Monday, August 29, 2005


Bush has been repeating his robotic lies about Iraq for months, and it's shocking how easily exposed his lies are - and how little they receive critical attention from the mass media.

The New York Times today exposes the murderous Bush lie that when the Iraqi Army builds up, we'll "stand down". Turns out that we're deliberately not building up the Iraqi Army, and are instead telling the Iraqis to rely on the permanent American bases in Iraq.

So much for "standing down".

EVEN though President Bush keeps saying American forces won't leave Iraq until its forces can fight on their own, the United States isn't rushing to give the Iraqi military heavy weapons.

There is an official explanation for that - that such things take time.

But there is also another reason to go slow, one that illustrates how tightly American military success is intertwined with the political prospects of Iraq itself. This reason is little discussed in public by military officers, but it was evident last week on the explosion-scarred streets of Baghdad, in the skirmishes between rival Shiite forces in Najaf, and in the confusion of Iraq's struggle to complete a new constitution.

Simply put, Iraq remains too fragile for any planner to know what shape the country will be in six months or a year from now - whether it will reach compromises and hold together or split apart in a civil war.

And that presents a conundrum for American military planners. With those questions up in the air, they have to fear that any heavy arms distributed now could end up aimed at American forces or feeding a growing civil conflict. And the longer Iraq's army has to wait for sophisticated weapons, the longer American forces are likely to be needed in Iraq as a bulwark against chaos.

Nice. But this major fuck-up gets worse:

In private, some officers acknowledge other concerns, too. "We're worried about civil war or a coup," said a senior American officer in Baghdad charged with outfitting Iraq's new army. He would not agree to be identified because the concerns he was discussing are so sensitive.

Indeed, Iraqi commanders are growing restive, saying their troops are dying at three times the rate of American soldiers because they lack basic equipment.

"Soldiers with Kalashnikovs and pickup trucks is not an army," said Gen. Abdulqader Mohammed Jassim, commander of the Iraqi ground forces, during a recent interview at his office in Baghdad. "To make the Iraqi Army stand on its own without American or coalition forces, we need command and control equipment, transport vehicles and training." He wants helicopters and artillery, more powerful guns and bigger tanks - weapons the Americans say he doesn't need now.

At the same time, the Americans are building at least four semi-permanent military bases that could hold 18,000 troops each. These are usually described as way stations on the eventual route home for the Americans, places where they will stay while ever-more-capable Iraqi troops engage the insurgents on their own. But that will clearly take time. Gen. George W. Casey Jr., the top military commander in Iraq, when asked this month about how the bases would be used, dismissed the question: "You're talking years away." And if Iraq's politics remain unstable, the bases could offer a continuing rationale for not providing heavier weaponry, since the Americans would still be close by for the Iraqis to rely on.

Bush repeated just last week, during his rant where he screeched like a madman at his hand-picked audience, that the U.S. would "stand down" as soon as the Iraqi Army could defend the country. But what Army?

"Just as there isn't one Iraqi people, there isn't one Iraqi army," said Peter Galbraith, a former United States ambassador to Croatia who is now in Iraq and has worked closely with the Kurds. "We won't be arming a national army, but armies that are loyal to three different groups."

Just how long will the American people put up with this major fucked-up mess before demanding that our elected officials in Congress get a fucking grip and start demanding policy changes from the incompetent Bush administration - and an end to the bald-faced lies?


Blogger Eli said...

The "news" in the Sunday Times was actually "broken" by Left I on the News back in May. But it's nice to see the Times finally spreading the information more widely.

4:16 PM  

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