President Bush: Hiding Behind the Military as Iraq Gets Worse
When President Bush isn't hiding behind American soldiers or the flag, he's hiding behind his commanders in Iraq. We've all heard the mantra that it is the commanders on the ground who President Bush listens to and fortunately, they just happen to believe we have enough troops and that progress is going well. Whenever a high-ranking officer has the temerity to suggest otherwise, there is usually a 24-hour interval, Rumsfeld goes ballistic, and then the remarks are downplayed. It's happened over and over again. It's classic Washington cover-your-ass survival techniques, and I guarantee you when this is finally over, Bush officials will say, "You can't blame us. We asked the military. They're the experts and they said they had enough troops and everything was fine." Here is a quote from CNN's Michael Ware that offers a real glimpse into Iraq:
"Well, officially, from Baghdad to Ramadi, the response you will get from American commanders is that we have an appropriate level of force to do what we have to do within the confines of our mission. However, the key term that all of them use is "economy of force." They say that we are applying an economy of force mission. That in itself is an admission that they don't have the full number of troops that they need to do what actually has to be done. Privately, off line, what commanders, again, from Baghdad to Ramadi, will tell you is that they need at least three times as many troops as they currently have there now, be that Iraqi and American or, even better, just three times as many American troops. I mean, there's an area there north of the Euphrates River that is used by al Qaeda's top leadership that Osama bin Laden himself points to. It's the size of New Hampshire. You have only a few hundred American troops there. They can do nothing to hamper al Qaeda's leadership in that area."
An area the size of New Hampshire? That's a particularly painful reference. After all it was in New Hampshire where John McCain beat George W. Bush back in the primary of 2000, precipitating an intense Karl Rove smear on McCain in South Carolina. If it wasn't for an incessant spin campaign the Republicans would never have puked up this candidate from the bowels of their political beast. 6 years later we are in a mess so great in Iraq that even Bush's robot-like drone followers must see it. Yet, the President and all his chicken hawk buddies cower behind the commanders in the field, forcing them to say what best serves the political interests of the GOP, and then, when it's all over, President Bush and Cheney will say, "We were misinformed by the commanders." Just like they tried to claim they were misinformed by the intelligence going into Iraq - even as they distorted it and manufactured it. I don't believe the so-called War on Terror is really meant to be won. And all we're doing in Iraq right now is providing a fake backdrop of presidential resolve to get this wretched bunch of politicians through the elections. If we're serious why do have an al Qaeda area the size of New Hampshire where our minimal force keeps getting picked off at the rate of 100 young Americans a year? Economy of force. Too bad the Bush administration won't try an economy of bullshit.