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A Faerie's Farthing

Flitting through the internets looking for sparkly bits. All content mine and not to be reproduced without permission.

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Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Murtha: "Generals Say Iraq Will Take 25 Years"

Murtha: "Generals Say Iraq Will Take 25 Years"

In his appearance on Hardball today, Col. Murtha of "Mean Jean Schmidt" fame shared some insight from his conversations with top military commanders: that preparing the Iraqi troops for a stable Iraq may take twenty-five years. That's a generation of commitment, with an army we simply don't have. Which probably explains Blackwater's curious hiring spree:

Blackwater USA is seeking a highly qualified manager to oversee training being conducted in Iraq. This manager will be responsible for a wide spectrum of financial and logistic reporting as well ensure that the training is being conducted as required by the contract. This position will support a multi-phase, multi-year contract in Iraq.

...Program Manager - An experienced Program Manager to oversee a complex and intensive training contract in Iraq. The Program Manager will be responsible for a large cadre of instructors, Iraqi students, and base support operations.

This, in turn, might explain the (mal)administration's sudden turnabout on "redeploying" troops and eventually snorkenpuffling out of Iraq. It's quite the sleight of state, offering all the PR gloss of bringing our boys home without jeopardizing U.S. interests in the region. A tricky bit of the doublespeak that is so second nature to this crew. Always watch what this administration is doing with its left hand as it extends its right hand out to shake yours.

Or in Cheney's case, always watch what the right side of his mouth is saying as the left side curls into that snarl of aggressive delusion. When he occupied Rummy's position under Bush I, he held a very different opinion of taking Baghdad:

If you're going to go in and try to topple Saddam Hussein, you have to go to Baghdad. Once you've got Baghdad, it's not clear what you do with it. It's not clear what kind of government you would put in place of the one that's currently there now. Is it going to be a Shia regime, a Sunni regime or a Kurdish regime? Or one that tilts toward the Baathists, or one that tilts toward the Islamic fundamentalists? How much credibility is that government going to have if it's set up by the United States military when it's there? How long does the United States military have to stay to protect the people that sign on for that government, and what happens to it once we leave?

...If Saddam wasn't there, his successor probably wouldn't be notably friendlier to the United States than he is. I also look at that part of the world as of vital interest to the United States; for the next hundred years it's going to be the world's supply of oil. We've got a lot of friends in the region. We're always going to have to be involved there. Maybe it's part of our national character, you know, we like to have these problems nice and neatly wrapped up, put a ribbon around it. You deploy a force, you win the war, and the problem goes away, and it doesn't work that way in the Middle East; it never has and isn't likely to in my lifetime.

Those quotes are from 1991 and 1996, i.e. his opinion regarding Iraq didn't change in the five years since the gulf war. So what happened between 1996 and 2002 to turn his thinking 180 degrees? Cheney, of course, will remind us that "9/11 changed everything," but the truth is probably closer to his statement above: I also look at that part of the world as of vital interest to the United States; for the next hundred years it's going to be the world's supply of oil. This just happened to be a main tenet of PNAC's philosophy when they formed in 1997. Basically, Cheney's turnabout regarding Iraq had as little to do with 9/11 as Iraq itself did.

In a similar manner, the administration's shifting stance on Iraq has almost nothing to do with what they are saying. Which, in its turn, explains the willful incompetence of vague pollyannaisms such as "stay the course" and "until we are victorious." When what you say means nothing, you get to define the terms; "victory" is whatever they decide it is when they decide we've attained it. See...they did learn something from Vietnam!

wing tip to dailykos!


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