Earlier this week I noted that the escalation option was proposed by William Kristol side man Frederick Kagan in a presentation titled "Choosing Victory." Kagan's presentation also proposes an increase in the personnel end strength of America's Army and Marine Corps.
Young Mister Bush will most likely buy off on both proposals, which means that America is about to buy another one-way ticket to Palookaville.
New York Times Sells Neocon Madness--Again
Marc Santora is the latest New York Times reporter to wittingly or unwittingly be taken in by the neoconservative/military/industrial line of claptrap. In a December 28 piece, he alternately illustrates why the situation in Iraq is militarily unwinnable, yet echo chambers the standard Rovewellian points about why U.S. military force is necessary in Iraq.
BAGHDAD, Dec. 27--The car parked outside was almost certainly a tool of the Sunni insurgency. It was pocked with bullet holes and bore fake license plates. The trunk had cases of unused sniper bullets and a notice to a Shiite family telling them to abandon their home.
“Otherwise, your rotten heads will be cut off,” the note read.
The soldiers who came upon the car in a Sunni neighborhood in Baghdad were part of a joint American and Iraqi patrol, and the Americans were ready to take action. The Iraqi commander, however, taking orders by cell phone from the office of a top Sunni politician, said to back off: the car’s owner was known and protected at a high level.
For Maj. William Voorhies, the American commander of the military training unit at the scene, the moment encapsulated his increasingly frustrating task — trying to build up Iraqi security forces who themselves are being used as proxies in a spreading sectarian war. This time, it was a Sunni politician — Vice Prime Minister Salam al-Zubaie — but the more powerful Shiites interfered even more often.
“I have come to the conclusion that this is no longer America’s war in Iraq, but the Iraqi civil war where America is fighting,” Major Voorhies said.
Major Voorhies told Santra that, “I have come to the conclusion that this is no longer America’s war in Iraq, but the Iraqi civil war where America is fighting.”
It sounds like Major Voorhies finally took up the coffee habit.
Lieutenant Colonel Steven Mitska, who oversees combat operations in a large part of western Baghdad, told Santora that:
I have personally witnessed about a half-dozen of these incidents of what I would call political pressure, where a minister or someone from a minister’s office contacts one of these Iraqi commanders…
…These politicians are connected with either the militias or Sunni insurgents…
…I believe everyone, to some extent, is influenced by the militias… While some Iraqi security forces may be complicit with the militias, others fear for their families when confronting the militia, and that is the more pervasive threat…
…Who would design this mess?… It is like an orchestra where everyone is playing a different song.
It is a Hobbesian quagmire, one that our troops shouldn't be in the middle of. Santora quotes Major Voorhies as saying, “Sometimes I feel like I work for the Iraqi government,” and "I don't know what the answer is."
Major Voorhies isn't alone. Nobody knows what the answer is, because there isn't one.
But Voories and Miska are seemingly as clueless as are their uniformed and civilian leaders. As Santora reports:
Whatever plan the Bush administration unveils--a large force increase, a withdrawal or something in between--this country’s security is going to be left in the hands of Iraqi forces. Those forces, already struggling with corruption and infiltration, have shown little willingness to stand up to political pressure, especially when the Americans are not there to support them. That suggests, the commanders say, that if the Americans leave soon, violence will redouble. And that makes their mission, Major Voorhies and Colonel Miska say, more important than ever.
No. It makes the mission assigned to Voorhies and Miska more hopeless than ever, and the reportage of this "important mission" nonesense makes the New York Times as hapless as ever in its active or implicit support of the Bush administration's imperialistic agenda.
A "surge" won't work, and it won't be a surge. It will be a permanent escalation. And the neocons' proposed land force build up isn't a "strategic" national security move. It's a move designed to ensure that we can stay involved in somebody else's war for as long as somebody else's war lasts.
Which may be forever.
Commander Jeff Huber, U.S. Navy (Retired) writes from Virginia Beach, Virginia. Read his commentaries at Pen and Sword.