As soon as the 28 percent President got his funding and split the Democrats from their own base, Tony Snow and Secretary Gates went out of their way to suggest what they would never have said during the debate over the supplemental funding bill: that our stay in Iraq would be like our 50 year presence in Korea (Times Select). It was not the first time we’d heard about permanent bases, but since months before the mid-term elections, the Administration had quietly let that topic disappear from their discussions. But yesterday’s Washington Post article by Thomas Ricks let us know the Pentagon had been thinking “go long” all along.
….The Bush/Cheney regime and their neocon war planning geniuses just put 150,000 US troops and billions worth of highly sophisticated weapons into an unwinnable occupation in a hostile country undergoing multiple civil and sectarian wars with no near term prospects of political reconciliation — and there’s only one very exposed road out. The only thing more reckless would be a plan to arm both sides so that when the Iraqis tire of killing each other, they can point their weapons at US troops. Oh, wait. . . .
September will not be an accountability moment, because Iraqi reconciliation is not the goal, nor is protection of the Iraqi population from rival militias. Nothing that was said even last month is operative today, and there’s no one to blame. The Secretary of Defense who helped get us into this mess is long gone; the Secretary of State who’s responsible for the most important non-military part of the strategy is busy being ineffective elsewhere; the National Security Adviser just handed his job to another hapless general, and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs is being replaced because no one in this Administration wants to face questions from Congress. But of course, the conservatives never thought George Bush was one of them.
US troops are being targeted and killed every day, continuing a mission that the Bush/Cheney regime and their military planners have already disowned back in Washington. Why should our soldiers, or we, ever believe anything these people say?
The lunacy of the Iraq adventure becomes more surreal by the day. And when you consider the unintended side effects of the decision to invade and occupy Iraq, it’s no longer even clear if Cheney and his cabal are just deranged or monumentally incompetent.