Monday, June 06, 2005

"The most powerful army in human history can't even protect a two-mile stretch of road."

Newsweek, the much maligned publication that was recently taken to task for -oops! - telling the truth about our gulag in Gitmo, seems to be growing a bit of a spine in the face of Scott McClellen's granny-like lecturing.

Newsweek's Baghdad bureau chief, Rod Norldland, blasts the imcompetence of our post-war occupation (although, sadly, he fails to recognize that the occupation is fueling the insurgency) as he leaves his Baghdad post after a two year assignment. It makes for interesting reading, especially contrasted with the either delusional or simply false assertions of the junta, such as Cheney telling Larry King last week that "I think they're in the last throes, if you will, of the insurgency," a lie that the Boston Globe rightly took him to task for.

Nordland's piece describes the bitterness and resentment in Iraq against our Crusaders and the leadership that brought us to this sorry point:

The four-square-mile Green Zone, the one place in Baghdad where foreigners are reasonably safe, could be a showcase of American values and abilities. Instead the American enclave is a trash-strewn wasteland of Mad Max-style fortifications. The traffic lights don't work because no one has bothered to fix them. The garbage rarely gets collected. Some of the worst ambassadors in U.S. history are the GIs at the Green Zone's checkpoints. They've repeatedly punched Iraqi ministers, accidentally shot at visiting dignitaries and behave (even on good days) with all the courtesy of nightclub bouncers—to Americans and Iraqis alike. Not that U.S. soldiers in Iraq have much to smile about. They're overworked, much ignored on the home front and widely despised in Iraq, with little to look forward to but the distant end of their tours—and in most cases, another tour soon to follow. Many are reservists who, when they get home, often face the wreckage of careers and family.


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