Saturday, August 20, 2005

Commander In Chief Is A Bozo Surrounded By Bozos

Somebody needs to account for this.As we’ve seen in previous articles (1, 2, 3), the once vaunted US military establishment has stumbled again in the face of a determined grassroots military organization, the so-called “insurgents” of Iraq. Through a combination of hubris, piss-poor planning, historical amnesia and dunderheaded politicians without a scrap of humility, we are playing a dangerous game of catch-up in Iraq, and what have we got to show for it? a regime busily scribbling away at a new constitution that will disenfranchise women and install the same-ole same-o religious nuts we despise, aligning the ancient Euphrates empire with that of a Persian Islamic theocratic state. Call it Iran-q.

More than enough blame for everybody here, for while we have destroyed the Iraq army, never a very good one to begin with, we disastrously failed to have a plan in hand to deal with the insurgency that was sure to follow the initial classic military invasion and virtually destroyed our own army in the process. An over-reliance on technology on the part of the US, combined with the complete failure of American political planning for the post-invasion period, has resulted in disorder bordering on chaos. And we can lay the blame squarely at the feet of our Commander In Chief, George W. Bush.

A complete dunderhead himself, Bush bought as whole cloth the fairy tales told him by ill-informed strategic planners such as then-Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz, and the champion of whiz-bang warfare, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. In one sense, it can be admitted that Rumsfeld can be a very persuasive presenter; just recently he sat for an interview with PBS’ Charlie Rose and basically steam-rollered Charlie, ususally a pretty well-prepared interviewer. Donald looks good, he sounds good, and he doesn’t have a clue; he’s a Bozo. And, being a Bozo himself, Bush bought into the bozo plans of his techno-blinded and politically obtuse military Bozos.

Rumsfeld thinks he’s conducting the war from some outer space platform, “over flying combat zones.” His ignorance about insurgencies, guerilla and modern urban combat defies belief. Personally, I was unable to sit through the complete interview; on the one hand I wanted to jump through the TV screen and whack Rumsfeld upside the head with my copy of Insurgency and Counterinsurgency In The 21st Century (Metz & Millen) or punch Rose out for being such a complete wimp. Arggh.

Personally, I like a good Bozo; it’s cretins like these that give Bozos a bad name. For a really good overview of the present situation, you couldn’t do worse than to subscribe to No Quarter Intelligence Review, run by Larry Johnson, who knows whereof he speaks.

Terrorism is a police matter
While we’re on the subject of plans and planning, and I know this is too late to help, but let me repeat my observation about “homeland security.” Again, terrorism is a police matter. Instead of another humongous aparat ( The Department of Homeland Defense), we should have simply established an interagency working group, co-coordinating information flow and interdepartmental co-operation between the FBI (the agency chartered for domestic terrorism) and the CIA (the agency chartered for foreign intelligence gathering). Presto bingo, free flow of information, a police organization in place devoted to catching bad guys and no issues of violations of civil liberties, as the first outfit is well-versed in the civil and criminal code and the second in foreign diplomacy as well as covert operations and intelligence gathering. Instead of a huge bureaucracy, we reassign existing agents to more closely defined activities, save money, reduce duplication of effort, and maybe get something accomplished besides X-raying little old ladies.

To repeat, Melvin Purvis to the rescue.

Gaseous relief department

I went to fill up this morning and the sign on the gas pump said, "We take Visa, MasterCard and American Express." So I filled up and they took my Visa, my MasterCard and my American Express.

