Wednesday, March 7, 2007

The dilemma in the Iraq War

What, are they trying to undermine the fighting morale of our troops? That's gotten to be the stock response of the small band of remaining Iraq War supporters to just about any kind of sober look at the situation in Iraq. I'm referring to this:

There is no historical precedent for the current situation. President George W. Bush has said we will not leave until victorious, but the Iraq Study Group –ten distinguished Aamericans — has concluded that Iraq is "deteriorating,"
while General Peter Pace, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has said, "We’re not winning, but we’re not losing." No one knows when this war is going to end — or how — whether satisfactorily or badly.

As we enter the fifth year of the war, a majority in Congress and in the opinion polls want our forces substantially withdrawn, while acknowledging that the mission —leaving a stable, orderly, and democratic Iraq protected by its own forces — has not been achieved. At the same time, the president, with two years remaining as commander-in-chief, has not altered the mission, despite a widespread belief that his own political party will successfully force a mission change before the next presidential election. (my emphasis)
That's from an article in the Jan-Feb 2007 Military Review, a publication of the US Army: by Waiting for Godot in Iraq by F. J. Bing West, a former Assistant Secretary of Defense and current a Defense Department consultant.

Unfortunately, the war supporters are becoming so hysterical about anything that's not rah-rah war propaganda that it wouldn't actually surprise me to hear some prominent rightwingers accuse Military Review of undermining battlefield morale and aiding the enemy by saying things like that.

I notice that in West's article, the word "soldier" is spelled with a capital "S" even in mid-sentence. I noticed that the other day in an Air Force article on their Air Force Link Web site. I can't swear that that's a new editorial practice for Pentagon publications. But I don't recall noticing it before this month.


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