Don't you quit and make me look bad
Watching Dick Cheney talk about progress in Iraq, a cognative dissonance not seen since Vietnam, people still are refusing to admit the scale of the disaster. We are no longer talking about withdrawal, but how orderly it will be and if we can take our allies with us.
I don't think even Murtha understands what will happen in the end. Once there is a withdrawal, there will be a complete and total withdrawal, even the Kurds will want us gone, when they realize we will brake their ambitions for Kurdistan.
No one is going to want their relatives to stay when the rest of the Army is retreating.
My greatest fear, now shared by other people, is that the US would have to fight a Chosin-like fighting withdrawal, which would lead to POW's and high casualities on the road to Kuwait as well as a loss of equipment.
No one wants to state the obvious, there is ONE Iraqi unit we can trust. One.
Why is the soldiering so low in most Iraqi units? Because the real soldiers are the ones fighting us, we've got the desperate and the unmotivated. We also have a military structure which continues the worst of the old Iraqi Army. The resistance is a meritocracy. Only the best and brightest can lead there. Rank matters little. There is little margin for error in guerilla warfare, the US punishes mistakes.
Every time I hear a US commander say, "I wish they would fight in the open" , I hear frustration and ignorance. Frustration, because the enemy won't fight like the US. Ignorance, because the day that the US faces large Iraqi units, all hell has broken loose.
Paul Krugman says Bush never asked for sacrifices. Well, if he had asked for a draft, we'd be having daily riots across America. Treating a draft Army the way these voluntters have been treated would have led to Democratic control of Washington in 2004. The fact was that the GOP Congress only wanted war without pain. They were elected to win without sacrifice. And the American public was a year late in facing the consequences of the war. Last year was about gay marriage, an irrelvant subject in the way couple fight about toothpaste instead sex.
Now, we're facing an ugly truth.
Not only have we ruined the US Army, but we have condemned the Iraqis who believed in us to a lifetime of exile or a brutal death at the hands of friends and family. Which is a far greater sin.
And it is one we will have to live with.
In watching shows like Off to War and Citizen Soldier, you see the brave, competent US soldiers being worn down like steel on a roadway, the sparks are flying, but because no fires started, no one notices.
As I was reading the paper, today, I saw an article about Bill Clinton saying not to withdraw from Iraq. I wonder when Chelsea was going to quit her consultant's job and become an MP in Iraq. Since she isn't, the idea is that other people's children will be maimed and killed to let his wife look tough on defense.
Murtha did more than just signal that it was OK to oppose the war, it's now going to elect Dems to Congress. It isn't just the Paul Hacketts of the world who can say the war is wrong, but any housewife-lawyer who can do the same thing. Even the poor aren't sending their kids into the Army.
The poor have always gone into the Army, war or peace, but even poor kids and their parents, aren't going to fight for Bush. Recruiters are chased away, sometimes with threats of violence. There are quiet rumors that Guard units might refuse multiple redeployments and the locals will stick by them. What are they going to do, courtmartial a battalion?
People like Clinton and Biden will be left in the dust as the American people embrace an anti-war stand.
They vilified Cindy Sheehan and failed. They attacked Jack Murtha and embarassed themselves. The next person they go after will turn people against the GOP.
The war is over, we're only debating how we end it.
posted by Steve @ 12:00:00 AM