Escalation and Expansion: Bush’s “Great Leap Forward” Into Hell
The outlines of Bush’s “New Way Forward” or “Great Leap Forward” or “Long Walk Off a Short Pier” in Iraq is now fairly clear. It has three general thrusts: a large increase in troop numbers; a direct assault on the forces of Motqada al-Sadr; and, if possible, an expansion of the war beyond Iraq’s borders through a military strike on Iran.
The troop increase is now certain (if indeed it had ever been in doubt). In the past few days, with the nation distracted by the Christmas holidays (and by the ever-phony and genuinely idiotic “Christmas Wars” eating up media airtime), the Bush Faction has carried out a quiet coup – or perhaps a counterrevolutionary purge – in the military ranks. Top generals who openly opposed increasing the U.S. occupation force in Iraq have either announced their retirements or else have been compelled to crawl and eat their words in public recantations. (This moral cowardice is even more remarkable when you consider how weak, stupid – and deeply unpopular – is the “commander-in-chief” who has somehow overawed these stalwart soldiers. One can only imagine that some sort of blackmail must be involved.)
The generals were the last possible obstacle to the war’s precipitous escalation; the national Democrats have already signaled their willingness to countenance a “surge” (the Orwellian propaganda term that has been adopted wholesale by the corporate media to describe the vast expansion of the war). Even those Democrats who have appeared to speak out against it have, almost invariably, couched their objections in weasel-wording terms devoid of any actual oppositional content. “I won’t support a surge unless it’s part of an overall plan to bring our troops home sooner,” is the standard formulation, although the “boldest” among them will sometimes tack on a specific date: “bring our troops home by 2008” or some such. But of course, any escalation of the war will be presented precisely as a strategy to bring the conflict to a speedier end; thus most Democrats will latch onto that spin and – grudgingly or enthusiastically – go along. In any case, it’s certain that the Congressional Democrats will not put up a concerted, united effort against an escalation.
Read it here.