Wednesday, January 10, 2007

New Huế Forward – Part II

(Pictured: Minard's Map)

You know, history isn’t always arcane.

It is not always disinterring some scrap of cloth or potsherd from a 6,000 year old burial site and trying to dope out what was going on in the long yesterday or parsing the shoulda-woulda-coulda of Napoleon and Moscow.

Sometimes just holding yesterday’s newspaper up to today’s light is like reading Toynbee.

The solemn promises of days gone by are not lost: All those yellowing newsprint corpses of the crises of our recent past are just sitting there. All dutifully transcribed, catalogued and shelved, but in the mad race to stay one lie ahead of the Subpoena Fairy our Dear Leader sometimes forget everything he said just moments ago.

Of course it helps when your followers are All RAM/No Hard Drive idiots who wipe their collective memories before toddling off to Republican Dreamland every night and awake -- refreshed and reformatted -- every morning, ready for the Moving Hand of Fox and Hate Radio to “Meme, Meme, Tekel, Upharsin” today’s Bright New Lies right onto their tiny trampled cerebellums.

So for example, on January 5th Ollie North – gigaconservative thug and He-Whose-Various-Treasons-Should-Still-Have-Him-Making-Big-Rocks-Into-Little-Rocks-In-Graybar-Fedland – actually broke ranks with the Dear Leader.

I tell you, the breakdown of discipline among the GOP fascisti is becoming downright shocking.

North said:
"Not one of the soldiers, sailors, airmen, Guardsmen or Marines I interviewed told me that they wanted more U.S. boots on the ground. In fact, nearly all expressed just the opposite: "We don't need more American troops, we need more Iraqi troops," was a common refrain. They are right."
"A "surge" or "targeted increase in U.S. troop strength" or whatever the politicians want to call dispatching more combat troops to Iraq isn't the answer. Adding more trainers and helping the Iraqis to help themselves, is. Sending more U.S. combat troops is simply sending more targets.
So according to Ollie, the real problem with Iraq is the lack of Iraqi troops on hand to whom we can pass our burdens.

But…but…but we have “Iraqi troops”.

Legions and legions of Iraqi troops.

I know we do.

How do I know?

'Cause the Dear Leader told me so.

This from September of 2004:
Bush: “Let me first tell you that the best way for Iraq to be safe and secure is for Iraqi citizens to be trained to do the job.

“And that's what we're doing. We've got 100,000 trained now, 125,000 by the end of this year, 200,000 by the end of next year. That is the best way. We'll never succeed in Iraq if the Iraqi citizens do not want to take matters into their own hands to protect themselves. I believe they want to. Prime Minister Allawi believes they want to.”
That was a promise from the Commander-in-Chief to the American people in 2004. One massive, specific and solemn promise among dozens that helped him and his supporters mock his opponent and win re-election.

The unambiguous history of our times. A clear record of what we were guaranteed by the leader of our country during a time of war. All there in black and white.

A pledge that we were training up Iraqi troops at a furious rate.

A promise I know the Dear Leader kept because he





(Also from September, 2004…same debate but later in the transcript)
Bush: "There are 100,000 troops trained, police, guard, special units, border patrol. There's going to be 125,000 trained by the end of this year. Yes, we're getting the job done. It's hard work. Everybody knows it's hard work..."
And over…
(From October 8, 2004)
Bush: "My opponent says he has a plan; it sounds familiar, because it's called the Bush plan. We're going to train troops, and we are. We'll have 125,000 trained by the end of December. We're spending about $7 billion."
And over again…
(From October 13, 2004)
Bush: "The best way to take the pressure off our troops is to succeed in Iraq, is to train Iraqis so they can do the hard work of democracy, is to give them a chance to defend their country, which is precisely what we're doing. We'll have 125,000 troops trained by the end of this year."
An oath he wouldn’t dare renege on because changing one’s position -- showing any degree of inconsistency -- on these critical matters will cause us to lose the War on Terror!

How do I know that inconsistency would lead to defeat?

