Why won't our troops, support our troops?

Publications catering to the military will call Monday for secretary’s ouster

This editorial will appear in the Army Times, Air Force Times, Navy Times and Marine Corps Times on Monday under the headline “Time for Rumsfeld to go”:

“So long as our government requires the backing of an aroused and informed public opinion … it is necessary to tell the hard bruising truth.”

That statement was written by Pulitzer Prize-winning war correspondent Marguerite Higgins more than a half-century ago during the Korean War.

But until recently, the “hard bruising” truth about the Iraq war has been difficult to come by from leaders in Washington. One rosy reassurance after another has been handed down by President Bush, Vice President Cheney and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld: “mission accomplished,” the insurgency is “in its last throes,” and “back off,” we know what we’re doing, are a few choice examples.

Military leaders generally toed the line, although a few retired generals eventually spoke out from the safety of the sidelines, inciting criticism equally from anti-war types, who thought they should have spoken out while still in uniform, and pro-war foes, who thought the generals should have kept their critiques behind closed doors.

Now, however, a new chorus of criticism is beginning to resonate. Active-duty military leaders are starting to voice misgivings about the war’s planning, execution and dimming prospects for success.

the rest

Even Rumsfeld’s good friends are baffled as to why he is still in power.

Last I checked, military personell don’t have the privelige of speaking up against the government. It’s no surprise why the men and women in uniform usually keep there mouths shut about stuff like this.

But seriously, Rumsfield needs to go. Wars aren’t ment for polititions to run. It’s for generals to run.

Want to think about how poorly Rummy’s done his job? Imagine for a second, that Norman Schwarzkopf had been in charge of both the Afghan and “then” Iraq invasions. Things would be very different. Of course you can’t just blame Rumsfeld, you also have to blame the commander-in-chief.

The problem here isn’t “whether we should have been in Iraq”. The problem was the planning (totally lacking), executions, the torture, the misbehaving troops, the lack of support for the troops, the pitiful rebuilding schedule, the lack of cohesive and positive foreign policy… It’s like we’ve been begging for foreigners to hate us - and for Rummy and Bush to not say they’re part of the problem with the all the bad crap that went on in Iraq… is well… part of the problem.

Hmm. Yes, the problem here is that we went to Iraq. Even with Stormin’ Norman on the job I’m not at all convinced things wouldn’t have played out in a similiar fashion sooner or later. He might have come in with more force and secured important areas and local munitions stockpiles more effectively but ultimately there’s a serious fissure between the Sunni and the Shiite and not all the talking in the world would have sorted that out. It would have come down to, sooner or later, them fighting over oil resources as well as past greivances and neighboring states meddling with local politics for their own strategic reasons.

Because we weren’t planning on garrisoning Iraq forever, were we? And the international community wanted nothing to do with our mess in Iraq after being told repeatedly we don’t care what they think of our policies. Oops, I’m sorry, I forgot Poland! (Do they still have troops there or is it just the Brits these days? Things are going so well in Iraq I think most of our “allies” have taken their ball and gone home. How did those trained Moroccan attack monkeys ever work out, I wonder?).

Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz’s lousy planning and execution here just made things fall apart that much faster and under our own noses. This ill-conceived operation, shoved along by neocon lobbying and rosy-scenario mongering, was doomed from the outset. Even a competant administration would have been hard pressed to make a success out of it. Then again, they’d probably have stayed focused on Afghanistan and intelligence operations rather than romp off on this adventure.

Yes. Honestly, it’s a little depressing that the consensus view seems to be becoming “yes, Iraq is mess, but if only we had done it better!”. It could have been done much better, but it would still be a mess. The best case scenario at the start of the war was taking saddam out and replacing him with an elected shiite theocracy.

I was against the war from the beginning, but we could have done it differently.

We could have had a plan, and Rumsfeld poo-pooing the pillaging of the museums while protecting the oil ministries let the people know what the security situation was going to be like.

That said there was a full year where the people of Iraq gave us a chance to prove ourselves and instead we used it as a summer camp for young Republicans and planned free market seminars.

Brilliant headline, chet.

Here’s the plan, as drawn up on the back of an envelope:

  1. Invade and depose Saddam.
  2. Iraqis will love us.
  3. Loot the country for Halliburton and the Oil Companies.
  4. Lie about everything, always.

Indeed. This:

Should be required viewing for everyone in this country. The bit about the 25 year old frat brothers in charge of a ministry at the CPA just had my skin crawling.

If our military becomes politicized and starts to interefere in how government is conducted, I’d say that makes everything else the Bush regime has done look like pattycakes.

Any support for the, “Why didn’t we just continue to focus on Afghanistan and continue containing/negotiating with Iraq?” line of thought?

It’s ironic, isn’t it? Maybe we should just give it up and go with Caesers.

That was my vote. Ironically when Saddam was in power he was still “controllable”.

WASHINGTON — The U.S. government conducted a series of secret war games in 1999 that anticipated an invasion of Iraq would require 400,000 troops, and even then chaos might ensue.

In its “Desert Crossing” games, 70 military, diplomatic and intelligence officials assumed the high troop levels would be needed to keep order, seal borders and take care of other security needs.

The documents came to light Saturday through a Freedom of Information Act request by the George Washington University’s National Security Archive, an independent research institute and library.

“The conventional wisdom is the U.S. mistake in Iraq was not enough troops,” said Thomas Blanton, the archive’s director. “But the Desert Crossing war game in 1999 suggests we would have ended up with a failed state even with 400,000 troops on the ground.”

There are currently about 144,000 U.S. troops in Iraq, down from a peak of about 160,000 in January.

A spokeswoman for U.S. Central Command, which sponsored the seminar and declassified the secret report in 2004, declined to comment Saturday because she was not familiar with the documents.

The war games looked at “worst case” and “most likely” scenarios after a war that removed then-Iraqi President Saddam Hussein from power. Some are similar to what actually occurred after the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003: …


That would be news to my sister who is a Lieutenant Colonel. The military is full of discussions like this. The only prohibition is that you can’t say anything to the public, especially the press, about what you really think because it might become a political embarrassment for the civilian administration.

However, if you are outright asked by a reporter what you think about some issue, it is perfectly permissible for you to be perfectly honest. Just do not go to the local tavern in uniform and start bitching. If you are out of uniform and on liberty, then you can say whatever you want.

But how many really would take a chance like that. If you said something that disagreed with the overall purpose, how’s that next promotion going?

“The conventional wisdom is the U.S. mistake in Iraq was not enough troops,” said Thomas Blanton, the archive’s director. “But the Desert Crossing war game in 1999 suggests we would have ended up with a failed state even with 400,000 troops on the ground.”

Ah well that’s alright then, knowing full well that with 3 times the number of troops it would still probably be fucked it makes perfect sense that we still invaded with far fewer resources committed.

You’ve heard of homeopathic medicine? Well, meet homeopathic politics.