May 27, 2004

Fisking the Gorebot: Part 2

Part 1 is here.

This next section is a bit beyond my area of expertise, so it's not going to be brilliant, but I have to get through it so I can return to the good stuff. Let's begin...

When a senior, respected military leader like Joe Hoar uses the word "abyss", then the rest of us damn well better listen. Here is what he means: more American soldiers dying, Iraq slipping into worse chaos and violence, no end in sight, with our influence and moral authority seriously damaged.

I guess that's why Iraqis are getting ready to take control of the government, hold national elections, and write a new constitution.

Retired Marine Corps General Anthony Zinni, who headed Central Command before becoming President Bush's personal emissary to the Middle East, said recently that our nation's current course is "headed over Niagara Falls."

Opinion, meet facts. Facts, beat the living crap out of opinion. Thank you.

The Commander of the 82nd Airborne Division, Army Major General Charles H. Swannack, Jr., asked by the Washington Post whether he believes the United States is losing the war in Iraq, replied, "I think strategically, we are." Army Colonel Paul Hughes, who directed strategic planning for the US occupation authority in Baghdad, compared what he sees in Iraq to the Vietnam War, in which he lost his brother:

That's a shock. To some people, every war is Vietnam.

"I promised myself when I came on active duty that I would do everything in my power to prevent that ... from happening again."

It's not happening again. For one thing, we were fighting an organized army in Vietnam, not a "radical cleric" leading a bunch of "insurgents."

Noting that Vietnam featured a pattern of winning battles while losing the war, Hughes added "unless we ensure that we have coherence in our policy, we will lose strategically."

That's why we have a plan. As much as the media wants to pretend that there's no "exit strategy," it's just not valid.

The White House spokesman, Dan Bartlett was asked on live television about these scathing condemnations by Generals involved in the highest levels of Pentagon planning and he replied, "Well they're retired, and we take our advice from active duty officers."

Where's the problem? I think the people who are actually involved with the mission have a better idea of how it works.

But amazingly, even active duty military officers are speaking out against President Bush. For example, the Washington Post quoted an unnamed senior General at the Pentagon as saying, " the current OSD (Office of the Secretary of Defense) refused to listen or adhere to military advice." Rarely if ever in American history have uniformed commanders felt compelled to challenge their commander in chief in public.

Doesn't this go against your whole "abuse of power" screed? It seems like they should be silenced by the Ashcroft Dissent Crushing Squads™.

The Post also quoted an unnamed general as saying, "Like a lot of senior Army guys I'm quite angry" with Rumsfeld and the rest of the Bush Administration. He listed two reasons. "I think they are going to break the Army," he said, adding that what really incites him is "I don't think they care."

Wow. So two anonymous sources represent the entire military. Kind of like 7 prison guards.

In his upcoming book, Zinni blames the current catastrophe on the Bush team's incompetence early on. "In the lead-up to the Iraq war, and its later conduct," he writes, "I saw at a minimum, true dereliction, negligence and irresponsibility, at worst, lying, incompetence and corruption."

Wow, another book accusing Bush of being incompetent...*yawn*...

Zinni's book will join a growing library of volumes by former advisors to Bush -- including his principal advisor on terrorism, Richard Clarke; his principal economic policy advisor, former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill, former Ambassador Joe Wilson, who was honored by Bush's father for his service in Iraq, and his former Domestic Adviser on faith-based organizations, John Dilulio, who said, "There is no precedent in any modern White House for what is going on in this one: a complete lack of a policy apparatus. What you've got is everything, and I mean everything, run by the political arm. It's the reign of the Mayberry Machiavellis."

What kind of "policy apparatus" would you suggest then? The Commander in Chief is supposed to make decisions occasionally.

Army Chief of Staff General Eric Shinseki told Congress in February that the occupation could require "several hundred thousand troops." But because Rumsfeld and Bush did not want to hear disagreement with their view that Iraq could be invaded at a much lower cost, Shinseki was hushed and then forced out.

I'm sure it was really that simple.

And as a direct result of this incompetent plan and inadequate troop strength, young soldiers were put in an untenable position. For example, young reservists assigned to the Iraqi prisons were called up without training or adequate supervision, and were instructed by their superiors to "break down" prisoners in order to prepare them for interrogation.

Since when is that not standard procedure? The information we get from prisoners could save lives.

To make matters worse, they were placed in a confusing situation where the chain of command was criss-crossed between intelligence gathering and prison administration, and further confused by an unprecedented mixing of military and civilian contractor authority.

Those meddling mercenaries.

The soldiers who are accused of committing these atrocities are, of course, responsible for their own actions and if found guilty, must be severely and appropriately punished.

Oh, but that's not enough, is it? We have to pretend that the Bush administration personally ordered and observed every last abuse that took place.

