unfit to serve…

Posted on Wednesday 20 December 2006

The Bush administration is split over the idea of a surge in troops to Iraq, with White House officials aggressively promoting the concept over the unanimous disagreement of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, according to U.S. officials familiar with the intense debate.

Sending 15,000 to 30,000 more troops for a mission of possibly six to eight months is one of the central proposals on the table of the White House policy review to reverse the steady deterioration in Iraq. The option is being discussed as an element in a range of bigger packages, the officials said.

But the Joint Chiefs think the White House, after a month of talks, still does not have a defined mission and is latching on to the surge idea in part because of limited alternatives, despite warnings about the potential disadvantages for the military, said the officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the White House review is not public.

The chiefs have taken a firm stand, the sources say, because they believe the strategy review will be the most important decision on Iraq to be made since the March 2003 invasion.

At regular interagency meetings and in briefing President Bush last week, the Pentagon has warned that any short-term mission may only set up the United States for bigger problems when it ends. The service chiefs have warned that a short-term mission could give an enormous edge to virtually all the armed factions in Iraq — including al-Qaeda’s foreign fighters, Sunni insurgents and Shiite militias — without giving an enduring boost to the U.S military mission or to the Iraqi army, the officials said.

The Pentagon has cautioned that a modest surge could lead to more attacks by al-Qaeda, provide more targets for Sunni insurgents and fuel the jihadist appeal for more foreign fighters to flock to Iraq to attack U.S. troops, the officials said.
In the face of this council from the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Iraq Study Group, what possible reason could Bush have for sending more troops? What could possibly be the source of any advice that would lead him to even consider such an action? I can think of only two possibilities. First, that he has gone crazy, that he’s in the range of a Nero playing his violin while Rome burns. Second, that he and Mr. Cheney cannot give up their fantasy of securing a position  to give them access to Iraq’s oil reserves [or both]. This time there are no "hanging chads," no Katherine Harris, no Supreme Court. There’s only the grim reality of an Iraq where three Americans die daily along with uncountable numbers of Iraqis – all in the service of nothing good.
U.S. Not Winning War in Iraq, Bush Says for 1st Time
President Plans to Expand Army, Marine Corps To Cope With Strain of Multiple Deployments

President Bush acknowledged for the first time yesterday that the United States is not winning the war in Iraq and said he plans to expand the overall size of the "stressed" U.S. armed forces to meet the challenges of a long-term global struggle against terrorists.

As he searches for a new strategy for Iraq, Bush has now adopted the formula advanced by his top military adviser to describe the situation. "We’re not winning, we’re not losing," Bush said in an interview with The Washington Post. The assessment was a striking reversal for a president who, days before the November elections, declared, "Absolutely, we’re winning."

In another turnaround, Bush said he has ordered Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates to develop a plan to increase the troop strength of the Army and Marine Corps, heeding warnings from the Pentagon and Capitol Hill that multiple deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan are stretching the armed forces toward the breaking point. "We need to reset our military," said Bush, whose administration had opposed increasing force levels as recently as this summer.

But in a wide-ranging session in the Oval Office, the president said he interpreted the Democratic election victories six weeks ago not as a mandate to bring the U.S. involvement in Iraq to an end but as a call to find new ways to make the mission there succeed. He confirmed that he is considering a short-term surge in troops in Iraq, an option that top generals have resisted out of concern that it would not help.
It is becoming a tragic moment, as if we haven’t had enough of those in this misadventure in Iraq. Whether we’re dealing with a personal problem in a Commander in Chief who simply cannot stand down, or some kind of bizarre delusion that his Oil War is still winnable, the conclusion remains the same – President Bush is unfit to serve as the President of the United States of America.
    Bukko in Australia
    December 20, 2006 | 2:26 AM

    How are you going, Old Man? I agree with you that Bush is unfit to serve. Unfortunately, there are not enough legislative votes to impeach him, and it would take too long anyway. Bush will never withdraw the troops, because he believes as long as Americans are over there dying, no one can say he lost the war. That’s what it boils down to: one deluded man who will keep the killing going for two more years just so he can say “I never gave the order to retreat. We were winning when I left office.” The only solution is for Bush to RESIGN RIGHT NOW! He’s run away from all his other failures, like the Texas Air National Guard and his tapped-out oil companies. If he quits now, he could say “I didn’t lose” and someone else could do what needs to be done. After Cheney is also driven out of office by Americans brandishing lighted torches, of course.

    December 20, 2006 | 10:11 AM

    I love that scenario, Bukko. May that day come shortly…

    December 20, 2006 | 10:11 AM

    A boos of 15-30k troops will do very little. The Joint Chiefs are right. The only way to solve this mess is to divide up Iraq into different countries. If you use an increase in troops to help do that, it could help. Short of that and you just give the insurgents more targets.

    December 20, 2006 | 10:25 AM

    Political Critic:

    “Bush wants the increase and the military does not. The disagreement, in and of itself, is very alarming. Military leaders rarely, if ever, publicly disagree with the Commander in Chief. For them to do so shows the gravity of this situation.”

    You have to be right about that. But he’s not thinking of how to solve the mess. He’s still after his original goals – personal ego needs and Cheney’s oil…

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