. :* *: . :* * 2014-04-10 08:33:55
Goodness Gracious ! The new man speaks the truth!
December 07, 2006
First, Junior took over the house with grandiose plans to remodel it
and make it the envy of the neighborhood. But then he played with
matches and set the house on fire. So now he’s frantically trying to
stop the flames from torching the whole block.
The Bush administration has gone from a breathless plan to change the
Middle East to a breathless plan to preserve it, from democracy
promotion to conflagration avoidance.
That was the cold shower offered Tuesday by Robert Gates, the former
CIA chief, on his way to being unanimously endorsed as the new defense
secretary by a Senate panel craving a cold shower.
He told the Armed Services Committee, peppered with wannabe future
presidents, that the U.S. occupation could lead to a Baghdad as hostile
as Tehran, and set off “a regional conflagration” if Iraq is not deftly
handled in the next couple of years.
Gates asserted that if America left Iraq in chaos, Iran and Syria could
encroach more, and Turkey and Saudi Arabia might jump in to stop the
ethnic cleansing of Sunnis by Shiites. “We’re already seeing Hezbollah
involved in training fighters for Iraq,” he said. “I think all of that
could spread fairly dramatically.”
It was the sort of realistic assessment that never came from Rummy,
except when he privately admitted in a classified Nov. 6 memo that
their Iraq strategy was “not working well enough or fast enough,”
offering a silly hodgepodge of wildly tardy or dubious options, such as
telling the Iraqis to “pull up their socks.”
It was chilling to see in print that the man who spent nearly four
years overseeing the war did not have any idea what to do in Iraq; his
basic plan was not so much to fix the problem as to lower expectations.
The memo, reported by Michael Gordon in The New York Times on Sunday,
offered the following lame-brained prescriptions to manage perception:
“Announce that whatever new approach the U.S. decides on, the U.S. is
doing so on a trial basis. This will give us the ability to readjust
and move to another course, if necessary, and therefore not ‘lose.'”
And this: “Recast the U.S. military mission and the U.S. goals (how we
talk about them) go minimalist.”
So with the Pentagon deciding whether to Go Big, Go Long or Go Home,
Rummy urged the White House to Go Minimalist and simply streamline the
Junior took the advice to manage perceptions by minimizing Rummy two
days after he sent the memo. The walls had closed in on W.; he could no
longer minimize the war, which was escalating, or the perception that
it was not going well, which had spread into Republican ranks. Even
Gen. Peter Pace, yes man that he is, acknowledged on Monday, “We’re not
winning, but we’re not losing.”
The old criticisms of whether Gates massaged intelligence were
forgotten; the senators would have embraced an ax-murderer if he had
seemed sensible about Iraq.
There was no blathering on Tuesday about “known unknowns” or “Henny
Penny” pessimists. The soft-spoken, vanilla Gates offered a sharp
contrast from the finger-wagging, flavorful Rummy. In a remarkable
shift from the mindless bellicosity and jingoism of the last few years,
Gates said he did not favor military action against Iran or Syria.
Even though he was a member of the Iraq Study Group, Gates conceded
that there would be no silver bullet. “It’s my impression that,
frankly, there are no new ideas on Iraq,” he said. Asked by Robert Byrd
who was responsible for Sept. 11, Saddam or Osama, Gates did not try to
fudge. “Osama bin Laden, Senator,” he replied. Asked who has
represented a greater threat, he repeated “Osama bin Laden.”
W. insisted to Fox News’ Brit Hume on Monday that his “objective hadn’t
changed” and that “we’re going to succeed in Iraq.” Asked by Carl Levin
if America was winning in Iraq, Gates answered, “No, sir.”
After lunch, the nominee clarified his remarks, saying he had not meant
to criticize the troops, that the reversals in Iraq were not their
fault. They don’t lose battles in Iraq because there are no battles.
There’s just a counterinsurgency that they can’t see and that they
weren’t prepared or equipped to fight.
Gates’ friends from the old Bush 41 gang have been watching closely to
see if 43 brought the old Washington hand back for “cosmetic reasons,”
as one put it, simply to try to change the perception that W. has been
stubborn and deaf on Iraq. Or whether 43 really will give his new
defense chief the parameters he needs to make real changes in strategy.
Will he let him Go Maximalist?
Maureen Dowd is a New York Times columnist. Molly Ivins returns next
Dr. bipolar 2014-04-10 08:34:01
There’s nothing left to do but do the thing this government should’ve
done from the beginning when it attacked Iraq — tell the friggin’
Over 2900 dead, 21,000 injured…tens of thousands of Iraqi civilian
casualties…and tens of billions of tax dollars poured into the
coffers of the rich…and NOW we finally hear the friggin’ truth!
Well, isn’t that just precious?
Dr. Bipolar >:-)~
.. :* *: . :* *: . World War III 2007 –The Last 2000
Marvin the par 2014-04-10 08:34:04
Not precious but criminal.