But they are not the ones primarily responsible for the disgrace that has been brought upon the United States of America.


Private Lynndie England did not make the decision that the United States would not observe the Geneva Convention.

That's actually true. She did, however, make the decision to act like an idiot and then pose for pictures, which was 100% her fault.

Specialist Charles Graner was not the one who approved a policy of establishing an American Gulag...

Ooooooh, let's use Soviet terminology to demonize the eeeeevil Bush Regime. Scary.

...of dark rooms with naked prisoners...

Isn't that the kind of thing the left is in favor of? Maybe I'm just thinking of Massachusetts... be "stressed" and even - we must use the word - tortured - to force them to say things that legal procedures might not induce them to say.

Since "legal procedures" basically consist of begging them to divulge information that could cause their side to lose the war, I don't see why everyone is so upset. The actions at Abu Ghraib were unnecessary, but if those prisoners actually had valuable things to tell us, we should've done whatever was necessary to win. That's "overwhelming force" for you.

These policies were designed and insisted upon by the Bush White House.

Oh, is that why they're apologizing for it, instead of refusing to listen to dissent like you keep implying?

Indeed, the President's own legal counsel advised him specifically on the subject. His secretary of defense and his assistants pushed these cruel departures from historic American standards over the objections of the uniformed military, just as the Judge Advocates General within the Defense Department were so upset and opposed that they took the unprecedented step of seeking help from a private lawyer in this city who specializes in human rights and said to him, "There is a calculated effort to create an atmosphere of legal ambiguity" where the mistreatment of prisoners is concerned."

That was just a tangent. I can't figure out which part of it was actually useful.

Indeed, the secrecy of the program indicates an understanding that the regular military culture and mores would not support these activities and neither would the American public or the world community.


Another implicit acknowledgement of violations of accepted standards of behavior is the process of farming out prisoners to countries less averse to torture and giving assignments to private contractors.

Because contractors will never respect the rules, ever.

President Bush set the tone for our attitude for suspects in his State of the Union address. He noted that more than 3,000 "suspected terrorists" had been arrested in many countries and then he added, "and many others have met a different fate. Let's put it this way: they are no longer a problem to the United States and our allies."

That's a good thing. Unless you feel sorry for murderers.

George Bush promised to change the tone in Washington. And indeed he did. As many as 37 prisoners may have been murdered while in captivity, though the numbers are difficult to rely upon because in many cases involving violent death, there were no autopsies.

And I bet they were all innocent, and none of the perpetrators were punished, right?

How dare they blame their misdeeds on enlisted personnel from a Reserve unit in upstate New York.

How dare you pretend that they control everything the military does!

President Bush owes more than one apology. On the list of those he let down are the young soldiers who are themselves apparently culpable, but who were clearly put into a moral cesspool.

"Free will? Wasn't that a movie about a killer whale?"

The perpetrators as well as the victims were both placed in their relationship to one another by the policies of George W. Bush.

Brilliant deduction, Holmes. I'm so ashamed that you're not our president, because we need a superb mind like yours to tell us that when a president declares war, soldiers are sent there.

How dare the incompetent and willful members of this Bush/Cheney Administration humiliate our nation and our people in the eyes of the world and in the conscience of our own people.

They haven't dared to do that yet, because they didn't order the abuse.

How dare they subject us to such dishonor and disgrace. How dare they drag the good name of the United States of America through the mud of Saddam Hussein's torture prison.

If the actions of those soldiers were really as bad as when Saddam was in power, they'd need to dig more mass graves. His prisoners didn't live to tell about what he did to them. And did I forget to mention that Hussein actually ordered those tortures, unlike Bush? In fact, he and his psychotic spawn actually participated in many executions. There's some perspective for ya.

David Kay concluded his search for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq with the famous verdict: "we were all wrong."

Wow, out of context quotes prove so much. "We were all wrong" could mean anything, especially since our intelligence is quite clearly not perfect.

And for many Americans, Kay's statement seemed to symbolize the awful collision between Reality and all of the false and fading impressions President Bush had fostered in building support for his policy of going to war.

Now we're back to "Bush lied, there were no WMD!"

Now the White House has informed the American people that they were also "all wrong" about their decision to place their faith in Ahmed Chalabi, even though they have paid him 340,000 dollars per month. 33 million dollars (CHECK) and placed him adjacent to Laura Bush at the State of the Union address. Chalabi had been convicted of fraud and embezzling 70 million dollars in public funds from a Jordanian bank, and escaped prison by fleeing the country. But in spite of that record, he had become one of key advisors to the Bush Administration on planning and promoting the War against Iraq.

And now that they're re-evaluating that decision, you've suddenly decided that it's a sign of weakness to change course? Doesn't all that cognitive dissonance give you a headache?

And they repeatedly cited him as an authority, perhaps even a future president of Iraq. Incredibly, they even ferried him and his private army into Baghdad in advance of anyone else, and allowed him to seize control over Saddam's secret papers.

