Thursday, December 23, 2004

Suicides to Come

Sy Hersh says our brass is afraid to tell their civilian bosses what they don’t want to hear. Remarkable evidence of that came at yesterday’s joint news conference by Donald Rumsfeld and General Myers, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff. Rummy said the bombing of that mess tent in Mosul reflected the desperation of our enemies in the war on terror. He babbled that THEY could lose an occasional battle and survive, whereas we could not afford to lose one. I defy you to make sense out of that. General Myers then slipped in a revelation -- that was a suicide bomb. Never mind what that tells about our security arrangements -- he said they were first rate --but it blew a large hole in the argument that our foes are just fighting for oil and power. They are mad and evil -- true enough -- but they could hardly have expected to strike oil where they were headed. Nor were they cowardly, like the Bush gang of draft dodgers. As for winning battles, we just drove them out of Fallujah. And three more U.S. marines were killed there yesterday.
These have been uncomfortable days for those who sent them there. Tom Friedman of the Times agonizes over the picture of the murder of three election workers in Baghdad - in broad daylight, in the middle of a main street. The killers did not even bother to wear masks. Freedman somehow found that to be the fault of Rummy and his gang -- for not sending enough troops, and for turning the world against us. But he sounds like them. He’d stay the course -- and send as many more troops for as many more years as it takes -- on a suicide mission.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

We Told Them So

We on the left are in a bind. How can we say “we told you so” without sounding smug. The first count of our impeachment of George Bush has been his attack on Iraq. We warned that he was lying and that this would be a war we could not win. Every day it becomes more painfully clear that we were right -- that we're losing the war and the only sane thing to do is bring our troops home. But those who said we had to stay the course find it hard to say THEY were wrong. So they don't, quite.

The Times had to lead with the catastrophe in Mosul, but it felt obliged to balance that with quotes from people who said that was sad, but. William Safire claims we're winning the war, and he's still hoping to find those weapons of mass destruction, somewhere, by widening the search to other countries. Tony Blair flew in to say that our prediction of an election proves we're right even if it doesn't don't look very plausible. Bill O'Reilly invited a peace advocate to explain our side, and cut him off with a long rant charging that we are traitors, rooting for the enemy -- that we want our troops to lose so we can say, “I told you so.” Well, sorry, Bill -- as long as this war goes on, we'll have to say it, and keep on saying it: We told you so.