Daily Kos
Political analysis and other daily rants on the state of the nation




































Sunday | August 10, 2003

Bush's rosy Iraq analysis shared by no one else

In Bush's weekend radio address, he claimed the US was "keeping our word to the Iraqi people by helping them to make their country an example of democracy and prosperity throughout the region."

While a second day of mass protests in Basra underscored Bush's lack of grasp with reality, not even other Republicans could stick with the script.

"I think a thorough misunderstanding of how complex the politics of Iraq are and continue to be; an inability to understand the decapitation theory that is, getting rid of the top types while the workers continue wasn't going to work," [Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chair Dick Lugar (R)] said.

"In other words, the basic assumptions, whoever was making them, at State, at NSC, at Defense, simply were inadequate to begin with." NSC is the National Security Council.

He said the facts in Iraq show "that if we are theorists before the fact, we better all talk about it a great deal more."

The problem is that the administration's theory was based on ideology, not facts. Be it Iraq or anything else, the administration's ability to ignore facts in the service of ideology is breathtaking.

The pawns in this game -- our men and women in uniform in Iraq -- grow increasingly tired of being shot at in the service of Haliburton and Bechtel.

One of the main outlets for the soldiers' complaints has been a website run by outspoken former soldier David Hackworth, who was the army's youngest colonel in the Vietnam war and one of its most decorated warriors. He receives almost 500 emails a day, many of them from soldiers serving in Iraq. They have sounded off about everything from bad treatment at the hands of their officers to fears that their equipment is faulty [...]

Some veterans have begun to form organisations to campaign to bring the soldiers home and highlight their difficult conditions. Erik Gustafson, a veteran of the 1991 Gulf war, has founded Veterans For Common Sense. 'There is an anger boiling under the surface now, and I, as a veteran, have a duty to speak because I am no longer subject to military discipline,' he said [...]

Another source of anger is government plans to reverse recent increases in 'imminent danger' pay and a family separation allowance. These moves have provoked several furious editorials in the Army Times, the normally conservative military newspaper. The paper said the planned cuts made 'the Bush administration seem mean-spirited and hypocritical'.

Tobias Naegele, its editor-in-chief, said his senior staff agonised over the decision to attack the government, but the response to the editorials from ordinary soldiers was overwhelmingly positive.

A further critical editorial is planned for this week. 'We don't think lightly of criticising our Commander-in-Chief,' Naegele said 'The army has had a rough couple of years with this administration.'

Posted August 10, 2003 02:22 PM





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