Sunday, September 03, 2006

Persian Laver Kerman Rug
Ancient Persian King Slays the the Winged Lion of Babylon

GWBush vs. The Fruit of Allah, Terrorists, Fascists, Liberals and Other Evil Doers

Can you imagine sending US attorney General Alberto Gonzales to Iraq amid the chaos and bloodshed to discuss the rule of law? Given his recent problems with the US courts over Guantanamo, torture, and internal telephone surveillance, uncertain whether he understands the subject at all... Anyway, in Iraq right now it is the rule of the CLUB AND THE FANG.

It is the CALL OF THE WILD in Iraq. If Jack London still lived, he would have been a better choice to send to Iraq than Gonzales. At least he would have understood the Darwinian political environment: the survival of the fittest.

Remember when Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld and his Neocons kept defining the enemy differently as the insurgency grew – dead enders, diehard Baathests, foreign terrorists. By accepting the insurgency as Iraqi, the Administration has to face the fact that Iraqi against Iraqis amounts to civil war. And with a civil war in Iraq, it complicates the validity of the congressional resolution that authorized Bush to go to war.

Latest fix on the evil ones by Bush is Islamic fascist – half the time it is now linked with Hitler – seems to me the Bush/Neocon appararatus is dented by the holocaust, and it gets more preposterous and foolish by the minute. Next Bush fix for the evil ones will be Islamic fascists who run Auschwitz... give it rest... This reach is way too many bridges too far and past. Sorry pals, no building permit for a Holocaust museum on the White House lawn. You really think if he were named Adolph Bin Laden, he would be easier to catch?

Senator John Warner, Republican Chairman of the powerful Senate Armed Services Committee recently indicated that a new congressional resolution would be needed if the situation in Iraq developed into a civil war. Given the disaster in Iraq, the chances of getting a new authorization under any circumstances are next to zero. So the generals and the Administration continue to reject the concept of civil war in Iraq... Senator Warner, though his knees are starting to buckle on legality of the war, will do his best to stall the issue – Warner has never found an American war he did not support. Even when he was under the Clinton administration, he gleefully supported the war against the Serbs and the subsequent US garrisoning of the Balkans.

Civil war in Iraq is on like gang busters... No amount of mumbling by Generals Abizaid and Pace about how to define civil war in Iraq can obscure the fact that Iraqis are killing each other at record numbers. Forget about GWB, Rumsfeld, or other politicians trying to ignore the facts on the ground – politicians always bob and weave or lie – but it is sad and frightening when the generals join in the plot. By now the generals should have learned on Iraq, going along with stuff at odds with their professionalism for political expediency or career enhancement, corrupts and leads to defeat, not victory.

It is not bad enough that Shiites and Sunnis kill each other; now Shiites are even killing each other. Shiite militia and Shiite government troops recently managed to kill a total of over a 100 in one battle, wounding scores more; and two brigades of Iraqi government troops refused to deploy from their base area. A few days earlier, government troops allowed a base, recently turned over to them by the British in the South, to be looted right under their noses. Some may argue that one swallow does not make spring, but flocks of them certainly do. Like every thing else Bush touched in Iraq, his latest exit strategy to turn over operations to Iraqi government troops has turned sour.

So far the policy of flooding Baghdad with redeployed American troops from other areas of Iraq is costing serious US casualties and has not stabilized the capital by a long shot. We hear calls for more troops to send to Iraq – we had 500,000 men in Vietnam and left with our tails between our legs. One thing for sure, the US trained Iraqi troops fight with the same ineffectiveness as the Army of the Republic of Vietnam. With all that experience from RVN, apparently little was learned about the political nature of an insurgent war.

The military fights the war for which it is trained. As stupid as its sounds, it determinedly does this despite the military realities in the area of operations. It is like the old Roman inn keeper, Procustus – when someone slept in one of his beds who was too long for the bed, he cut off the guest's legs to make him fit. Doubt the military will ever learn to reset to meet the operational situation as its leadership promotes clones; Iraq, Korea, Somalia and Vietnam were all different, each requiring smart flexible military leadership that simply was never there.

Try this: Immediately retire all officers above the grade of LT Colonel in the Marines and Army. The Navy and USAF, who are more technical, get it right most of the time, so let them remain as is – the problem is with the ground forces. Except for minor league conflicts like Panama and Grenada, they just cannot win a war. If you have not figured it out, Gulf War I is part of the failed current war.

Next, close West Point. Rename it Sandhurst-on-the-Hudson. The British do a hellava job training ground force officers in around a year. The Long Grey Line has bravely led the country to glory, and historically, has stoutly defended it over the years; but it has lost its groove. It is, unfortunately, beyond the existing, self absorbed military leadership’s capability, to fix it.

Next wars will be insurgency or stabilization. Key to these operations are Special forces, intelligence and civil affairs – all these take a back seat today to combat arms in the Army and Marines. Special Forces, intelligence and civil affairs should lead these operations with support from combat elements. Because now, the reverse is failing us. Until this focus changes, insurgent wars will continue to be lost. Colonel RE Bartos USA RET


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