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

Tuesday | June 03, 2003

Rats are jumping ship

A U.S. soldier stops an Iraqi driver at gunpoint at a busy junction in Baghdad June 3, 2003. A U.S. soldier has died in Iraq after being wounded in an attack on a checkpoint in a town north of Baghdad, the U.S. Central Command said on Tuesday. The soldier died on Monday evening from wounds received in the attack with small arms and rocket-propelled grenades near Balad, 55 miles from Baghdad, Central Command said on its Web site.  (Radu Sigheti/Reuters)

Boy, we've gone from expecting flower-throwing cheering throngs to shoving rifle barrels down the throats of passing motorists.

But please don't blame the troops. They have been placed in an untenable position by the Pentagon's Chickenhawk cabal.

The Pentagon Brass executed a brilliant war (helped, it turned out, by bucketloads of the best weapon in the US arsenal -- CASH), but now it must be forced to pacify a restless and hostile nation. And the more Americans die, the worse the situation becomes.

But like I said, don't blame the troops. They're not in Iraq by choice. They are there thanks to Bush's LIES about WMDs, thanks to a pipe-dream plan for Middle East "realignment" hatched in the safe, comfy environs of Paul Wolfowitz's office. They are undermanned thanks to Rumsfeld's insistence that "less is more".

But just as the CIA is fighting back against charges of an "intelligence failure", so, it seems, is the Pentagon Brass. The latest blow to the administration comes from former Bush loyalist Thomas White, the ex-Secretary of the Army until Rumsfeld pushed him out the door.

Former Army secretary Thomas White said in an interview that senior Defense officials "are unwilling to come to grips" with the scale of the postwar U.S. obligation in Iraq. The Pentagon has about 150,000 troops in Iraq and recently announced that the Army's 3rd Infantry Division's stay there has been extended indefinitely.

"This is not what they were selling (before the war)," White said, describing how senior Defense officials downplayed the need for a large occupation force. "It's almost a question of people not wanting to 'fess up to the notion that we will be there a long time and they might have to set up a rotation and sustain it for the long term."

What's interesting is the focus on what was being sold before the war. We were promised an easy and quick occupation. We were promised security from Saddam's WMD arsenal. We were promised an end to terrorism.

Lots of promises -- none of which could be born out. And those within the administration, the Pentagon, or the intelligence community that fought an Iraq policy based on lies and deceit have no intention on going down with the ship.

As more people come forward, it will be increasingly more difficult for the public to remain aloof. We haven't reached the tipping point yet, but it's getting closer.

Posted June 03, 2003 08:48 AM | Comments (91)


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