Saturday, August 7

Bob Herbert picks up the cat 'o nine

MYT columnist Bob Herbert, yesterday joined a list of folks who should be reluctant to fly in small aircraft. In a column excoriating the administration, he asks the pertinant questions, ones that would have had geargie boy blowing a gaskit if he had presented them at the Unity gathering, where the simian sovereign was photo opping for ethnic folks. He introduces us to a couple of kids who grew up and joined the army together, and at the ages of 20 perished four months apart:
No one has a clue how this madness will end. As G.I.'s continue to fight and die in Iraq, the national leaders who put them needlessly in harm's way are now flashing orange alert signals to convey that Al Qaeda - the enemy that should have been in our sights all along - is poised to strike us again.

It's as if the government were following a script from the theater of the absurd. Instead of rallying our allies to a coordinated and relentless campaign against Al Qaeda after Sept. 11, we insulted the allies, gave them the back of our hand and arrogantly sent the bulk of our forces into the sand trap of Iraq.

Now we're in a fix.

Theatre of the Absurd, comedy of errors, its like Pere Ubu meets Br'er Rabbit, and they run off to join the Keystone Cops. (and all that cool stuff I had before the crash took it away-save early and often folks)Herbert has a few questions that shoul have been given more than a cursory glance prior to this "Land war in Asia":
What's the military mission in Iraq? Can it be clearly defined? Is it achievable? At what cost and over what time frame? How many troops will be needed? How many casualties are we willing to accept? And how much suffering are we willing to endure here at home in terms of the domestic needs that are unmet?

Neither Lyndon Johnson nor Richard Nixon was honest with the American people about Vietnam, and the result was a monumental tragedy. George W. Bush has not leveled with the nation about Iraq, and we are again trapped in a long, tragic nightmare.

As for the so-called war on terror, there is no evidence yet that the administration has a viable plan for counteracting Al Qaeda and its America-hating allies, offshoots and imitators. Whether this week's clumsy sequence of press conferences, leaks and alerts was politically motivated or not, the threat to the U.S. is both real and grave. And it can't be thwarted with military power alone.
For all his faults, Pere Bush, chose a simple objective, get Hussein out of Kuwait and I seem to remember nearly a half million coalition forces for that "Monty Burns inspired Kuwaiti slant-drilling Operation" restoration project. Not to forget the fact that with a "nudge as good as a wink to a blind bat" assurance that we didn't care if He invaded Kuwait he was still a quasi ally at the time.Lets let Bobs last graph speak for itself:
The United States is the greatest military and economic power in the history of the planet. But it lacks a unifying sense of national purpose at the moment, and seems uncertain, even timid, as the national security challenges continue to mount. That is what a failure of leadership can do to a great power.