'Cause the Dear Leader told me so.

From September 2004 (all emphasis mine).
Bush: The only consistent about my opponent's position is that he's been inconsistent. He changes positions. And you cannot change positions in this war on terror if you expect to win.
So because sweet, sweet History tells me that the Dear Leader’s men have been cranking out Iraqi soldiers like cheeseburgers at the Billy Goat Tavern during the lunch rush (because any deviation from that promise would Lead to Defeat) I know that…

…we had 125,000 Iraqi troops trained and ready to “stand up” by the end of 2004.

…we had 200,000 Iraqi troops trained and ready to “stand up” by the end of 2005.

And if we follow that metric, we must have had around 300,000 Iraqi troops ready to “stand up” by the end of 2006.

So by my cipherin’, as of about a week ago we were supposed to have a third of a million Iraqis under arms – more than enough by a factor of more than 2-to-1 to take over for the 140,000 American troops currently bleeding and dying in Iraq.

Which should be happening any day now.

How do I know?

'Cause the Dear Leader told me so.

From September, 2004.
Bush: “And so the best indication about when we can bring our troops home -- which I really want to do, but I don't want to do so for the sake of bringing them home; I want to do so because we've achieved an objective -- is to see the Iraqis perform and to see the Iraqis step up and take responsibility.”
See, it’s all part of George Bush’s Plan for Victory.

You didn’t know there was a Plan for Victory?

Well there is.

How do I know?

'Cause the Dear Leader told me so.

From September, 2004.
Bush: “We will succeed. We've got a plan to do so. And the main reason we'll succeed is because the Iraqis want to be free.

“I had the honor of visiting with Prime Minister Allawi. He's a strong, courageous leader. He believes in the freedom of the Iraqi people.

“He doesn't want U.S. leadership, however, to send mixed signals, to not stand with the Iraqi people.

“He believes, like I believe, that the Iraqis are ready to fight for their own freedom. They just need the help to be trained. There will be elections in January. We're spending reconstruction money. And our alliance is strong.

“That's the plan for victory.”
A plan he kept repeating...
(From October 8, 2004)
Bush: "Our plan is working. We're going to make elections. And Iraq is going to be free, and America will be better off for it."
A plan his Vice President also repeated,
(From October 5, 2004)
Cheney: We've made significant progress in Iraq. We've stood up a new government that's been in power now only 90 days. The notion of additional troops is talked about frequently, but the point of success in Iraq will be reached when we have turned governance over to the Iraqi people; they have been able to establish a democratic government. They're well on their way to doing that. They will have free elections next January for the first time in history.

We also are actively, rapidly training Iraqis to take on the security responsibility.

Those two steps are crucial to success in Iraq. They're well in hand, well under way. And I'm confident that, in fact, we'll get the job done.
And how do I know this Plan to Victoriously Stand Up Hundreds of Thousands of Iraqi Troops so that We Can Stand Down is working?

Because the Dear Leader told me so.

Actually his Vice President told me in this exchange between Himself and John Edwards on October 5, 2004
CHENEY: Classic example. [Edwards] won't count the sacrifice and the contribution of Iraqi allies. It's their country. They're in the fight. They're increasingly the ones out there putting their necks on the line to take back their country from the terrorists and the old regime elements that are still left. They're doing a superb job. And for you to demean their sacrifices strikes me as...

EDWARDS: Oh, I'm not...

CHENEY: ... as beyond...

EDWARDS: I'm not demeaning...

CHENEY: It is indeed. You suggested...

EDWARDS: No, sir, I did not...

CHENEY: ... somehow they shouldn't count, because you want to be able to say that the Americans are taking 90 percent of the sacrifice. You cannot succeed in this effort if you're not willing to recognize the enormous contribution the Iraqis are increasingly making to their own future.

We'll win when they take on responsibility for governance, which they're doing, and when the take on responsibility for their own security, which they increasingly are doing.
History, bitches!


Ivory Bill Woodpecker said...

"Subpoena Fairy"

Jeff Gannon has a new job? :)

¡El Gato Negro! said...

