October 06, 2007

Being Used

Digby has two posts that finally jelled my thoughts this week about betrayal and the actions of our Congress. Rush Limbaugh impugned the character of Brian McGough, an Iraq War veteran who suffered a very bad brain injury during his service and is adamant that the war is wrong, when Rush implied that he had been brain-washed into being a suicide bomber by the traitorous liberals when he attacked Limbaugh. As Digby said:

But it's quite clear that he was using the metaphor of a suicide bomber to describe this soldier. Even George W. Bush could see that.

But I think the smear is even more insidious than that. He was describing someone who didn't know his own mind, couldn't think for himself, had these "lies" strapped on him and was "sent out" to "walk into as many people as he can walk into." The image is of a brain damaged person --- or a child --- who was sent out with explosives strapped to him, not knowing what they were asking him to do. Why, even if the poor deluded fellow actually "believes" what he's saying, it's sad and unfortunate.

In another post, Digby discussed Andrew Bacevich's harsh assessment of General David Patraeus who had been openly and cynically used by George W Bush to let Bush continue to pretend he was a great war president and knew better than anyone else that Iraq would be a wonderful legacy. Bacevich writes that if Patraeus truly had believed his tactics were working, he would have asked for more troops in order to truly gain more ground - but he didn't, so he obviously knows his counterinsurgency isn't working or will not work under the Bush regime.

It is one of the oldest principles of generalship: when you find an opportunity, exploit it. Where you gain success, reinforce it. When you have your opponent at a disadvantage, pile on. In a letter to the soldiers serving under his command, released just prior to the congressional hearings, Petraeus asserted that coalition forces had ďachieved tactical momentum and wrestled the initiative from our enemies.Ē Does that reflect his actual view of the situation? If so, then surely the imperative of the moment is to redouble the current level of effort so as to preserve that initiative and to deny the enemy the slightest chance to adjust, adapt, or reconstitute.

Yet Petraeus has chosen to do just the opposite. Based on two or three months of (ostensibly) positive indicators, he has advised the president to ease the pressure, withdrawing the increment of troops that had (purportedly) enabled the coalition to seize the initiative in the first place.

This defies logic. Itís as if two weeks into the Wilderness Campaign, Grant had counseled Lincoln to reduce the size of the Army of the Potomac. Or as if once Allied forces had established the beachhead at Normandy, Eisenhower had started rotating divisions back stateside to ease the strain on the U.S. Army.

So, when do you think the Congress will bring forward a vote to censure Andrew Bacevich? After all, he shouldn't be second guessing the great and patriotic general. Besides, he only lost a son in Bush's insane war.

And shouldn't the Congress get around to commending Rush Limbaugh for his exceptional service to the country? After all, anyone who doesn't agree with Rush, has to be a phony, or a traitor or brain-damaged. That's why we use our tax dollars to put Rush on the Armed Services Radio. Right?

Posted by Mary at October 6, 2007 02:51 PM | Random Mumblings | TrackBack(1) | Technorati links |