Now they are telling the American people that he is a spy for Iran who has been duping the President of the United States for all these years.

I think it's interesting how you accept the truth of that statement immediately, even after all the ranting about how Bush lies to us. Oh, wait, I forgot that if it's bad for America, it must be true.

One of the Generals in charge of this war policy went on a speaking tour in his spare time to declare before evangelical groups that the US is in a holy war as "Christian Nation battling Satan."

I'd believe that. Look at who we're fighting.

This same General Boykin was the person who ordered the officer who was in charge of the detainees in Guantanamo Bay to extend his methods to Iraq detainees, prisoners. ... The testimony from the prisoners is that they were forced to curse their religion Bush used the word "crusade" early on in the war against Iraq, and then commentators pointed out that it was singularly inappropriate because of the history and sensitivity of the Muslim world and then a few weeks later he used it again.

Oh no! We might hurt their precious feeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeelings!!!!

"We are now being viewed as the modern Crusaders, as the modern colonial power in this part of the world," Zinni said.

That is utter bulls**t, all right? If we were colonizing, we wouldn't be turning over government power to the Iraqis; We'd be putting Bush in charge of the country and treating it like the 51st state.

What a terrible irony that our country, which was founded by refugees seeking religious freedom - coming to America to escape domineering leaders who tried to get them to renounce their religion - would now be responsible for this kind of abuse.

Yeah, telling prisoners to renounce their religion is equivalent to establishing a national church. Whatever you say, Gore-on.

Ameen Saeed al-Sheikh told the Washington Post that he was tortured and ordered to denounce Islam and after his leg was broken one of his torturers started hitting it while ordering him to curse Islam and then, " they ordered me to thank Jesus that I'm alive." Others reported that they were forced to eat pork and drink alcohol.

Horrible. I'm flabbergasted.

In my religious tradition, I have been taught that "ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so, every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit... Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them."

Yes, and we now know that Lynndie England, Charles Graner, and the rest are f**king douchebags who should be court martialed.

The President convinced a majority of the country that Saddam Hussein was responsible for attacking us on September 11th.

That's funny, because I distinctly remember him naming Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda whenever he referred to the attack, and I've never, in the nearly 3 years since then, heard anyone say that Saddam did it. Ever. In fact, the only time I hear that is when people like you claim that everyone believed it. That's odd...

But in truth he had nothing whatsoever to do with it.

Nobody said that he did.

The President convinced the country with a mixture of forged documents and blatantly false assertions that Saddam was in league with Al Qaeda, and that he was "indistinguishable" from Osama bin Laden.

Based on his statement that "We will make no distinction between those who committed these acts and those who harbor them," he technically is indistinguishable from bin Laden. That's called consistency. Hooray.

He asked the nation , in his State of the Union address, to "imagine" how terrified we should be that Saddam was about to give nuclear weapons to terrorists and stated repeatedly that Iraq posed a grave and gathering threat to our nation.

As I pointed out in Part 1, you also said that. Are you going to go on an insane tirade against yourself? Based on your ability to believe two things at once, I think that would be possible. And entertaining.

He planted the seeds of war...

Radical Islam planted the seeds of war. We're just digging them up and destroying them.

...and harvested a whirlwind. And now, the "corrupt tree" of a war waged on false premises

No, no, no, no, that's all wrong. The correct phrase is "false pretenses." Haven't you been reading the opinion pages lately?

...has brought us the "evil fruit" of Americans torturing and humiliating prisoners.

7 of them. 7 Americans. Who are being investigated and punished. More than Saddam ever did, since he actually set up the entire system.

Wow, that was less than effective, but the next section will be better.

Posted by CD on May 27, 2004 07:45 PM
Semi-Intelligent Comments


Sorry, couldn't resist. And I seriously doubt the information about the "unnamed generals" is accurate. In the military, you're not allowed to question or criticize the President. That means that when Bill "Eviscerate the Military" Clinton was my Commander-in-Chief, I shut my mouth. I voted against him, but I shut my mouth. Thank God those days are over. Of course, retirees can say what they want (Wesley "Should've Been Born in France" Clark). In response to General Shinseki, several hundred thousand troops is all we have. We can't send EVERYBODY to Iraq.

Hey I might be off in my history here, but since all the moonbats wanna compare Iraq to Vietnam, why has nobody compared Abu Ghraib to My Lai? Was it because the blame for My Lai was placed on a lieutenant and not the President? I guess that wouldn't work for them.

Posted by: Army NCO Guy at May 29, 2004 03:34 PM

There is so much more to say to expose the calculatedly incoherent clap-trap that is this entire speech. I'm almost tempted to do an entire fisking , as well.

Posted by: Tuning Spork at May 29, 2004 09:14 PM
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