Wednesday, March 19, 2008

"Mismanaged." Like the war was an Inn or a Savings & Loan.

This entry and the one before are sparked by my participation in the Iraq War "Blogstorm".

And to what I said previously, I just want to add: It's not a movie. Why do I want to add that? Because

President George W. Bush said on Wednesday he had no regrets about the unpopular war in Iraq despite the "high cost in lives and treasure" and declared that the United States was on track for victory

Treasure? Dear god. He thinks he's Nicholas Cage.

Bush's Democratic critics used the anniversary to press accusations that the Republican president launched the invasion based on faulty intelligence, mismanaged the war and failed to put together an exit strategy.

Two out of three ain't bad. Failed to put together an exit strategy? Absolutely--because they thought they wouldn't need one. "Mismanaged" the war (see headline, above)? Well, obviously. But--

launched the invasion based on faulty intelligence

No. No no. No, no, no and no. Let's not let him off the hook here. He launched the invasion based on "intelligence" he either knew to be false and deceptive, for which he should be impeached, or that he didn't, but should have...for which he should be impeached.

"Five years into this battle, there is an understandable debate over whether the war was worth fighting, whether the fight is worth winning, and whether we can win it," Bush told an audience of top military officers and Pentagon employees

No, George. The understandable time for debate was before you committed other people's children to risk and lose their lives. That was the time. But you wouldn't allow it.

And by the way, don't mess with the Dixie Chicks.

But, this post is not going to be devoted solely to pointing out that Bush is a proven failure. Because, as low as my opinion is of that man's competence...I don't think much better of opportunists like Hillary, and John Kerry, who voted for the war.

Voted for the war when those of us who were listening knew that intelligence was being fixed around it, instead of vice-versa. And here are the latest stats on the results of that vote, per USA TODAY:

Iraq already is America's third-longest major war (behind Vietnam and the Revolutionary wars), longer than the War of 1812, the Mexican War, the Civil War, the Spanish-American War, the Korean War and the U.S. involvement in both world wars.

I say we can make this the next 100 years war--if we really, really try!

The war has killed almost 4,000 Americans and wounded 60,000 others, cost more than a half-trillion dollars in military and reconstruction expenses, and killed anywhere from tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of Iraqis — no one knows exactly how many.

And there's a human cost in more than "only" deaths and physical wounding.

• Living for months at a time on high alert, “which will take a psychological toll on anyone,” according to Army Reservist Lt. Col. Terry McGuire of Williamsville, who served in Iraq helping reunite families who were dislocated.

...Unlike other wars where the mission was very basic — search and destroy the enemy — the military finds itself multitasking as it helps to rebuild Iraq.

Geoff Millard [is] a former Lockport resident who served in Iraq with the National Guard.

Now living in Washington, D.C., Millard heads a chapter of Iraq Veterans Against the War and is involved in high-profile events to inform the public about the horrors of war.

With fierce disdain, he recalls a command meeting he was at in Iraq, serving as a secretary to a general.

“The general and his staff were being briefed on how an Iraqi family, two parents and two children, were killed at a traffic control point because they were thought to be suicide bombers.

“A full bird colonel turns to the entire division level staff at the meeting and says, ‘If these f . . . Hajjii’s [a derogatory term used for Iraqis] learned to drive, this s...wouldn’t happen.’ That really shocked me. I thought at least the brass would believe in the rhetoric of this whole thing. How can you bring freedom to a people if you don’t respect them enough even when they’re killed,” Millard said.

What troubled him the most, Millard says, is that the colonel appeared not to consider the psychological damage the soldier who shot the family would carry with him the rest of his life and “the fact that we killed an entire blood line that day.”

This post is also not intended to be another show of slathering devotion for Barack Obama. But, I do think the press underestimates just how good a "trump card" is his early and consistent opposition to the war.

What do I think we need to do? I think we need to bring our troops home and end this war. But don't take it from me. Take it from Millard's organization, which has put together a list of 19 reasons why the war has to be ended and ended now.

I think they're right, and the only note I would add is that even if "victory" (whatever that looks like) is possible...we're not gonna see it until at least 2009.

And at least as long as Bush and the Bushies, who are incapable of saying "I'm to blame; I was wrong." are still in charge...what we're going to keep seeing the most is people dying without meaning. People being wounded. And people being otherwise all fucked up.

We're going to keep sinking deeper and deeper until we're up to our heads in the big muddy.

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