The Iraq war is lost. Of course, neither the president nor the
war's intellectual architects are prepared to admit this. Nonetheless, the
specter of defeat shapes their thinking in telling ways. The case for the
war is no longer defined by the benefits of winning -- a stable Iraq,
democracy on the march in the Middle East, the collapse of the evil
Iranian and Syrian regimes -- but by the consequences of defeat. As
President Bush put it, "The consequences of failure in Iraq would be death
and destruction in the Middle East and here in America." Tellingly, the
Iraq war's intellectual boosters, while insisting the surge is working,
are moving to assign the blame for defeat. And they have already picked
their target: the American people...The Iraq War Is Lost
by Peter Galbraith July 18, 2007
See also Imperial Overreach: Washington’s Dubious Strategy to Overthrow Saddam Hussein
by David Isenberg November 17, 1999 (PDF
"It's quite frustrating the way this works, but the way we do things nowadays is combatant commanders brief their products in PowerPoint up in Washington to OSD and Secretary of Defense... In lieu of an order, or a frag [fragmentary] order, or plan, you get a set of PowerPoint slides... [T]hat is frustrating, because nobody wants to plan against PowerPoint slides."
Lt. Gen. McKiernanTop Secret Polo Step
: CentCom PowerPoint Slides Briefed to White House and Rumsfeld in 2002, Obtained by National Security Archive through Freedom of Information Act.
"Desert Crossing" 1999 Assumed
400,000 Troops and Still a Mess
See also A Prewar Slide Show Cast Iraq in Rosy Hues
His fog, his amphetamines and his pearls
Lofi shot off the monitor at the recent EMP exhibit, the entire footage of an Eat The Document
outtake recently edited by Martin Scorcese for No Direction Home
. I don't entirely get the Chaplinesque--To paraphrase crunchland, Hey, Skeezix--it's a talkie...
...The United States, whose costliest political and military adventures since 1950 have ended in failure, now must face the fact that the technology for confronting its power is rapidly becoming widespread and cheap. It is within the reach of not merely states but of relatively small groups of people. Destructive power is now virtually 'democratized.' If the challenges of producing a realistic concept of the world that confronts the mounting dangers and limits of military technology seriously are not resolved soon, recognizing that a decisive equality of military power is today in the process of being re-imposed, there is nothing more than wars and mankind’s eventual destruction to look forward to.The Great Equalizer - Lessons From Iraq and Lebanon
By Gabriel Kolko, author of Century of War: Politics, Conflicts, and Society Since 1914
, The Age of War: The United States Confronts the World
and Another Century of War?
The debate is over: By any definition, Iraq is in a state of civil war. Indeed, the only thing standing between Iraq and a descent into total Bosnia-like devastation is 135,000 U.S. troops -- and even they are merely slowing the fall... The consequences of an all-out civil war in Iraq could be dire. Considering the experiences of recent such conflicts, hundreds of thousands of people may die. Refugees and displaced people could number in the millions. And with Iraqi insurgents, militias and organized crime rings wreaking havoc on Iraq's oil infrastructure, a full-scale civil war could send global oil prices soaring even higher... Welcome to the new "new Middle East" -- a region where civil wars could follow one after another, like so many Cold War dominoes. And unlike communism, these dominoes may actually fall. What Next?
See also Mindless in Iraq
And note that, as of tomorrow, Tuesday, August 22nd, 2006, the war in Iraq will have lasted one full week longer than US involvement in World War II
From on the ground in Iraq
, with death squads
on the prowl in a nation paralysed by fear, with each mile, the divisions deepen
. Some suggest Iraq is about to look a lot like Lebanon
. Others think we should be so lucky, that what looms is much worse than mere civil war: an archipegalo of complete and total anarchy
, the war of all against all.
As the saying goes, even a blind squirrel may find an acorn now and then
, especially one planetary in size--like here: predictions of a better Middle East have evaporated
For misleading the American people, and launching the most foolish war since Emperor Augustus in 9 B.C sent his legions into Germany and lost them, Bush deserves to be impeached and, once he has been removed from office, put on trial along with the rest of the president's men. If convicted, they'll have plenty of time to mull over their sins.Costly Withdrawal Is the Price To Be Paid for a Foolish War
Martin van Creveld, a professor of military history at the Hebrew University, is author of "Transformation of War" (Free Press, 1991). He is the only non-American author on the U.S. Army's required reading list for officers. An interview
with Martin Van Creveld. See also Nowhere To Run
President Jimmy Carter’s national security adviser, Zbigniew Brzezinski, once asked of the Soviet defeat in Afghanistan: “What is most important to the history of
the world? The Taliban or the collapse of the Soviet empire? Some stirred-up Muslims or the liberation of Central Europe and the end of the Cold War?” Today, the Bush administration is implicitly arguing a similar point: that the establishment of a democratic Iraqi state is a project of overriding importance for the United States and the world, which in due course will eclipse memories of the
insurgency. But such a viewpoint minimizes the fact that the war in Iraq is already breeding a new generation of terrorists. The lesson of the decade of terror that
followed the Afghan war was that underestimating
the importance of blowback has severe consequences. Repeating the mistake in regard to Iraq could lead to
even deadlier outcomes...Blowback Revisited
Rest assured, torture is a gift which will keep on giving back to us--for years.
...After the raid, an Iraqi informer walked among detainees, pointing them out to U.S. troops. Despite being disguised with a bag over his head, the informer was recognized by his fellow villagers by his yellow sandals and his amputated thumb. His name was Sabah. ...The next day, his father and brother, carrying AK-47s, entered his room before dawn and took him behind the house. With trembling hands, the father fired twice... Sabah's brother then fired three times, once at his brother's head, killing him. Sitting with the father later, Shadid found himself unable to ask the question he knew that as a journalist he had to ask: Had he killed his son? "In a moment so tragic, so wretched, there still had to be decency. I didn't want to hear him say yes. I didn't want to humiliate him any further. In the end, I didn't have to." "'I have the heart of a father, and he's my son,' he told me, his eyes cast to the ground. 'Even the prophet Abraham didn't have to kill his son.' He stopped, steadying his voice. 'There was no other choice.'"What went wrong
That's from the Salon review of Night Draws Near: Iraq's People in the Shadow of America's War
by Anthony Shadid