Tuesday, October 25, 2005

News: U.S. troop deaths in Iraq reach 2,000

U.S. troop deaths have reached 2,000 since George Bush announced "mission accomplished" and a "cessation of hostilities" in Iraq. CNN tracks the number and reported it this morning after confirming same with the U.S. military, which shockingly "does not track" such numbers per se. At the same time, the military confirmed that insurgent tactics are increasingly successful at penetrating tank armor and killing U.S. soldiers, so it plans to "go back to the source" and work to hunt down those who provide funding, supplies and manpower to the insurgency.

Words almost fail the intelligent person when faced with the dumbfounding mismanagement of key elements of the Iraq war. Wishful thinking and inattention to detail have shadowed the occupation and liberation of Iraq, probably because its commander in chief refuses to face reality and to do all that it takes to succeed. In other words, Bush fails to follow through on his own rhetoric. Without diminishing in any way the efforts and successes of all those who work to protect America, let's review his promises.

Job 1: Did Bush intend to take more than four years to find Osama Bin Laden? Then why didn't he say so? Or why isn't he doing what he said he would do? He can't have it both ways.

Job 2: Announcing a cessation of hostilities generally means that hostilities cease and deaths stop occurring. Yet Bush has let an additional 2,000 U.S. troop deaths slip by on his watch -- and his officers aren't even bothering to count them, apparently in the recurring Bush theme that if you try to ignore a problem, maybe it will go away.

Job 3: Ending the insurgency means capping off its sources from the start and never letting go of every stranglehold you establish until it's dead. In other words, you stop the water from topping and breaching the levee by both diverting the waters and strengthening the levee. Taking preemptive action is always better than reacting to the flood and resulting deaths after you have let them occur. What happened to "shock and awe"? What happened to "winning the hearts and minds"? What happened to "finding the head and killing it"? The fact is, the military has had insufficient numbers from the start, or it would be able to do more than one thing at a time -- being consistently proactive instead of reactive.

Job 4: Four years after 9/11, our borders are still immensely porous and virtually unprotected. What's the plan?

Job 5: The best policy is to admit one's mistakes so America can fix what's wrong and get it right as soon as humanly possible. Anyone who puts politics ahead of stopping terrorism is unfit for public office.

Job Ground Zero, actually, is to prevent a terrorist strike from ever happening on U.S. soil again, through coordinated and effective intelligence and early response. God help us, please, to do a better job than with New Orleans and Hurricane Katrina.

Quagmire is a word that increasingly describes the Bush administration: Iraq. Katrina. Rove. DeLay. Cheney. And that's too bad, because the goal here is not to bring a good man down. (Any man who is willing to contribute to a solution is a good man.) We want Bush to pull his boots out of the muck of dithering, inaction and insufficient resource allocations. We want Bush and Cheney to stop stonewalling, come clean with the American people and soldier on. We needn't impeach our commander in chief in mid-conflict, we want him to do the job he said he was going to do.

You can't say you fulfill your promises, yet fail to do so. You can't fulfill 80 percent of them and claim you've made no mistakes and left "no stone unturned." You can't claim to be a faithful and honorable man when you break faith with the people even in small ways. (Only partisans and minions would disagree, because in their intellectual dishonesty, they have already chosen sides.) You can claim, however, to be a humble servant and a mortal human being who will do your best, listen to others' advice and always try to do better.


At 3:42 PM, Blogger MPH said...

party time!

At 4:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excellent post! You have nicely summarized the failings of this administration. They have never been about anything more than style over substance. Swagger over ability. Bullshit over brains.

Tito from Core4

At 4:16 PM, Blogger s p a z e b o y said...

Thanks for swinging by La Resistance. Excellent post, by the way, I look forward to browsing your site further.

At 9:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Beautifully written. Your observations of the promises and shortcomings of the Bush administration ring true!


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