May 31, 2005
-- by Thomas Leavitt
The civilian and military leadership of this country appears to be either in a state of utter denial, or worse, consciously and systematically attempting to persuade the American public to deny reality.
Dick Cheney claims the insurgency in Iraq is "in the last throes" and says "we're making major progress there. [...] They had elections, free elections, really for the first time in centuries in January of this year." [I'll resist asking exactly when, previously, Iraq had "free elections". :)]
Gen. Richard Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, says that "the trend lines [in Iraq] are up." ... and he's not referring to the number of American casualties (1,656) or the numbers below.
By their logic, the more casualties the insurgency inflicts, the more car bombs that go off, the more suicide bombers that blow themselves up in the midst of a crowd, the more desperate the insurgency is, and the closer to the end of the war we are.
I suppose this means that if we see Baghdad taken out by a suitcase nuke, we can expect to hear our leaders proclaiming a national day of celebration in honor of our final victory in Iraq. V.I. Day, anyone?
Iraqi military prepares largest offensive
- May recorded 140 car bombings, the highest number ever
According to a senior U.S. military intelligence official in Baghdad, more than 140 car bombings occurred in May, beating the old record of 135 in April. He also said the nearly 60 suicide bombings in May were down from 69 in April.
The official, who spoke at a press briefing on condition of anonymity, insisted the insurgency is not growing stronger, and Myers said on another talk show Sunday that it is failing.
"They attacked Iraqi security forces, trying to keep people from signing up to defend their country. ... We have more recruits than we can actually, than the Iraqis can handle," Myers said on CBS's "Face the Nation."
You can read the transcript (another softball interview) on the Face The Nation web site. Also of note, Myers implicitly endorses the view that the Geneva Convention is outdated, and even references the DOJ's attempts to provide a legal basis for that:
"How do you deal with these people in a legal regime that was set up a long time ago for a much different time? And that's what the debate ought to be about. And we've tried to work our way through that, and the Department of Justice has tried to do that and so forth."
No reaction whatsoever from the interviewer to the implications of this statement--in fact, he cut off the interview shortly thereafter... had to go on and talk about federal regulation of steroid use in professional sports. Bleah.
SCHIEFFER: Well, I think we must note that--What?--there have been 70 Americans killed just last month and more than 500 Iraqis killed since those elections.
Gen. MYERS: Right. It's been a violent month, and that's the fact. Also in this month, we have 35 operations ongoing, what we call major operations, 30 of them led by Iraqis and coalition working together, five of them led by the Iraqis themselves. So things are turning in terms of the Iraqi security forces. And in the end, obviously, they have to do this work.
The interviewer just lets this transparent evasion and spin slide right by, doesn't even try and get a real answer out of Myers. This is journalism?!?
Of course, when it comes to delusional statements, it is hard to beat the civilian members of the Bush Administration, especially Dick Cheney...
Here's the money quote:
"I think we may well have some kind of presence there over a period of time," Cheney said. "The level of activity that we see today from a military standpoint, I think, will clearly decline. I think they're in the last throes, if you will, of the insurgency."
Cheney denied American wrongdoing at the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, which Amnesty International compared to a "gulag."
"Guantanamo's been operated, I think, in a very sane and sound fashion by the U.S. military. ... I think these people have been well treated, treated humanely and decently," Cheney said. "Occasionally there are allegations of mistreatment.
"But if you trace those back, in nearly every case, it turns out to come from somebody who has been inside and been released ... to their home country and now are peddling lies about how they were treated."
The quotes originated from an interview on Larry King Live with Dick (and Lynne) Cheney Monday. No hard questions asked, of course. Cheney used the "released prisoners peddling lies" line a couple of times during the interview.
God forbid Larry King ask him how 70 American casualties, 140 car bombings and 60 suicide bombings equates to an insurgency on its last legs.
The American media is giving our national leadership a pass on the war in Iraq. Truly pathetic.
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As to whether they're lying or delusional, the answer is: both. This is the kind of war you can't win unless you kill everybody, and we seem to be well on our way to doing that, section by section, at the same time teaching the Iraqis the best way to conduct a civil war.
This is worse than the Vietnam war. At least for Vietnam there was some kind of screwed up justification for war, the domino theory, the belief that if Vietnam went Communist so would the countries around it. I don't have the faintest idea why we're at war in Iraq. Everything we were told was a lie, and we're left to speculate about why.
Posted by: MJ at May 31, 2005 7:59 AM
My vote is for "consciously lying" and hoping that somehow it will all come out alright....
Posted by: jon st at May 31, 2005 1:20 PM
They are no more delusional than the idiot in chief.
Posted by: Vinnie at May 31, 2005 1:25 PM
I come down on the side of 'consciously lying' as well!
Posted by: Helga Fremlin at May 31, 2005 1:35 PM
OMG Thomas, that is very disturbing.
I read somewhere that we are getting a civillian board to advise the Pentagon about nuclear weapons. Lucky us.
Posted by: grannyinsanity at May 31, 2005 5:01 PM
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