Saturday, August 20, 2005

Four more years! Four more years!

For the U.S. Army in Iraq, that is. On Saturday, Army Chief of Staff General Peter Schoomaker admitted that the army is planning to keep at least 100,000 troops in Iraq for at least the next four years. Planning may not be reality, of course, as Bush may -- as I anticipate he will -- withdraw a significant number of troops prior to next year's mid-term elections,* but those who actually know what's going on in Iraq, or at least those who face up to what's really going on and therefore avoid the self-inflicted state of denial that seems to have engulfed the White House, are clearly preparing for the worst... And it's good to know that they are, given that "the worst" may very well turn out to be what actually happens.

* Clearly, the Bush Administration is in the process, once again, of shifting rhetorical course without trying to draw attention to what it's doing, namely, abdicating responsibility for its actions (you know, the whole invasion, regime-change, occupation thing). Pay attention to the rhetoric: Iraq has suddenly become an Iraqi problem, a problem that Iraqis themselves need to work out. Oh, really? Doesn't this mean that the withdrawal has already started? Isn't this just the exit strategy in action? Sure. Once the Iraqis finalize their constitution, and once that constitution is (somehow) ratified, the U.S. can get out. Job (not-so-)well done. For if Iraq then descends into chaos and anarchy, or perhaps morphs into an Iran-style theocracy, well, it's the Iraqis' fault, is it not? That's what the Bush Administration will want you to believe.

Just don't believe it. Make sure the buck stops where it belongs: in Bush's lap.

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