And they come with no warning,
nature loves her little surprises.
Continual crisis!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

On a Field in Pennsylvania, in July, Day 1

I'm listening to Michael Shaara's The Killer Angels on my iPod, and I know I'm gonna cry. I did when I read the book, when Longstreet goes raging into the fields of Gettysburg looking for a Union bullet to end his pain. I cried because I know that feeling. Anybody who has commanded knows that feeling, we avoid it the best we can.

It ranges out there, stalking us like a cougar. We can smell it's breath and it's musk, just working hard to keep the strike at bay, if we can see it first, if we can halt it's charge. If only we're confident enough, smart enough, daring enough, hold your head high, back straight, never show a weak moment we'll keep that cat in the trees. Never show anything that could be construed as "prey activity" or it'll come busting out of the cover right at you. Never let it know you're thinking about it, don't look in the trees or you'll see it. And if you're good and eat all your peas, you'll be able to wish it away on the other guy. The other guy you're trying like hell to make dead for his cause.

That "God damn, (insert your most colorful stream of creativity here)" feeling you get, having asked boys (and now girls) who trusted you with their lives, to walk into the buzz saw, hoping you'd at least get to the objective. And failing to do anything but get them killed. And wanting, desperately, to not only join them but end the torment of carrying that weight, carrying all their bodies back to their homes and never being able to leave everything behind. To take that cup of poison away.

It's the feeling (I'm only guessing here, but I'm pretty sure) that Cheney and Rumsfeld had after seeing the dead Kurds, laying in their Villages. Kurds dead from the weapons they handed to Saddam. Those Kurds come and visit them at night, in the car, when they get out of the shower, when they eat their breakfast. I think those two old bastards wanted this Iraq war so they could say to those revenants, "Look, we got rid of Saddam. We avenged you." This is like the child pulling the blankets over their heads because monsters can't see through blankets. The monsters are always there when you lower the blanket.

Only now there's a whole new chorus of dead for them.

We've asked our boys and girls to win Iraq three times now ("Mission Accomplished"/First Insurgency-Fedayeen/Surge-AQI). Each time they've done what we've asked, and each time there was no political follow up. We railled against the Iraqi Parliament for taking August off. It's now 2.5 months later and they still haven't fixed their problems. Are we going to ask our boys and girls to win Iraq a fourth time? Time for this administration to show some political savvy and balls and get Iraq's political situation straightened. Their fear, though, is that they'll ask us to leave. Well, then, we leave. either than or drop the pretending and make Iraq a protectorate and get it done.

Only that way can we truly refocus of Afghanistan and take this war back to where it needed to be.


Camille Alexa said...

Intellectual apathy is the refuge of the lazy and the spiritually malnourished. Do not let it happen to you.

Steve Buchheit said...

Well, I'm not apathetic, I really want the Bush Administration to actually show some damn courage and leadership. We've won a war we shouldn't have fought three times, and each time the administration drops the ball and gives the Iraqi govenment a pass. If we do it again the Iraqi Army will be the strongest indigenous institution by next February where we might see a coup while we have our troops in country. That would Not Be Good(tm), but might be popular with the people. Our troops have gone and made a great condition for democracy to flourish, now it's the political side's turn to do it's job, and unfortunately there is now political will to do anything.

If for that only, we should impeach the SOBs before we toss them out.

And Bush won't be gone until January 20th, 2009, no matter what happens in the election. Yes, that date is in my heart.

The real problem is the twisting of the career employees this President got away with. The driving of intentionally non-partisan bodies into deeply partisan cheerleaders, and the installation of "approved" people into life-long positions. That will take decades to reverse (as in a perverse flip-flop they will use the very government worker rules they so dispised to hang on to power).