Friday, June 24, 2005

The neo-cons versus the soldiers

It's always been a tragic reality of war that those who decide policy are seldom or never those who have to implement strategy. Usually, the policy-makers want big popular victories at low cost--and the soldiers understand that wars are won by small, fierce, dedicated, and elongated efforts, which are usually costly, in terms of both dollars and human lives.

The problem is particularly flagrant under the current administration. The Bush White House and the would-be architects of the "New World Order" thought they could get a cheap, quick, easy, and popular victory in Iraq, and they cherry-picked the evidence against Saddam and shake-and-baked the results to "justify" the invasion. The Joint Chiefs and the their staffs always said it would be slower, more difficult, more painful, and more costly, but the Cheney-Rumsfeld-Wolfowitz axis didn't want to believe that.

Over 1700 Americans have been killed in Iraq. Their names are here. How can the Bush White House still claim that the insurgency is "in its last throes"? Simple: because truth is not the issue here. The battle is being fought over Americans' domestic perception of whether the war is being won. By any objective criteria, the cost of this war--in dollars and human lives--is massively higher than any of the neo-cons will admit publically, and and despite what Rumsfeld claims, his own generals know it:

"Gen. John Abizaid, the top commander in the Persian Gulf region as head of U.S. Central Command, said the insurgency did not appear to have lost strength."

Hundreds of American soldiers and thousands of Iraqi civilians have been killed in a war that the Bushies initiated because it would "build political capital." If Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld/Rove had a conscience, it should be torturing them.

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