August 15, 2005

Wheels Coming Off

The Asia Times with their latest dispatches from America. A sample:

Retired four-star Army General Barry McCaffrey said to Time Magazine: "The army's wheels are going to come off in the next 24 months. We are now in a period of considerable strategic peril. It's because [Pentagon chief Donald] Rumsfeld has dug in his heels and said, 'I cannot retreat from my position.'"

... Ellen Knickmeyer of the Washington Post reported last week that "a US general said ... the violence would likely escalate as the deadline approached for drafting a constitution for Iraq". For two years now, this has been a dime-a-dozen prediction from American officials trying to cover their future butts. For the phrase "drafting a constitution" in that general's quote, you need only substitute "after the killing of Saddam Hussein's sons" (July 2003), "for handing over sovereignty" (June 2004), "for voting for a new Iraqi government" (January 2005) - or, looking ahead, "for voting on the constitution" (October, 2005) and, yet again, "for voting for a new Iraqi government" (December 2005), just as you will be able to substitute as yet unknown similar "milestones" that won't turn out to be milestones as long as our president insists that we must "stay the course" in Iraq, as he did only recently as his Crawford vacation began.

After each spike of violence, at each tipping point, each time a corner is turned, Bush officials or top commanders predict that they have the insurgency under control, only to be ambushed by yet another spike in violence. In May, for example, more than three months after violence was supposed to have spiked and receded in the wake of the Iraqi election, chairman of the Joint Chiefs General Richard Myers offered a new explanation - the "recent spike in violence ... represents an attempt to discredit the new Iraqi government and cabinet". When brief lulls in insurgent attacks (which often represent changes in tactics) aren't being declared proof that the Iraqi insurgency is faltering/failing/coming under control, then the spikes are being claimed as "the last gasp" of the insurgency, proof of the impending success of Bush administration policies - those last throes that Vice President Dick Cheney so notoriously described to CNN's Wolf Blitzer as June ended. ...

The explanation is clear: We're all living in a bad novel about Soviet propaganda.

Posted by natasha at August 15, 2005 11:37 AM | Iraq | TrackBack(2) | Technorati links |