Bending the Third Rail
Because We Should, We Can, We Do
Thursday, February 08, 2007
Only Makes Sense
Sidney Blumenthal has written a column in Salon that breaks some news:
Deep within the bowels of the Pentagon, policy planners are conducting secret meetings to discuss what to do in the worst-case scenario in Iraq about a year from today if and when President Bush's escalation of more than 20,000 troops fails, a participant in those discussions told me. None of those who are taking part in these exercises, shielded from the public view and the immediate scrutiny of the White House, believes that the so-called surge will succeed. On the contrary, everyone thinks it will not only fail to achieve its aims but also accelerate instability by providing a glaring example of U.S. incapacity and incompetence. The profoundly pessimistic thinking that permeates the senior military and the intelligence community, however, is forbidden in the sanitized atmosphere of mind-cure boosterism that surrounds Bush.

"He's tried this two times -- it's failed twice," Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said on Jan. 24 about the "surge" tactic. "I asked him at the White House, 'Mr. President, why do you think this time it's going to work?' And he said, 'Because I told them it had to.'" She repeated his words: "'I told them that they had to.' That was the end of it. That's the way it is."
The news here may be less that the Pentagon is planning .... they plan for everything. The news is that someone in the Pentagon leaked this particularly planning, and the mood around it, to Sidney Blumenthal. Someone in the Pentagon is trying to send a message to the public and/or the White House. The Pentagon regulars have been at war with the administration for some time over Iraq. The military does not want to be the whipping boy for the upcoming failure in Iraq as it was for Vietnam. But somehow I think Bush will find a way to make failure anyone's fault but his own.