you that combat assessments do not proceed at the glacial pace the Bush Administration would have you believe. Many lives and the chances of victory depend on the speed of analysis. After more than four years, the analysis is there, the politicians just don’t want it published.

Given the Bush Administration manipulative skills, skills the Bush White House is so notoriously famous for, don’t expect the hard facts to arise from any military report. No matter what report comes out, you will have to lift the sheets to see what is going on in bed.

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