Monday, September 10, 2007
General Petraeus and the Surge Shell Game
When I saw General Petraeus sitting there with his brightly coloured charts yammering away about how victory is in sight ...... except now you need a space telescope to see it..... I knew I was watching history unfold before my very eyes.
Not just because the general bears a startling resemblance to the late great Egyptian pharaoh Ramses II ....
Who was quite a soldier himself.
But because it reminded me of the old black and white movies about the Vietnam War where victory was ALWAYS in sight. Until......um...... it wasn't.
It was the same old show. A general dripping with braid sitting there playing for time. Playing with the truth like a shell game.
Making it sound like withdrawing some troops next summer would be a sign of progress. When in fact it's just the 30,000 extra troops committed to the "Surge"and the reason they would HAVE to be withdrawn is because the U.S. Army is so stressed they couldn't keep it up even if they WANTED to.
Because not only is the equipment being ground down at an alarming rate....the troops are exhausted.
And the Pentagon is so desperate to toss fresh meat into the grinder they've not only lowered the standard to allow criminals and drug addicts and fat and old people to sign up.
Now they're handing out $20,000 Quick Ship Bonuses.
The $20,000 bonus can be enticing, especially to those who lack a steady job, languish in debt or are worried about their future.
I'll bet it is.....as well as a recipe for disaster. When those poor suckers have blown the dough to pay off their credit card debts or buy themselves a new trailer or an old camaro...something tells me it's going to be like the morning after THE NIGHT before.
They're going to be REALLY upset at finding themselves in a place like Fallujah...facing NO FUTURE at all.
And pity the poor Iraqis. Soon not only will they have to dodge the Al Qaeda fanatics high on God...as well as the militias, the criminals, and the Iraqi security forces.
They'll have to run for their lives from an army of pissed off Quick Shippers, rednecks and criminals high on Red Bull AND meth.
Which or course reminds me of that other war...you know the one where the soldiers decided they couldn't wait for victory...or the Vietnamese army to take over....so they all started smoking weed or shooting up.....or fragging their commanding officers.
You know......THIS movie....
General Petraeus could have laid the brutal truth on the table today....and let the American people decide whether further sacrifice was worth it.
But he chose to sugarcoat that truth. He played for time like the Vietnam generals did. He played politics. And for that history will NEVER forgive him.
As for his lookalike Ramses ......he had to learn things the hard way. He spent a lifetime fighting the Hittites....winning battle after battle. Only to come to the conclusion that neither side could defeat the other, and sign a peace treaty with his mortal enemies.
The first recorded peace treaty in the history of the world.
That was about 3000 years ago.
When will these generals ever learn?