Turns out that "large,"
in the air assault dispatch (*below)
meant a lot more helicopters, but did not mean a major assault.
Guess you can't believe everything
you read, or see: especially when it's Defense Dept. film.
Iraqi Forces Launch Largest Air Raid Since 2003 --
16 (Bloomberg News) -- "The U.S. military and Iraqi forces launched
air assault in Iraq since the March 2003
invasion in a bid to root out insurgents hiding around Samarra."
Meanwhile, White House briefer Scott McClellan said today that the decision
for the ops was made by the military commanders, not the Pres.
No doubt McClellan had to stipulate that the
president was briefed (after the fact?) to quash suspicions
that the air assault might have been coordinated with any new policy
directions, real or fantasized, Bush might be issuing for public
consumption. But are we actually to believe that Bush didn't put his
stamp of approval on this shock and awe beforehand? C'mon!
one of his recent speeches to sell the war in Iraq, Bush urged the polarized Iraqis to pull together and form a unity government,
no doubt anxious to achieve enough movement on the Iraqi's part
to at least create a semblance of progress; and then Bush at last
giving up the kind of glossing over that will no longer raise his sinking
polls, he confessed the current reality of Iraq to a think-tank in
"I wish I could tell you that the violence is waning and that the road
ahead will be smooth. It will not. There will be more tough fighting and
more days of struggle, and we will see more images of chaos and carnage in
the days and months to come."
While knowing full well of the impending air assault to come.
I suppose this new tell-it-like-it-is approach for Bush is also an attempt to
identify himself with another war-time leader, the great Winston
Churchill; the difference between then
and now, though, was that the entire world, and especially Britain, was on
the verge of an apocalypse. Sixty-million people eventually died
Britain would suffer the most incredible bombing of its cities and was threatened with an invasion;
unlike Bush's war in Iraq which he, using deception, chose to commit us to,
to the tune of thousands of American casualties.
I excerpted a paragraph from Churchill's "Blood, Toil,
Tears and Sweat" speech to the people of Britain, below, for comparison. It takes
minute to read it, folks:
have before us an ordeal of the most grievous kind. We have before us
many, many long months of struggle and of suffering. You ask, what is our
policy? I can say: It is to wage war, by sea, land and air, with all our
might and with all the strength that God can give us; to wage war against
a monstrous tyranny, never surpassed in the dark, lamentable catalogue of
human crime. That is our policy. You ask, what is our aim? I can answer in
one word: It is victory, victory at all costs, victory in spite of all
terror, victory, however long and hard the road may be; for without
victory, there is no survival. Let that be realized; no survival for the
British Empire, no survival for all that the British Empire has stood for,
no survival for the urge and impulse of the ages, that mankind will move
forward towards its goal. But I take up my task with buoyancy and hope. I
feel sure that our cause will not be suffered to fail among men. At this
time I feel entitled to claim the aid of all, and I say, "come then, let
us go forward together with our united strength."
between these men becomes apparent, doesn't it. And the difference
between what was so necessary and what was not.
about what we've come to:
This man, guilty or innocent, tortured and beaten to
death at Abu Ghraib. Click the image and go to salon.com
which has now published all the images. Click the Chapter numbers
upper right. Look at the pictures. Don't
turn away. Where is our great nation heading?
Now in addition to
this new air assault, is the President shaking a stick at
Iran! merely to divert us
from his failures? Threatening Iran with what? Invasion? How
could that be on the table? Does the administration want a war with Iran?
Are there elements of insanity and fantasy at work? What has the American
voter put into office? Supposedly we were to be drawing down troops
from Iraq, when in fact a U.S. commander has asked for more--700 of them
heading north to pitch in. Not to mention, Gen. John Abizaid,
overseer of Iraqi ops, told a House subcommittee the U.S. might want to
maintain a long term military presence to neutralize violence and protect
the flow of oil. How do the troops feel about that? Not too
good according to the latest
the new firebrand heading Iran, believes that
his insisting on restarting his nuclear program, has given the
administration another unwanted headache to deal with. The reason
this guy's feeling his oats of course, being that Bush/Cheney and their
pack of unilateral and preemptive hawks, created this monstrous debacle in
Iraq and sucked the energy out of them for little else beyond their war.
Or is Ahmadinejad wrong? Are there war-game plans in the works? It's all
mirrors, folks. What is real?
If we had stayed out of Iraq and remained on the ground in Afghanistan
with most of our U.S. manpower, our European allies would have been more
than willing to pitch in to help with the burden of that conflict;
and the Taliban wouldn't be re-growing like the Afghanistan poppies which
are supplying 90% of the world's heroin. And we would have had the
time and the will to negotiate with Iran.
The U.S. has had no
diplomatic relations with Iran since the 1979 hostage crisis, and the Bush
administration has wasted more than five years in office, not
developing a workable policy with that country. The administration's
fantasy was: creating democracy in Afghanistan and Iraq would make
it easy to invade Iran. Some Policy! Everything by force.
Iran, wanting to divert us away from its nuclear ambitions, has made a
move on its own, is willing to engage in narrow talks with us, the
Great Satan, regarding Iraq--not nuclear programs--ostensibly to help Iraq
ward off a civil war. Ironic if Iran were the solution, and not the
administration. Eh? Well, maybe not.
Anyway, the latest word: the White house staff people are exhausted by
five years of this mess, and outsider friends are suggesting a switch to new
blood, which would be refreshing, I'm certain. But don't hold your
breath, folks, since someone new might tell the President he has to change
direction, and he won't want to hear that. He speaks
sanctions and diplomacy, but I believe he really wants to invade Iran.
Another war for another "Mission Accomplished" to reclaim past glories.
Rumsfeld, Bush, ambassadors, the Joint Chiefs, the officers on the ground, are all
contradicting each other publicly and privately, anyone even slightly
objective who is connected to the administration, must feel he has stepped through the
Looking Glass into wonderland. Me too.
P.S. They did get some
new blood in the W.H., after all-- a pastry chef.
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