I love that Chart of Napoleon's march to Moscow

I saw a copy of that een a book by Edward Tufte, and immediamente was drawn to eet.


Anonymous said...

With this post I dub thee "Heir to Billmon." It's absolutely priceless.


Anonymous said...

Who didn't know at the outset that training Iraqi troops would better prepare them to do what they wanted to do, not what the White House wanted them to do?

Who would think military training of Mara Salvatrucha ('MS-13', 'MS') or of the Mafia would lead to peace?

Answers: 1) People who are genuinely stupid. 2) People whose minds inhabit imaginary worlds.

Having either in control of your future is really, really dangerous.

redoubt said...

George W. Baldrick:
"I have a cunning plan. . ."

At least Baldrick's plan involved something useful like a turnip. . .

stupidbaby said...

Are the words "Cunning Plan" about to march with ill-founded confidence in the direction of this conversation?

Nice one Redoubt!

as Homer Simpson once said, "Everything's bad if you REMEMBER it!"


Gentlewoman said...

Jeebus, driftglass, why can't we see stuff like this on the front page of our newspapers, and as the leading story on the teevee 'news'?

Oh, because our media are all whores in bed with the Republican corporacrats.

Sorry, I forgot.

Still, there it all is. All the lies, laid out in a nice line. You'd think that some 'journalist' (they tell me we used to have those, way back when) would be capable of connecting the dots like this. You'd be wrong.

Thanks, great job, as usual. Every day I wake up and wish you were the NYT or the Washington Post. And every day I am disappointed.

Anonymous said...

Journalism died with Edward R Murrow. All you've got today are media hacks wedded to their paychecks.

Oh, and the blogosphere, where the old economy is irrelevant. Long live the blogosphere -- because nobody can kill it.

eddie blake said...

well there's a VERY simple EXPLANATION for all this...

....republicans DONT read...

eddie blake said...

...they DONT think..

..they DO as they are TOLD...

...while at the SAME time REFUSING to LISTEN...

...and MAN is our NATION worse off

because of it....

...DRIFTY, you're asking FANATICS who are NIFTY red UNIFORMS short of being INQUISITORS


..HEADS would EXPLODE...

..just like in SCANNERS...

..(on SECOND thought, FETCH me the COMFY cushions, this i GOTTA watch...)

driftglass said...

because people will always pay premium prices for sweet comforting lies, whereas truth is both readily available and often bitter.
That makes truth a product that's hell to market and with a helluva thin margin.

driftglass said...

There are no heirs.
Onlt admirers :-(

scarletwoman said...

Thank you for performing such a valuable service! Your compilation is breathtaking -- and REALLY REALLY useful! I intend to seed it around, I'm assuming you would not object. This is fine work that you've done. I think we need many more fact-packed historical reviews (of the non-arcane kind that you've so deftly demonstrated) thrust into the public consciousness. Repeatedly and unremittingly.

The root of this state of war (I'm talking about the war that the warmongers are waging on all the rest of us) is control of the narrative. All us folks venting our outrage to each other online need to step up our game. Who is going to control the narrative? Are there not more of us than there are of them?

The ones currently in control are not sane, and they are truly nasty people. They embody the absolute WORST qualities of human nature -- greed, lust for power, disregard for the lives of others, egomania, mendacity -- the list goes on and on... But we are a species also capable of sublime artistry and philosophy, empathy and altruism. Why should the very worst of our species be allowed to affect all our fates?

It seems to me that the very most important task we have is to wrest the narrative from these sociopaths. The stories they tell us about our world are all lies. They only tell us what THEY think the world *should* be, it has nothing to do with reality.

Thank you again,

sightunseen said...

Aye, sw,, thanks be to Mr. Glass, he of the distiller of broken glass, those shards of truth whose scattered remains
beckon to all who trod the bloody road of redemption.

breakdown said...

Does it matter what an American wants? It is about Bush and only Bush, he will go down as the worst President anytime.
Watergate looks like petty crime to this.