Friday, August 19, 2005

'Shock and Awe'? ... More like 'drop the ball'

If you've read my previous articles on American strategic aims and like me are curious about just exactly what the problem is in Iraq and why the US military can't seem to get its act together in combating the so-called insurgents, you might want to check out this piece by Jason Vest from the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists:
In 1964, the old Asia hand Lucian Pye astutely noted that, despite a long and well-documented history of insurgent warfare in the world, governments that have faced insurgencies--or were once insurgents themselves--tend to be quick at forgetting their roots. For militaries, this loss of memory has not been passive, but rather reflects a conscious effort to marginalize insurgency studies. "They fail to acknowledge and codify their accumulative understanding of how to cope with insurrections," Pye lamented. "Thus each outbreak of insurgency seems to call for relearning old lessons."
It's the usual litany of forgotten lessons, and we would do well to pay some freakin' attention to what this author has to say. When you talk about blowing people up, you can't do better than talking to the folks who brought us Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

For instance:

A constant throughout all counterinsurgency literature is the importance of understanding not just the finer points of the nation and culture where one is operating, but the nature of insurgency itself. It was, therefore, nothing short of jarring when, on June 23, 2004, then-Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz declared on MSNBC that what was happening in Iraq was "not an insurgency."

Wolfowitz explained that an "insurgency" is only synonymous with an "uprising." As such, he continued, the fighting in Iraq does not constitute an insurgency, as it's a "continuation of the war by people who never quit," waged by the same enemy "that fought us up until the fall of Baghdad and continues to fight afterwards."

Those with an appreciation for the nuances of counterinsurgency were shocked. Wolfowitz's comments demonstrated that the Pentagon leadership still believed that Iraq could be pacified through the conventional (and escalating) application of force. Moreover, it suggested that senior Bush administration officials were ignoring intelligence reports that the insurgency was far more diverse than holdouts from Saddam Hussein's regime. But perhaps most troubling was that Wolfowitz revealed either flagrant disregard for--or complete ignorance of--an esteemed National Defense University (NDU) text that foresaw these problems 13 years before the fall of Baghdad.

This is serious stuff and the kind of information that prospective progressive candidates need to pay attention to. Without a grasp of the intermarriage of strategic defense and political thinking, we're going to keep walking into traps like the one in Iraq.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Cindy's husband files for divorce

While some of Bushies neighbors may not like the "invasion" of their prime Texas real estate by friends and supporters of Cindy Sheehan, it seems that there are some locals who feel compassion enough that are willing to lend a hand. That's what neighbors are for, right? from the Right Left Story:
"The property owner who owns property near Bush's ranch and right across the street from Bush's church will let us move Camp Casey there!! He has property on both sides of the road...a full acre for us to camp! We are so excited!!! We can fit more people and we will be closer to the ranch. Miracles, miracles."
So not everybody in Texas is an asshole, but we all knew that. But, to add insult to injury, the San Francisco Chronicle is reporting that Cindy's husband, Patrick, has just filed for divorce:
Cindy Sheehan poses on the side of the road leading to Pr...

Cindy Sheehan, whose celebrated vigil for her dead son has won her international acclaim if not a meeting with the president, is now facing another challenge, this one at home.

Her husband, Patrick Sheehan, filed for divorce Friday in Solano County District Court, and he apparently wants to keep their house.

and cut to:

In a closely related story from the Deepest South, Borowitz Report is reporting Bush Refuses to Set Time Table For Withdrawal From Crawford.


Sunday, August 14, 2005

The Cindy Sheehan affair

If you only ever got your news from TV, you'd have the impression (as I did) that the affair of Cindy Sheehan was a one-shot deal, involving a distressed mother, standing forelorne on a sun-baked stretch of Texas county road, waiting , waiting, waiting for her President to come by, pause and engage in some chit chat, and possibly speak a kind word or two of solace to this greiving woman, whose son was killed in the deserts of Iraq.

You'd think her alone, but the fact of the matter is that she is not alone. Dozens, perhaps as many as over a hundred supporters and sympathizers are out there with her. Thousands more, maybe millions, are following her affair on the Internet, and she definitely has support. But you wouldn't know that, if you only watched TV.

Go to
and see some streaming video, or check out these on-the-spot bloggers (courtesy of skippy).

Sadly, the Perez is too busy to toss even a few crumbs to this woman. He's resting from his conquests.