War BloggingSaturday, March 29, 2003
* The Usual Warmongers: Jonathan Freedland in The Guardian: “Why would a hawk like Rumsfeld prefer less to more? My Washington source offers an astonishing explanation: “So they can do it again.” The logic is simple. Rumsfeld and co know that amassing an army of quarter of a million is a once-a-decade affair: 1991 and 2003. But if they can prove that victory is possible with a lighter, more nimble force, assembled rapidly – then why not repeat the trick? “This is just the beginning,” an administration official told the New York Times this week. “I would not rule out the same sequence of events for Iran and North Korea as for Iraq.”
This administration – of which most members have long been entrenched in Washington – has big dreams for conquering the world.
* I heard bits and pieces on NPR the other day, in regards to Syria supplying Iraq with war machinations. The Rumsfeld response was to actually say that such assistance had to stop; the US won’t tolerate those egregious actions. In other words, the US can supply anyone, anywhere, anytime – from Saudi Arabia to Afghanistan to Iraq (in years gone by), and Iraq, during wartime, has no right to exercise options to defend its country from foreign invasion? And since when is Syria bound by the diktats of the United States? Whether we like these little backward Arab countries or not, who the hell was assigned the job to determine who can have what weapons, who can befriend whom, who can sell what to whom? I can’t believe that comments like this escape human intelligence, as well as challenges from the media talking heads.
* A wounded U.S. soldier who had been through six days of war remarked something to the effect of: “I’ve had enough of the military. I’m getting out as soon as I can.” My Dad and I spoke of this tonight, and indeed the horrors of The Bulge come to mind. This PBS film told of the incredible physical and mental trauma these guys suffered. Imagine living, eating, and sleeping in sub-zero weather in icy foxholes for days on end? With no solid food, no shelter, minimal gear, and weeks without proper hygiene. It’s amazing that my father came home a sane man.
* There’s nothing more pitiful than Bush’s mug on TV – everyday – repeating the same old, tired propaganda, over and over and over.
* Now we find out that top military brass and analysts insisted that we were not even close to being properly equipped for the start of this war, let alone taking over Baghdad. As Jonanthan Freedland puts it: “In the months before war a debate raged in the Pentagon between, crudely put, the uniforms and the suits. The soldiers wanted more time, so they could build up to the 250,000 troops that would constitute the “overwhelming force” believed since the first Gulf war to be the best way to deploy US power. They wanted another month. But the Pentagon civilians, led by Defence Secretary Rumsfeld, insisted on going earlier, with many fewer men.”
Of course, the real experts (the generals) stood no chance against Wolfowitz, Perle, & Company in the White House. Scott Ritter is saying that the U.S. is going to lose this war and walk away with its tail between its legs. A month ago, I might have laughed at that assessment. Now I’m not laughing. The plan was that the Iraqis would not fight back, however, Ritter says the Baghdad siege could last for months under the horrendous battle conditions of urban warfare.
* Follow the $$$$: The Brits are fuming that the Bush administration has not involved them in the postwar reconsrtruction plannning, as U.S. corporations have long been bidding to build bridges, water treatment systems, and other infrastructure. From the LA Times: “The five companies that submitted bids — Kellogg, Brown & Root, a division of Halliburton Co., the firm once headed by Vice President Dick Cheney; Bechtel Group Inc.; Fluor Corp.; Parsons Corp.; and Louis Berger Group Inc. — gave $2.8 million in political donations from 1999 to 2002, 68% to Republicans and 32% to Democrats, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.” Unfortunately, this Times story ends with a puffed-up broken window fallacy, explaining how wonderful all this reconstruction can be as it pumps money into the US economy. Er — the war has to take the money out of the economy first……..Which brings to mind: Is economics perhaps the most misunderstood topic on earth?
* Do these TV and/or “embedded” reporters look like the most ridiculous morons imaginable, or what? Ted Koppel looks like a Dukakis cousin, and there’s some guy on NPR all day, reporting from a Bradley Armored Vehicle, talking as if he’s in a lifesize Sony PlayStation setup.
* It is rumoured that the suicide bomber was not an Iraqi officer but a member of the Hamas, who are strewn throughout Iraq. Think Bush & Co. would want to hide the fact that more terrorism is indeed taking place already? Saying that there is a swift conclusion to the war (and there still could be by way of some miracle), think of the consequences thereafter in regards to terrorism here in America and to Americans overseas. The blowback is going to be chilling, and our lives will parallel that of the militarized Israelis because of it.
* The new version of Encarta (Microsoft Encyclopedia) includes an entry for the Bush Doctrine.