In November, there was an overwhelming and sweeping rebuke of this administration’s failed foreign policies (not to mention corruption and other republican “values”). Voters’ number one concern was overwhelmingly the mishandling of the Iraqi occupation. We wanted a different direction – a way out of this debacle.
Prominent Congressional republicans were joining the ever increasing majority of Americans who wanted to start thinking of withdrawal. At a meeting yesterday of around 30 Senate Republicans, Thad Cochran (MS) thought that he was the only one who was outwardly supportive of an escalation.
And despite what lying liar Tony Snow says, there is only a high end of 15% or so support by the American public for an INCREASE in troops in Iraq. And yet, here we are, not discussing the what, when and how of an exit strategy in Iraq but whether we should send in more troops or keep them the same. This is not what America’s mandate in November wants.
I was originally going to title this diary “Who elected the American Enterprise Institute anyway?” because, in essence – it is these warmongering fearmongering living-in-an-alternate-reality lunatics, many of whom never served in the military (shocker there) who are not only dictating our disastrous foreign policy, but are making the decisions against the advice of our own military generals (in addition to just about everyone else) to send our own citizens off to kill and die. I'll say it a little differently:
A tax-exempt organization (which by proxy since it pays no tax is supported by us taxpayers), very few, if any of whose members have military service is behind the decision to send more troops into harm’s way, despite the fact that they were not elected, are not part of the administration or the military structure, are doing so against the advice and will of the electorate and our military.
Clearly this is not any part of a government “of the people, by the people and for the people”. We know that the primary author of this horrific idea is Frederick Kagan who has most certainly NOT served in the military, and (while it may be so), I have been unable to even find any reference of his even visiting Iraq or talking to the Joint Chiefs of Staff about the true situation on the ground.
What is truly amazing is that this man, with his “pedigree”, was the author of a document that was so overly simplistic and unfounded in reality that there isn’t an overwhelming cry of “Bullshit!!!” by the Democrats in Congress as well as more of us on the left. Yes, there are members of Congress who are decrying the proposed escalation – but what if the tables were turned? What if this was a nonprofit Democratic think tank, with little to no military experience, chock full of radical extrermists funded by wealthy donors, who was going against nearly 90% of the population as well as the decision of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, as well as Generals Abizaid and Casey - two of the top commanders in Iraq?
You bet this “plan” would be derided and mocked from the very start. It wouldn’t even get to the point where a debate was happening as to whether we should add more troops or keep the same level. It would be smacked down all across America – every hour of every day on every channel and every newspaper. The equivalent of Kagan (whichever strawman “author” you want to use) would be held up as a farce and unqualified to even give an opinion – let alone dictate the course of history.
Yet, here we are – with a report that was prepared outside of the military, outside of the true experts – outside the advice of the same “commanders on the ground” that Bush has said time and time again that he would listen to. And here we are, debating how many more troops and how many more tens of billions of dollars to sink into this worsening situation as opposed to what we should be debating – how to get ourselves out of it.
But this document which will be used as a blueprint for the latest attempt at a “do-over” is about as comprehensive as the original plan for post invasion “victory”. Chock full of phrases such as “national commitment to victory”, “assigning responsibility and accountability”, “success in Iraq will transform the international situation”, “the United States has the military power necessary to control the violence in Iraq” (so why has it taken 4 years to present even the bare framework of a plan for that?) – all long on so-called vision but short on detail or reality.
Not that a long-on-vision/short-on-reality isn’t enough for Kagan, Bush and the neocons, it also is highly dismissive (with no detail as to why) of practical alternatives such as “engaging with Iran” (which only 75% of republicans polled and a larger number of Democrats and independents are in favor of), “phased or complete withdrawal” (which is why the republicans were swept out of power and Bush has a sub-30% approval rating on Iraq), “troops not getting involved in civil sectarian conflicts” (which is one of the worst uses for our troops)…..well you get the point.
Our military leaders have spoken. Our troops have spoken (as we have seen from many diaries posted over the past few years from servicemen and women, their families and their friends). The American public has spoken. Our leaders in Congress have spoken.
So why is a right wing think tank who has a vested interest in more war, no accountability to the public (or the IRS for that matter), and has little, if any experience with global conflicts imposing its will on the other 90% of the country? And why are more people NOT calling :bullshit” on this?
And why are we debating how much of an escalation instead of a viable exit strategy?