vrijdag, juli 18, 2003

Tough Guys Not As Tough As They Thought

"Allies? Ha! We don't need no stinkin' Allies!" -- Donald Rumsfeld addressing concerns that the unilateral invasion of Iraq with only the cover of a made-up "Coalition of the Willing" wasn't enough.

WASHINGTON — Faced with mounting casualties and costs, faced with daily humiliations, ambushes, the killing of their soldiers by attrition, the Bush administration said Wednesday that it was talking with foreign leaders about broadening U.N. authority in Iraq, even as a key commander said the Pentagon would extend the tours of war-weary U.S. troops to a full year to fight what has become a guerrilla war.

Until now, the administration has sought to limit U.N. activities in Iraq to trivial duties like cleaning the bed pans of American soldiers, licking the boots of American soldiers or staying out of everyone's way in the quiet, servant-like fashion the Bush Administration has grown accustomed to from other governing democratic bodies. Now that the numbers of dead American soldiers are becoming too numerous to sweep under the carpet, now that the aggregate of soldiers dying for nothing but the shortsightedness of the Administration's failure to plan appropriately for occupation, now that enough of them are contemplating suicide and complaining about being sentenced to another year of duty in Iraq while simultaneously offering the suggestion that old Rummy himself should resign, the Bush Administration may yet slink back to the UN with its hat in hand begging for some relief.

On Wednesday, the new chief of the Central Command said that U.S. forces were now battling a "classic" guerrilla war underscoring the need for a substantial troop presence continuing for some time. What? You mean all those Pollyanish predictions by the Administration that the troops would be home in a matter of hours of liberating Iraq were misleading???!!

Well, we all know how tough those guerrillas are. After all, how many "domesticated humans" did it take for Chimpanzee Caesar to defeat the apes in Battle For The Planet of the Apes? It was no simple cleanup operation.

And oh, quel suprise that the U.S. has had a hard time getting other nations to commit significant numbers of troops to supplement its forces in Iraq! Can you believe the nerve of those bastards? I was trying to imagine what possible motivation other nations would have for not wanting to help the Bush Administration occupy Iraq and then I remembered (oh yeah) Rumsfeld's snide quips about "old" and "new" Europe and I remembered how arrogantly the Administration brushed aside the world's concerns about the unjustness of the invasion and treated their allies as though they were their biddies and houseboys. Apparently, much to the surprise of the Bush Administration, not everyone enjoys being trivialized and demeaned while the "tough guys" in the White House run roughshod over international diplomacy to fulfill their own narrow agenda.

Now, there is mounting pressure on the administration from Congress, (that den of vapidity, that bastion of boorishness; the same place that had to issue a special directive to eliminate "french" fries and "french" toast from the menus of their Congressional pig trough because the word "french" was so offensive to real Americans and patriots that it shouldn't even appear on a menu from which great jingoists might dine,) to find ways to share the costs — and risks. Let's hear Congressman Bob Ney bray his way out of this one...In other words, after insulting their allies, Congress now wants those same allies to send their own ready-made corpses to the killing machine in Iraq to take some of the heat off.

Before the Iraq war, many U.S. analysts and defense officials had dismissed the threat of a postwar guerrilla insurgency, arguing that Saddam Hussein's Baath Party did not have enough support from ordinary Iraqis to mount a serious campaign. Those Iraqis were a bunch of paper lions, pantywaists, pussies even, who would run to greet American troops with flowers with their lips all puckered and their pants unzippered. Great patriots of the White House staff like Rumsfeld and Cheney who were actually reading what the scripts they were mouthing for the public said, prior to mouthing them, had no use for allies in the invasion of Iraq unless the allies were countries like Poland, who questioned nothing of the American plans other than how much street credibility and good old Yankee taxpayer dollars it was going to net them.

Now, surprisesurprise!, Iraqis have carried out assassinations of U.S. allies, sabotaged infrastructure and attacked troops on an almost daily basis. They are actually refusing to cooperate! Can you imagine the gall? Haven't we given them all a nice economic infrastructure and a solid democracy to flourish in? The ingratitude is palatable.

Bush administration officials have sought to limit the influence of other countries in the Iraq reconstruction, fearing that shared power could interfere with their effort to steal the Iraqi oil and make billions for themselves and their buddies at places like Halliburton. But without the once-trivial United Nations imprimatur, it has been difficult for some countries to build domestic support for the idea of contributing police and troops to die in the U.S.-led "rebuilding" effort. Apparently, American allies don't have attention spans and memories as short as the typical member of the American voting populace. They don't get starry-eyed and misty when President Bush tells them absurdist lies with no factual evidence to back up wild claims of horrific Apocalyptic scenarios that will occur if America doesn't go invading every sovereign nation weak enough to have their oil stolen out from under them. Unless they're waving Tony Blair flags, of course.

On Monday, India said it would not, without a U.N. role, contribute the more than 17,000 peacekeepers requested by the United States. France and Germany, prominent opponents of the U.S.-led war in Iraq, have made similar statements. But who cares, right? As we already know, the Danes have already arrived with their snow shovels, so this war and all the unsavory images of American troops getting picked off like targets at a cheap carnival shooting gallery will all be over soon because the Danes will soon save the day!

In another fascinating development for free speech, the Great Imperialist Army, not content with simply stifling the dissent of the people they've invaded, to whom they are imparting their limited view of "democracy" upon, now want all the troops dying for them to keep their mouths shut too. They want them to keep their mouths shut so badly, they're considering punishing soldiers in Iraq who griped about conditions there to a television reporter.

That's right. You can be shipped out to die needlessly at the whim of people like Rumsfeld and Cheney and Bush who have never actually been in combat themselves but love the idea of sending others out to do it for them, but if you're going to die for them, die quietly. Some soldiers from the 3rd Infantry Division complained to ABC-TV this week after their units were told they would be leaving Iraq soon, then had their homecoming postponed. This is the problem with having an army made of human beings instead of androids. Androids wouldn't complain. Not even when they're lied to or kept indefinately from their families, or fighting in a war their general has already quit and run away from.

Isn't that a hoot? General Franks stays long enough to get all the credit for the "swift and decisive" American "victory" in Iraq and then, when the unsavory reality of the occupation of Iraq turning into another quagmire of guerilla warfare, he retires! See all you brave troops later, I'm getting the hell out of here while the gettin's good! Smart man. Unfortunately, the grunts who actually have to fight this war don't have that same luxury. They're not even allowed to complain. "None of us that wear this uniform are free to say anything disparaging about the secretary of defense, or the president of the United States," the new head of U.S. Central Command, Gen. John Abizaid, whined. "Just keep your mouth shut and die quietly!"

Any wonder why "American-inspired" democracy is floundering in Iraq? These Iraqis were "liberated" by soldiers who are free to die but not free to speak. Sounds alot like Saddam's old style of governing. No wonder he's making such a big comeback.

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