Wednesday, December 27, 2006

More Time, Not More Soldiers?

US Marine Corps Commandant, General James T. Conway, says what his force really needs in Iraq is more time instead of more soldiers. Conway, speaking to 2,500 troops gathered at Camp Fallujah said he's worried that US forces in Iraq are running out of time - with the American people.

"I fear there are two timelines out there. One is how long it's going to take us to do the job. One is how long the country is going to allow us to do the job. And they're not syncing up."

Poll after poll and the November elections have shown a sizeable majority of Americans have had enough of the Iraq war. Who can blame them? One general after another has promised them victory in a performance worthy of encyclopedia salesmen. Only one general, only one, Shinseki has told the American government and people the truth and put his job on the line to do that. The rest have been a succession of sycophantic flunkies long on promises but very, very short on results.

Those of us who remember the Vietnam fiasco have seen this game played out before. It's not so much the "blame game" that the inmates of the Bush asylum like to chant about when they fall into their catatonic stupor. It's actually a game of "dodge the blame" where, one by one, the culprits try to make the blame they've earned stick to others. Now it's the American people who are going to get it.

The American people have supported the Iraq war. Let's be honest, the American people have faithfully supported a number of Iraq wars. They supported the war to topple Saddam. They supported the war to neutralize Saddam's weapons of mass destruction. They supported the war to sever Saddam's ties with Islamic terrorists. They supported the war to liberate the Iraqi people. They supported the war to secure Persian Gulf oil from Saddam's domination. They supported Rumsfeld's war against the "dead enders" and Cheney's war against the terrorists. They supported the war to ensure Iraqis were able to vote for a government of their choosing.

The American people supported the wars they were asked to support even though those wars were often based on a tissue of deliberate lies and distortions. However, having obtained their consent - BY FRAUD - the White House and Pentagon leaders want to construe that as some sort of indefinite blank cheque to keep this shell game going until they can step aside and let someone else preside over the very failure they've already achieved.

If the American people aren't willing to be conned any more, blame them for America's defeat in Iraq. How perverse is that?

If the American people had been told the truth at the outset, they would deserve some blame for rejecting this war now. That, however, is not what happened. No, it's important that, this time, the blame remains with those who deserve it - a thoroughly dishonest and criminally negligent administration and a sycophantic general staff who put their careers above their duty to their soldiers and sat mute to allow this disaster to happen.

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