President Bush, a man who didn’t even go to Vietnam (I am being polite here) has the nerve to tell his troops that the death and injuries of US service people in Iraq have been worth the sacrifice. To Bush, it may be just a case of mind over matter, as in “Bush doesn’t mind, the soldiers don’t matter.”
But worse than the insult to the loved ones of those killed and maimed in an illegal war based on a pack of lies, the bullsh*t pep talk has revealed Bush’s very dangerous policy, that will undoubtedly lead to more deaths for his military in Iraq.
He asked for patience (while others had died, are dying and will die) while rejecting calls for a timetable for withdrawal or sending more troops to battle the enemy. In other words, he is putting his military in Iraq in an unenviable position.
Doesn’t he realise his men and women are being slowly picked off. He should either get them out or ensure that the force level in Iraq is half a million troops as assessed by his top military commanders, so as to neutralise the insurgency once and for all.
There is a saying that wars are too important for generals to decide, but once decided, wars are defintely too important for politicians located safely faraway to manage.
His arguments are cynically political without any appreciation of the operational circumstances, or he just doesn’t care – mind over matter! His words are of small comfort to the people actually on the ground in the combat zones.
He stated that sending more soldiers would undermine the US policy of getting Iraqis involved and to take a lead in the counter-insurgency efforts. But he is against withdrawal because that would undermine the new US-propped up Iraqi givernment. He has to stop pussyfooting around, and allow the terrible situation to continue. He must make some tough but meaningful decision, at least for his own soldiers
In a very unworthy action, he tried, again, to link 9/11 to Iraq. If he is really interested in solving the 9/11 recurrence, the solution lies in Saudi Arabia.
And he even dared to tell the troops that if the army commanders wanted more soldiers he would send them. As I have blogged in Driving the Sea to the Fishes! (2) “a couple of top US generals had laid down the required force level of 450,000 troops in their invasion and occupation plans. Indeed, US think-tanks like the Rand Corporation have agreed with the figure of 450,000 to 500,000 troops. Instead, the US troop strength in Iraq is around 170,000.”
But Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld came up with his now-useless doctrine of ‘shock & awe’ and light highly mobile forces specialising in blitzkrieg tactics, but is too proud to admit he f**ked up. Which general in Iraq would dare to go against his boss, the Defence Secretary, who now stubbornly digs in to defend his war plans that have gone badly wrong?
While Bush's decision not to withdraw is his presidential responsibility to consider, I reckon his refusal to send in more troops is an abdication of that same responsibility to the American people and armed services, as more US military men and women there continue to be killed.
But then, it's a case of mind over matter!