Thursday, September 16, 2004
US Military Leaders Assess Iraq As Unprecedented Disaster
Retired general William Odom, former head of the National Security Agency, told me [author Sidney Blumenthal]: "Bush hasn't found the WMD. Al-Qaida, it's worse, he's lost on that front. That he's going to achieve a democracy there? That goal is lost, too. It's lost." He adds: "Right now, the course we're on, we're achieving Bin Laden's ends."
This is the general idea of self sabotage. When you recognize the frame you'll see examples everywhere, including the many listed in the so-named section of the GuvWurld News Archive.
Jeffrey Record, professor of strategy at the Air War College, said: "I see no ray of light on the horizon at all. The worst case has become true. There's no analogy whatsoever between the situation in Iraq and the advantages we had after the second world war in Germany and Japan."
W Andrew Terrill, professor at the Army War College's strategic studies institute - and the top expert on Iraq there - said: "I don't think that you can kill the insurgency". According to Terrill, the anti-US insurgency, centred in the Sunni triangle, and holding several cities and towns - including Fallujah - is expanding and becoming more capable as a consequence of US policy.
And finally, the quote that really prompted this entry:
Terrill believes that any sustained US military offensive against the no-go areas "could become so controversial that members of the Iraqi government would feel compelled to resign". Thus, an attempted military solution would destroy the slightest remaining political legitimacy. "If we leave and there's no civil war, that's a victory."
The only "reason" ever given for not focusing on withdrawal plans is the prospect of Iraqi civil war erupting in the void. Yet the US trains Iraqis for police and military duties that require them to fight other Iraqis - the very definition of civil war. This particular example of sabotage is as Orwellian as they come. Meanwhile, this isn't just those pesky, disloyal military generals shooting their mouths off as usual (yeah, right). The NYTimes reports the US State Department has requested diversion of $3.4 billion from Iraq reconstruction to security. Senators from both sides of the aisle have said this indicates "deep trouble" for the war effort, in the words of Republican Senator Chuck Hagel.