Sidney Blumenthal, Salon:
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.
This isn't the first time we've tried increasing troop levels. We've done it twice before and both times -- obviously -- it's failed. But, like they say, if at first you don't succeed, try again, fail better. Or, in this case, fail more spectacularly with even higher body counts.
Bush makes a big deal about 'listening to military commanders.' Actually, let me amend that statement -- Bush used to make a big deal about 'listening to military commanders.' The very highest ranking military officials -- the Joint Chiefs -- opposed Bush's plan, but he didn't listen to them.
Washington Post, Dec. 19 '06:
...[T]he Joint Chiefs think the White House, after a month of talks, still does not have a defined mission and is latching on to the surge idea in part because of limited alternatives, despite warnings about the potential disadvantages for the military, said the officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the White House review is not public.
So, the plan is not only poorly thought out, but it's so bad that it has the Pentagon preparing for defeat.
Democrats are often accused of having 'no plan.' In a radio address back in January, President Bush said, "To oppose everything while proposing nothing is irresponsible." But dems have plans -- plenty of them. But The Decider doesn't like those plans, so they fall into the category of 'no plan.'
Meanwhile, the only people still talking about 'victory in Iraq' are those in the White House. Iraq is gone. 'Victory in Iraq' would mean the impossible; the defeat of every armed group in Iraq and coming out the winner of someone else's civil war.
Everything the critics of the war warned about has come true. Iraq is a quagmire. The removal of Saddam Hussein has created a power vacuum that's been filled by armed militias in Iraq and by Iran regionally. Iraq has become a training ground for terrorists.
Yet we're supposed to follow the lead of those who've been wrong about everything. This time, after all of the stupid decisions, the lies, the broken promises, and the shortsightedness, we're supposed to think that these fools know best. They know better than the american people, the congress, and the Joint Chiefs. Those who've been wrong about everything now ask us to believe that everyone else is wrong.
I'm not buying it. As Bush himself so eloquently said once, "Fool me once... Shame on... Shame on you... Fool me... Can't get fooled again!"