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On Bullshit
Bush’s IEDs to the Nation

Smashed up all over, just just in Ramadi

A banner day for Ali BushBush and his furtive thieves, including and especially the pretender to Bush’s throne, John McCain, whose presidential campaign is going about as well as Bush’s surge in Iraq: “I understand the frustration caused by our mistakes in this war. I sympathize with the fatigue of the American people,” he told cadets at the Virginia Military Institute. “But I also know the toll a lost war takes on an army and a country. It is the right road. It is necessary and just.” Does he really mean Vietnam? Is he really that brazen to be fighting that war all over again (as I’ve argued has been his motivation all along)? What general in his right mind would continue fighting a losing war, knowing he’s turning soldiers into sacrificial fodder? It’s difficult to imagine, so soon after this Bush presidency, a chief executive equally blind, equally deluded. Day after day on the campaign trail, McCain reminds us that it’s not so difficult after all as he goes about imagining “the first glimmers” of success from Bush’s escalation—surely, the success inspired by his stroll through that Baghdad markert the other day, the kind of success that led to the retaliatory murder, a day later, of 21 Shias who worked in the market. Next thing he’ll be telling us is that maybe it’s worth bombing Hanoi again, too, for good measure. The man isnl;t a ticking time-bomb (or an IED, as the case may be.) He is a bomb. Not to worry. Support for his candidacy continues to go the way of the dodo, according to the latest poll in the LATimes.

Meanwhile in Afghanistan, the Pentagon is opening an investigation, belatedly as usual, into the killing by Marines of eight or fourteen civilians on March 4 after a convoy of special operation forces—those supposed hyper-professionals—fired indiscriminately into crowds after it was ambushed by militants. “The platoon,” the Post reports, “belonged to a 120-member Marine special operations company, which was ordered to leave Afghanistan last month because Kearney determined the incident had so damaged its relations with the local population that it could no longer carry out its counterinsurgency mission.” So damaged its relations… Hasn’t virtually the entire American campaign in Afghanistan been a smaller version of its Iraqi approach? Isn’t the Taliban’s own surge of late proof that Afghanistan has been a five-year waste? And this is just the beginning. From a March 27, 2007, Congressional Research Service report:

As interest in troop level deployments continue, recently, President Bush announced in a February 15, 2007 speech, the administration’s plans for an increase in U.S. forces in Afghanistan, including a planned gradual increase of 3,200 U.S. troops on the ground in the coming several months. The total troop deployment in this region is expected to reach 70,000 by 2008.

Not to worry (too much): the number represents total NATO forces, not just American ones. Still: why 70,000? Iran rings a bell. “As of March 1, 2007,according to DOD, the United States had 24,845 troops stationed in Afghanistan —21,581 active component and 3,264 National Guard or Reserves…. These totals do not include 12,000 military support personnel in Kuwait, nor naval personnel aboard ships patrolling through the Persian Gulf.” .” What was that in Time this week about the military being at the breaking point?

And in Washington, where the empire is never self-assured until it makes imperious decisions, Defense Secretary Robert Gates announced Wednesdaythat “all active-duty Army soldiers currently deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan could serve extended tours of up to 15 months in combat, meaning more than 100,000 troops now at war probably will be kept overseas three months longer than their expected one-year deployments. The new Pentagon policy also means that tens of thousands of Army troops headed to Iraq and Afghanistan in coming months likely will serve tours 25 percent longer than the one-year tours the Army has had in place for the two conflicts over the past five years.”

I’m reminded of the opening lines of Harry Frankfurt’s great little book: “One of the most salient features of our culture is that there is so much bullshit.” Of course, he says toward the end of the book, “it is impossible to be sure that there is relatively more of it nowadays than at other times.” Except on days like this, when every political turn leads to another Bush-camp IED.

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