There's something comforting about conspiracy theories. Sometimes you would rather believe that seemingly inexplicable actions or statements by government officials are part of a clever if nefarious plot than to think, "These clowns just don't know what they're doing!"
Viceroy Jerry Bremer says we don't need more troops in Iraq, just better information. Rummy says we don't need more troops. Condi says we don't need more troops. General Myers says that, hey, General Abizaid hasn't asked me for any more troops. But Myers also says that we would be glad to have other countries contribute troops.
You don't need to be a wily Old World diplomat to see the problem with that pitch. If the US thinks we have enough troops there, but still welcomes other countries to contribute more, it sure sounds like we're asking for France, Germany, India or whoever to substitute their soldiers for ours.
While that may sound good to American politicians and voters, it's unlikely to sound good to politicians and voters in the countries we're asking to send their soldiers into harm's way in what sure sounds like a deteriorating security situation in Iraq. Particularly since some many military analysts seem to think the overall force level there is too low to easily stabilize the country.
Given the unpopularity of the war in every country that would be able to commit significant nubers of troops, this sounds almost bizarre. Or at least clueless. What are these people thinking?
Rummy and various Republican blowhards had a good time before the war trashing the "cowardly" French and mocking the sissy Europeans and so forth. Now they find that confidence in the US is lacking. Then there were the false claims about "weapons of mass destruction". And now they find that the credibility of the US is lacking.
Should we hope there's a conspiracy? Because the idea of running a war on frat-boy posturing is pretty scary.
- Posted by Bruce Miller 08/27/03