Monday, October 24, 2011

Fat Ladies, Promises and Iraq

25 October 2011

By Jeff Huber

Please don’t be duped into thinking that young Mr. Obama’s “troops will be home for the holidays” announcement last Friday really means that the proverbial plump soprano has crooned the coda of our Wagnerian Iliad in Iraq: the troops’ journey home is likely to resemble the one in The Odyssey that dragged on for ten years or so after the Trojan War ended.  Also don’t fall into the perception traps that might lead you to think Obama is beginning to keep his last set of campaign promises just in time to cook up some new ones, or that he’s finally gotten control of his New Praetorian Generals or of the New Centurion Pentarchy. 

And whatever you do, don’t buy the lysergic assertion that Obama’s announcement heralds the beginning of the end of our Long War aka Era of Persistent Conflict aka the Global War on Terrorism (aka GWOT) aka the Global Struggle Against Violent Extremism (aka GSAVE) War on Evil (aka WOE).  No, Americans will still be consuming pro-war bull feather merchandising when Gen Y is puling like a herd of kittens about Gen Z’s reluctance to buy into Social Security and Public Health Care.   

CIA Director Petraeus was just kidding
back when he said he'd get us
out of Iraq (hah!).
It’s worth noting that Mr. O didn’t specify which holidays of which year the troops would be home from Iraq by.  One doesn't like to think that our wartime leaders would play us with that level of weasel wordplay, but you never know.  Obama might be following the successful example of his fair-haired step-general Dave Petraeus who, back in summer of 2007, told the House Foreign Affairs Committee that his objective as Supreme Sultan of the Surgin’ Safari in Sumaria was to create “conditions that would allow our soldiers to disengage."  King David didn't say if he was aiming to allow out soldiers to disengage in this American Century or the next one.  We know from Petraeus consecrator and camp concubine Thomas E. Ricks that the general’s real intention was “not to bring the war to a close” but to con the American people into sticking with it even longer. 

Here we are four years and lunch money after the surge with an Iraq that’s as up for grabs as it ever was, and John Boehner is expressing concerns that a full withdrawal from Iraq could “jeopardize” the “gains” we’ve achieved.  Holy mackerel, Sapphire.  Where do we find such tanning bed bimbos?  That’s like Jonah worrying if the whale can get by on an empty stomach.

Obama’s “withdrawal” from Iraq doesn't just leave the back door open; it leaves the front of the building blown off.  There’s still a “possibility” that we’ll leave an unspecified number of “trainers” behind to “advise” Iraqi troops.  Military advisers have a way of making like bunnies, folks.  We didn’t end the Vietnam War by putting advisers in country.  That’s how we started the Vietnam War.  There will also, of course be a Marine security contingent at our embassy in Baghdad.  That’s standard procedure in the capitol of every nation that still sucks up to us. 

What’s not standard procedure about our embassy in Baghdad—a compound the size of Vatican City that looks like the fortress in The Guns of Navarone—is that in addition to the Marines it will also be infested by what Mark Landler of the New York Times describes as “4,000 to 5,000 private State Department security contractors” (aka Blackwater hoodlums) “as well as a significant [my italics] CIA presence.”  You start adding on the soldiers of ill-gotten fortune that Exxon and Halliburton and KBR and the rest of the war buckaroos will bring with them and pretty soon you’re talking about a force the equivalent of a U.S. Army division (the embassy mercenary corps alone is brigade size). 

Lawyers, Guns and Hillary
The “advisers” will be special force phantoms who, along with the CIA spooks, operate outside of any chain of command you can define with a wire diagram.  The mercenaries, once they’re abroad, run amok unrestrained by any written or unwritten laws of God or man.  The only authority they’re concerned about is the one that signs their paychecks, who in this case is our warmongering Secretary of State.  Cruella Clinton can now commit our nation to war without the consent of Congress or the judiciary or even the commander in chief whenever she gets the notion, which puts her on equal footing with our UN Ambassador Susie Rice, who started our whackadoodle-do in Libya by carping the Security Council into passing a bombs-away resolution. 

No, the fat lady isn’t singing in Iraq.  She hasn’t even sprayed her throat yet.

