April 12, 2011
by Jeff Huber
Young Mr. Bush was the first U.S. president to stick his successor with not one but two unwinnable no-exit wars. Young Mr. Obama is going for the hat trick, and he may qualify as an ace before his tenure expires.
|The Pentagon press corp|
As is so often the case, my friend Gareth Porter of Interpress Service scooped the mainstream media’s reporting on the Iraqi fire drill with his Apr. 6 story “Maliki's Doubts Threaten Post-2011 Troop Presence Plan.” Obama has given his approval to a Pentagon plan to station U.S. combat troops in Iraq beyond the pledged Dec. 2011 deadline for complete withdrawal of American forces from that country, Porter reveals. But, but, but… A “senior Iraqi intelligence official” says that, “Obama insisted that it could only happen if Maliki requested it.” This high-level Iraqi spy also says that since our strategic strong-arming stooge in Egypt Hosni Mubarak was forced to resign in Feb., Obama is now convinced more than ever that he cannot afford to get labeled as the limp-wristed liberal who “lost” Iraq.
I wouldn’t presume to vouch for one Gareth’s sources, including this “senior Iraqi intelligence official,” but about the only way I’d doubt any part of this story would be if it came from a senior American intelligence official. It’s been plain as a wicked witch’s wart that Obama has afraid of the Pentarchy and its stranglehold on the news media since the day he asked Bush’s Purple Gang (Uncle Bob Gates, King David Petraeus, Moon Mullin, Desert Ox Odierno, etc.) to stick around.
If the evidence before our eyes weren’t sufficient, on Apr. 7, the day after Porter’s story hit the street, Uncle Bob himself told AP and the rest of the Pentagon steno corps that Warbama will keep U.S. troops in Iraq beyond the agreed final withdrawal date of Dec. 31, 2011 if the Iraqi government asks for them to stay. But Uncle Bob’s Apr. 7 confession was hardly breaking news either.
We can easily trace the Pentagon’s information campaign to desensitize the American public to an extended U.S. stay in Iraq to Jul. 2009, when the military’s bull feather merchants released the story that Iraqi PM Nuri al Maliki would likely ask the U.S. forces to stick around past 2011 to pick up the slack for the congenitally incompetent and corrupt Iraqi security forces. The neo-concordant, war worshiping Washington Times noted that despite the deadline contained in the Status of Forces Agreement, “Pentagon officials and U.S. diplomats privately have left open the prospect that the Iraqi government may seek to renegotiate the terms of the agreement.” So the December 31, 2011 exit date was bogus as a blue dollar bill from the get go.
On March 1 of 2011, NPR reported that Uncle Bob had told Congress that talks to extend the deadline were ongoing. This was the same Uncle Bob who weeks earlier told a bunch of crew cut kids at West Point that, “Any future defense secretary who advises the president to again send a big American land army into Asia or into the Middle East or Africa should have his head examined.” Well I guess so, Bob, considering that any defense secretary in the foreseeable future will be stuck with the Asian and Middle East quagmires you helped us sink us into even deeper.
A recent sign that the Bungle in the Bananastans is on track for an extended engagement: body count is back as the theater commander Dave Petraeus’s metric of choice. Forget all that jazz about counterinsurgency and the real measure of effectiveness being the number of civilian lives saved. We were slaughtering way too many civilians, possibly even more than the supposed bad guys, for that measure to have any traction. No when in doubt, King David and his court fall back on the good old reliable body count score keeping from Vietnam days. And why not? Sure, body count is a worthless statistic in determining the success of war, but it sounds good. Heck, it sounded good enough to keep the Vietnam war going for eight years after presidential candidate Richard Nixon vowed he’d end the war. Shoot, if we had the same news media then that we have now, we’d still be turning the corner in Vietnam.
King David was sent to Afghanistan, we were told, to repeat the magic he performed in Iraq. Well, he’s doing just that. His objective as commander of Iraq, as his head hagiographer Thomas E. Ricks oafishly admitted “was not to bring the war to a close, but simply to show enough genuine progress that the American people would be willing to stick with it even longer.” Dave’s putting on the same illusion act in the Bananastans, so our present wars will reach the “generational” status they were designed for in the Pentagon’s Long War doctrine. Yet how often do you hear the news media talk about how the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are “winding down”?
|Gen Ham sez:|
"It's clobberin' time!"
This Libya shenanigan that was going to last “days not weeks” is about to turn into months going on years. Gen. Carter Ham, the head of Africa Command who looks like the product of an unsanctioned joining of Ray Odierno and The Thing, says we may send ground troops to Libya. Nobody expects the latest background noise about a ceasefire to amount to anything, and now that he’s leaned out this far, Obama can’t afford to leave Libya with Gadhafi still in power. There would be no end to John McCain’s girlfriend Lindsey Graham going on the Sunday gab-athons and chanting breathlessly, in his very best Blanche Dubois impersonation, “I just wish we had a real commander in chief who really knew how to be a real leader of the free world.”
|Sen. Lindsey Graham|
I highly doubt that Obama’s done making new wars yet. Cutting Yemen’s President Ali Abdullah Saleh at the hip joints was an unsurpassed piece of what-the-hell-manship that leaves more possibilities than ever for Bill Kristol and his New American Centurions to foment military intervention there. And don’t forget about Iran. Candidate Obama agreed in principle to an AIPAC sponsored position paper that said America would go to war with Iran to defend Israel. One of the campaign staffers who signed Obama up for that program was former Clinton administration warmonger Susan Rice, who in her present job as Obama’s Ambassador to the United Nations was the driving force behind the UN resolution to bomb the Botox out of Gadhafi.
Now that Rice has established a loophole for Obama to take the country to war without formal approval of Congress as required by the War Powers Act of 1973 and that quaint little document called the United States Constitution, it will be no problem at all to start the genocide of the Persian culture through air power on the sole say-do of McCain’s other side-squeeze Joe Lieberman.
Won’t that be the perfect grace note for Joe to end his career in the Senate on?
Commander Jeff Huber, U.S. Navy (Retired) is author of the critically lauded novel Bathtub Admirals, a lampoon on America’s rise to global dominance.