Thursday, September 13, 2007

A good book about Iraq

Evan has come and gone back to Iraq. He had a relaxing time in Texas with Beth, and we spoke with them over Skype videophone a few times. No news from him since he has been back. He has a long hike on his base from barracks to phone center. His schedule is erratic, and there can be long lines at the phones. We have learned to assume that no news is good news.

Right now, we are very interested in the news on state of the surge, as delivered by the government. No surprises there. Crocker and Petraeus were both handpicked by Bush, and Petraeus was chosen for his job after several more seasoned retired generals had turned it down. Given Bush’s history with the Iraq situation, who knows what to believe?

The news we hear is that the soldiers want to get back home as soon as possible. The military has been amazingly overstressed, no matter what your political stance.

I’m reading the book “Fiasco: The American Military Adventure in Iraq” by Pulitzer Prize winning author, Thomas E. Ricks. It’s a real eye-opener, covering all the warnings by many experts inside and outside the government who predicted the situation we’re in today. The whole mis-adventure was railroaded by Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Perle, Libbey, Rice, Chalabi, Miller, Feith, Tenet, and a host of their factotums who thought that war was a football game, where winner takes all, and moves on with a pot of money to the next big game.

Congress and the press fell for it hook, line, and sinker. However, there were plenty in congress, the Army, and press who saw a 10+ year large US military presence in Iraq, but they were shunted aside. The great US military leaders Shinseki and Zinni were pushed out when they expressed their profound doubts.

Read the book for more insight into the truths that are conveniently forgotten. Do whatever you can to see our troops get home safely and the Iraqis find real help through education, infrastructure, and justice. These things cannot be delivered by the military.

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