Saturday, January 06, 2007

The Surge, I mean ESCALATION

I've been reading all day about the leaks hitting the news media about George W. Bush's "surge" option. Remember, it's not a surge, it's ESCALATION just like it was in Viet Nam.....and I thought I'd post a few thoughts on it because, as anything else with the Bush administration, the issues are becoming cloudy and, I think, deliberately OBFUSCATED....

First, MyDD puts it in a political perspective

It's quite shocking to me that at this point in the war, nearly four years after the initial invasion, "many in the military assume privately that a muscular-sounding surge now is chiefly designed to give Bush the political cover to execute a partial withdrawal on his terms later." The fact that anyone -- particularly military leaders -- would believe that George W. Bush is taking any steps that could lead towards the redeployment of American forces is simply amazing. President Bush has staked his administration on the Iraq War, using American troops to prove, as a metaphor, his resolve in the so-called "War on Terror." As such, he cannot and will not, during his tenure in office, remove troops from Iraq.
The President's "surge" proposal ensures just that.

Got that? The "surge" has nothing to do with "winning" in Iraq, because nobody seriously believes that Iraq can be won (at least in any traditional sense of "winning") but, instead as was first leaked last Friday, the surge is designed to give Bush political cover...

Here's where I depart philosophically with most of the other pundits. The fact that Bush has everybody debating the surge IS his victory. And here's the KKKarl Rove genius of it all....George Bush wins whether the surge goes forward or not.

Follow me through on this:

First, on the most obvious level, if Bush gets his way and the surge takes place AND it pacifies Iraq (at least temporarily) he can claim victory and pull out. Of course they have to defeat or pacify Moqutday Al Sadr's militia to do this but....well...we'll see.

Second, if he surges and it doesn't work, he gets to say "we tried our best but the Iraqis couldn't handle their's not MY fault....

Here's the good one....If the Democrats succeed in turning public opinion against the surge and/or cut off funding, then, THE DEMOCRATS LOST THE WAR. Or, as has been hinted in certain Rightwing circles recently, IT'S THE AMERICAN PUBLIC'S FAULT, because they didn't have the same steely-eyed determination as Bush.

Here's another possibility which has been getting some speculation in the blogs recently. McCain and Lieberman went to the American Enterprise Institute to suggest that the surge has to be BIG and it has to be SUSTAINED (as near as we can tell, McCain is talking about 18-24 months) . This brings us to two possibilities: Either McCain and Lieberman are carrying the Administration's message to the faithful (AEI), or, they were trying to DIFFERENTIATE themselves from Bush to say "Well, he would have won but he didn't follow my advice".

The theory that he's carrying Bush's water for him is held out because....well....let's see, what happens in 18-24 months? What could it be?

Oh yeah, now I remember: Bush LEAVES OFFICE and somebody else has to withdraw our troops from Iraq because that will be the end of the sustained surge. And in the meantime, any criticism of the surge is "premature" because "we said it would take 18-24 months". We'll be asked to "give it time".

Typical Rovian tactics.. George can waffle, weasel, lie, prevaricating, equivocate and worm out of anything......

Maybe impeachment isn't such a bad idea.


RoseCovered Glasses said...

There are good points in your article. I would like to supplement them with some information:

I am a 2 tour Vietnam Veteran who recently retired after 36 years of working in the Defense Industrial Complex on many of the weapons systems being used by our forces as we speak.

If you are interested in a view of the inside of the Pentagon procurement process from Vietnam to Iraq please check the posting at my blog entitled, “Odyssey of Armaments”

The Pentagon is a giant, incredibly complex establishment, budgeted in excess of $500B per year. The Rumsfelds, the Administrations and the Congressmen come and go but the real machinery of policy and procurement keeps grinding away, presenting the politicos who arrive with detail and alternatives slanted to perpetuate itself.

How can any newcomer, be he a President, a Congressman or even the new Sec. Def.Mr. Gates, understand such complexity, particularly if heretofore he has not had the clearance to get the full details?

Answer- he can’t. Therefore he accepts the alternatives provided by the career establishment that never goes away and he hopes he makes the right choices. Or he is influenced by a lobbyist or two representing companies in his district or special interest groups.

From a practical standpoint, policy and war decisions are made far below the levels of the talking heads who take the heat or the credit for the results.

This situation is unfortunate but it is absolute fact. Take it from one who has been to war and worked in the establishment.

This giant policy making and war machine will eventually come apart and have to be put back together to operate smaller, leaner and on less fuel. But that won’t happen until it hits a brick wall at high speed.

We will then have to run a Volkswagen instead of a Caddy and get along somehow. We better start practicing now and get off our high horse. Our golden aura in the world is beginning to dull from arrogance.

Ed said...

Thanks for the comment Rosecovered glasses. I believe what you posted to be true because I heard the very same thing from a man I hired over 20 years ago who had formerly been a consultant to the Joint Chief of Staff. He told me exactly the same things.

Also, an interesting note: He said he had felt sorry for Jimmy Carter when he was elected to the Presidency because he saw Carter as Naive and he said that Carter "...had no comprehension of the juggernaut he was sitting on top of...: We both know what jauggernaut he was referring to. Feel free to hop in any time. Your wisdom is always welcome.