Friday, September 15, 2006

The price of "Staying the Course."

Guardian Unlimited | Special reports | Marine colonel's Iraq report fuels US gloom: "Iraq's biggest province has suffered a total breakdown in law and order in which al-Qaeda has emerged as the dominant political force, according to descriptions of a classified US military intelligence review reported today.

The report, by the US marine corps colonel Peter Devlin, focuses on the vast, arid region of Anbar in the west, which contains the insurgent-held towns of Fallujah, Ramadi and Haditha.

The Washington Post quoted military officers who had seen the report as saying the area was 'beyond repair'.

'We haven't been defeated militarily, but we have been defeated politically - and that's where wars are won and lost,' was one army officer's summary of the review quoted by the newspaper."
That army officer was no doubt quoted on deep background, for fear of being sent as US Military Liaison to the former Siberia.

Ever since the infamous "Crusade" Bushism, I have been amazed at this administration's ability to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

I mean, I was dubious as to the merit of going into Afghanistan, but I could indeed see the political and Karmic payoff of ridding the world of the Taliban and freeing half of it's population.

I had no doubt we could do it, and do it without serious risks to our troops or the population, due to the massive technical differences and the huge and evident moral high ground. After all, Osama WAS there, as a guest of a much-hated government.

Remind me - how exactly did Shrub fuck that up? Oh, right. He told Delta Force to back off and let the Taliban escape to Pakistan.

And then, I was opposed to the Iraq war as being the wrong war at the wrong time for the wrong reasons, but I assumed that given proper military planning and a decent regard for intelligence, human nature and good logistics, there was no real question as to the outcome. I mean, look what Stormin' Norman did to them the last time.

I did not sufficiently account for the contagious nature of stupid, blind, willful arrogance, greed and sheer incompetence.

There is only so much crap you can stuff in a soldier's pack before he falls over. Therefore, it's the job of the chain of command to ensure that crap runs uphill. I suspect that sort of advice was unwelcome in the Oral Office, where blow-jobs - in a metaphorical sense - are clearly still currency for access

We have seen enough soldiers die buying time, space and opportunity for a diplomatic solution.

That IS how all wars end, after all. Bush and his Visigoth cronies have made it unlikely that any terms will be satisfactory (short of a war-crimes tribunal) and many will howl that we should blow more people up until we can change that equation.

I'd agree - if we had someone with the credibility, spine and above all, COMPETANCE to lead us to victory. All we are assured of now is a more abject level of defeat. Not because our capacity for destruction is at all abated - it's because our leadership's will to be CONSTRUCTIVE is evidently missing.

I'm committed to winning the "cultural war" that Bush points out as the core of this "worldwide war on terror." I agree that religious fundamentalism, intolerance, and hatred of our freedoms is exactly what motivates "them."

And "Them" are not just Al-Qaeda. They are also the theocons that want to swipe our country and put our women in purdah and our children in private brainwashing camps while we are distracted by yet another self-serving appeal to fear.

These are the people that are dangerous to you, your freedoms and those of your children, your right to practice any religion as you please, or none at all. There's not a dime's worth of difference between Osama Bin Laden and, say, Jerry Falwell, not in terms of doctrine or intent.

So let's get rid of both of them, and every other self-appointed moral authority who thinks it's a good thing to use force against those who disagree. It makes little damn difference to me whether the force used is a pipe bomb or a vote-rigging scheme; the intent is just as vicious, just as corrupt and evil.

So let's round them up; the Taliban, Al-Qaeda AND the Corrupt Bastard's Club, put them all in a sack and dump them at the Hague for civilized people to figure out. Of course, until the Hague gets around to it, I believe we could use Gitmo as a holding area, and I bet even Cuba would approve of that irony.

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