Claims that Obama’s non-withdrawal announcement show he’s living up to campaign promises to shut the Iraq WOE down are as legitimate as blue money.  The deadline to haul heinie out of Iraq at the end of this year was in the status of forces agreement the Bush regime signed onto when the UN mandate ran out.  Obama is semi-bringing the troops home because his Pentarchs couldn’t bully the Iraqi government into granting indefinite legal immunity to whatever troops we decided to leave behind.  If an agreement to leave troops in place had been reached, Obama would have gone slut-puppy for it just like he’s done with everything else his velvet junta generals have ordered him to do.

We've got to drop all those leftover bombs on somebody!
In no way have the Pentagon brass hats given up on maintaining a permanent presence in Iraq.  Senior sanctioned leakers are feeding the Tom Ricks wannabe echo chamberlains tag lines about how we'll have to get by with a “smaller footprint” to administer “training” and “guidance,” and to provide Iraq with air defense from, uh, the Kurdish Air Force, I guess.  But, hey, you know, if we leave people behind to do that stuff we’ll need additional security personnel to protect them, and we’ll need additional support personnel to cook food and make beds and fix stopped up toilets for the additional security personnel, and then we’ll need extra additional security personnel to provide security for the additional security personnel’s additional support personnel, and then we’ll need extra additional support personnel to support the extra additional security personnel, and so on and so on and so on. 

But aside from that, everybody is coming home.  
With Moammar "The Ram" Gadhafi
gone, who's next? 

Any talk that Obama’s homecoming address is another sign that he’s reining in our warhorses is pure reconstituted horse lunch.  We no sooner get done having those images of Moammar Gadhafi looking like Mickey Roark at the end of The Wrestler jammed in our eyes like pencils than Pops McCain starts howling about how now we can start bombing the living Christ our Lord and Savior out of Syria!

Remember thinking the warmongery was kaput when McCain lost the election?


Hi ho!

Commander Jeff Huber, U.S. Navy (Retired) writes at Pen and Sword. Jeff's novel Bathtub Admirals (Kunati Books), a lampoon on America's rise to global dominance, is on sale now. 


  1. Yep sliding down the slope of madness

  2. It's a long way down.

  3. Mickey Roark and Moammar Gadaffi - separated at birth? The resemblance is striking.

    It's amazing how politicians quickly develop the ability to say the most outrageous things and expect people to believe them. The pullout from Iraq is just the latest.

    McCain and the "past their sell-by date" bombs reminds me of Madeleine Albright when she said, "What's the point of you saving this superb military for, Colin, if we can't use it?"

    Wouldn't the best indication of success be having a superb military that you never had to use?

  4. Hearing President Barack Obama promise – again – that all remaining American military forces would (after almost eight years) leave Iraq within the next two months, I recalled something that George Orwell wrote in his essay entitled, Catastrophic Gradualism:

    "There is a theory which has not yet been accurately formulated or given a name, but which is very widely accepted and is brought forward whenever it is necessary to justify some action which conflicts with the sense of decency of the average human being. It might be called, until some better name is found, the Theory of Catastrophic Gradualism. According to this theory, nothing is ever achieved without bloodshed, lies, tyranny and injustice, but on the other hand no considerable change for the better is to be expected as the result of even the greatest upheaval. History necessarily proceeds by calamities, but each succeeding age will be as bad, or nearly as bad as the last. ...

    "The formula usually employed is 'You can't make an omelet without breaking eggs.' And if one replies, 'Yes, but where is the omelet?' the answer is likely to be: 'Oh, well, you can't expect everything to happen all in a moment.'"
    Hence, a few lines of verse:

    "After the Banquet in Baghdad”

    With their tails tucked proudly 'tween their legs
    Advancing towards the exit march the dregs
    Of empire, whose retreat this question begs:
    No promised omelet, just the broken eggs?

    Michael Murry, "The Misfortune Teller," Copyright 2011

  5. Nunya, I accidentally deleted your post. Sorry. Here's a reproduction:

    U.S. Planning Troop Buildup in Gulf After Exit From Iraq


    Boy, that didn't take them long, did it?


  6. No, it did not take long at all. I dunno what I would do without your amusing posts. Thank you for them :)