Wednesday, August 11, 2004

U.S. Military Tough Talk

U.S. military commands are constantly talking big. They put up these huge Orwellian declarations about how swimmingly the war is going, how many freedom fighters have been killed, and they absolutely love to give ultimatums - which ultimately come to nothing, but more devastating evidence that U.S. credibility is null and void.

Let's take a look at the headlines coming out of Najaf. If you look back over the past couple of years you'll be able to see this pattern over and over and over again. It is soooo tired. Here's how the story's been going, and how it will continue to go:

Escalation and lots of 'pounding':
US forces pound Iraqi militia

Now we're gonna get serious:
US, Iraqi Forces Ready for `Major Assaults' on Najaf Rebels

Then, after more stalemate, the ultimatum:
US forces demand militants in Najaf lay down arms or face death

Now what is going to happen is this - the U.S. will cut a deal behind the scenes that allows them to let al-Sadr roam free while the U.S. gets to save face back home after boasting so loudly for so long. Of course, this deal-cutting stuff only empowers the resistance - it shows the weakness of our forces, and encourages the resistance, showing them that they can beat the almighty Americans if they're persistent enough. Whether our weakness on the battlefield is military or political really doesn't matter. What matters is our credibility on the battlefield continues to dissipate in these guerrilla battles where we give ultimatums, and then walk away and declare victory. If we say we're going to do something, we had better well damn do it.

Let me guess how this standoff is going to end - here's my guess at the headlines - we'll update this post when it goes down:
Order Restored to Najaf. Sadr to leave. U.S. Forces Withdraw

Of course, this won't be at all what happened. Order will not have been restored. Sadr will not have left. And the U.S. forces would withdraw far enough to avoid mortar fire coming from the city. Chaos will continue to reign in the city, and the terrorist training camp that is now Iraq will continue to flourish.

Smile. :)

UPDATE: I couldn't make this up if I tried, people. Our first post-tough-talk headline is as follows:
U.S. Troops Postpone Offensive in Najaf

I should fess up right away and say that the U.S. propaganda machine would never allow such a blatant headline like 'U.S. Forces Withdraw' to appear. That will be exactly what happens, but it'll be buried in the fine print, in the last paragraph of the story. A 'compromise' will be mentioned, of course, and that 'al-Sadr will still have to answer for his crimes', yadda-yadda-yadda, but all of this is to be expected.

Hey, if Bush gets to backtrack all the time on almost everything he says, then so can I! :)

But to sum up, any headline coming from Iraq, regardless of the actual conditions on the ground, will reassure all us American November Presidential Election voters that what happened was nothing less than absolute, total, unconditional victory.

UPDATE: Another classic headline:
U.S., Iraqi Forces Launch Najaf Offensive

So, here we go - the transformation of yet another losing US military effort, but before we invade, get in a few punches, and then withdraw, we have to say that this is partially an Iraqi effort - thus the 'Iraqi Forces' in the headline. As if there is such a thing as 'Iraqi Forces' - you gotta be kidding me. Most of Iraq, that includes government officials, is already calling on the US to get the hell out of Najaf. This should be fun.

UPDATE: Latest headline:
Iraq, Al-Sadr Aides Negotiate Najaf Truce

I love it. All of a sudden the U.S. military has disappeared from the equation. We got our asses handed to us, decided to pull out, and leave it to 'Iraq' to declare victory via a negotiated truce. Too funny. Bush is making a mockery of our military, he's making a mockery of our would-be strength. What an asshole. We knew it would happen, it happened, but are we supposed to be satisfied that we correctly predicted the abysmal conclusion of Bush's horrific Iraq strategy? Jee-zoo.

UPDATE: Al-Sistani brokers peace deal - Najaf, Kufa to become weapons-free cities

I don't care how much moral authority Sistani has - he ain't gonna get Najaf and Kufa to become weapons free. One would have to be smoking a *lot* of crack to believe that. Sadr's followers are not stupid - they know Allawi will make his move on them if they give him the chance by putting down their weapons - so don't count on it. And if you believe this is the end of the little Najaf uprising, I have a bridge to sell you. More to come, of that, I am sure...

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