Thursday, May 01, 2008

Musical Chairs à la Guerre – Iraq

Mr. Bush has announced one more step in his SMOG OF WAR fiasco in Iraq. He is now appointing General Saveus Petraeus to head CENTCOM and his current deputy, General Odierno to replace him as as the commander of coalition troops in Iraq. There is an in-house, incestuous stench about these appointments. You can be certain that there will no fresh ideas on how to win the war or when to redeploy. Both of these generals are fused at the hip and share the Presidents STAND AND DIE Iraq policy. Career wise, both will have picked up two more stars for their fealty to GWB and his neocon boobs. Guess that is the price of glory under todays rules.

President Bush has done everything to promote Petraeus as a national hero except to put his visage on a US postage stamp. Reciprocally, Petraeus has done his best to curry favor. He promoted the absurd surge, stalled troop withdrawals and reported recently to Congress that progress was FRAGILE and REVERSIBLE. While he was reporting this canard, Iraq blew up in his face; the fracas in Basra and the bombardment of the Green Zone occurred and 19 US troops were killed during his sojourn in Washington. Let us be honest; more precisely, the situation in Iraq is BROKEN and progress has been REVERSED.

The fact that no fresh commanders were appointed to the two key billets in the theater creates the suspicion that the two politically vetted Bush generals were put there to suppress the corruption reports that will eventually come out of that badly led and mismanaged war. It may, however, even go deeper. Admiral Fallon, former head of CENTCOM, recently was forced to resign as he fell on his sword over the possibility of US bombardment of Iran. Petraeus and Odierno will keep the status quo until after the election, no matter how bloody and expensive it becomes.

General Odierno is one of the old fashioned mash, slash and bash generals. He is the kind of warrior you want in charge if you have to break through at the Battle of the Bulge or crack through the Soviet ring at Stalingrad to relieve Field Marshal Paulus and 500,000 of his troops that were eventually lost. I am glad the general is on our side. He has been criticized for his brutality toward the Iraqis when he was commander of the 4th Division – remember, it was his troops that captured Saddam. Whether he has the temperament to put up with the squalid, corrupt Maliki government, the intrigues from Washington and the greed of contractors is another calculation. If he eventually ends up on the board of directors of the mercenary Blackwater, you know I mischaracterized him.

Into each life a little rain must fall – even in the gilded careers of General Petraeus and Odierno. Odierno was to be assigned to be the Vice Chief of Staff of the Army – a plum assignment from which he would effectively run the US Army. Instead he was yanked, put into an assignment, only to follow in the footsteps of such losers as Generals Sanchez, Casey and Petraeus. Petraeus had been lobbying for the NATO Command job – a sweet diplomatic assignment where he could pad around the embassies, shoot wild boar and auerhahns on European estates. Instead, he must now try to keep Afghani Karzai alive and prevent Odierno from being over run by the militias and insurgents. At this moment you have to wonder whether either of these loyal gentlemen would HONK to show they love GW Bush. Colonel Robert E Bartos USA Ret.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good post


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