Bush gives another forgettable speech on Iraq
The prez gave another speech at a military base today, one of the few places he seems to be able to give a high profile speech these days. There was nothing new, but you can read his wishful thinking at the WaPo.
This president is in complete denial about the reality in Iraq, and when he gives speeches like the one he gave today, he's simply playing on his remaining supporters' emotions rather than using logic and reason to critically evaluate the situation at hand.
Seymour Hersh has a new column citing sources at the Pentagon, CIA, and State. If you think the generals are really the ones the president is listening to, think again.
There are grave concerns within the military about the capability of the U.S. Army to sustain two or three more years of combat in Iraq. Michael O’Hanlon, a specialist on military issues at the Brookings Institution, told me, “The people in the institutional Army feel they don’t have the luxury of deciding troop levels, or even participating in the debate. They’re planning on staying the course until 2009. I can’t believe the Army thinks that it will happen, because there’s no sustained drive to increase the size of the regular Army.” O’Hanlon noted that “if the President decides to stay the present course in Iraq some troops would be compelled to serve fourth and fifth tours of combat by 2007 and 2008, which could have serious consequences for morale and competency levels.”
Many of the military’s most senior generals are deeply frustrated, but they say nothing in public, because they don’t want to jeopardize their careers. The Administration has “so terrified the generals that they know they won’t go public,” a former defense official said. A retired senior C.I.A. officer with knowledge of Iraq told me that one of his colleagues recently participated in a congressional tour there. The legislators were repeatedly told, in meetings with enlisted men, junior officers, and generals that “things were fucked up.” But in a subsequent teleconference with Rumsfeld, he said, the generals kept those criticisms to themselves.
Wonkette shows us the prez's evolving vision for Iraq based on speeches given since the war began. If these components were planned in this order all along, it's easy to see a big part of the problem.