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More Than A Feeling, Please

Wednesday, Jul. 11, 2007 2:27 PM


Homeland Security Weasel-In-Charge Michael Chertoff opined that there could be increased attacks by al-Qaeda this summer. The basis for this grand pronouncement? A 'gut feeling.' Yet he admits there are no reports or indication to raise the country's alert status.

So, if something were to happen, Chertoff's covering his ass. If nothing happens, well, that just means he's doing his job.

(And where were these finely-honed gut instincts when we had a Category 5 hurricane slamming into New Orleans, hmm?)

Let's back up a moment. If there were to be a second terrorist attack within the United States (and, no, I'm not counting any arrests of jihadist wannabes who have to be coached in loyalty oaths by undercover agents, or who expect to trade stereo equipment for ordnance), would we have a frank admission and appraisal of the sad state of security in this country?

This isn't about spying and wiretapping and uncovering plots – it's about the simple, direct, and necessary task of protecting our infrastructure and important assets.

But, if such a thing were to happen, we'd probably just get a rousing chorus of, "we didn't know."


If the surge was intended to cut back on the Iraq insurgency, so we could ultimately bring our troops home, it's failed.

If the surge was intended to provide breathing space for the Iraqi government to regroup and get their shit together, it's failed.

If the surge was intended to show how stubborn we can be, refusing to admit our errors, it's a rousing success. With close to 600 additional dead soldiers, it's rocking the house!

There's talk of how the surge is the first step in reworking the mission in Iraq (supposedly a statement by Tony Snow, but I can't find the exact attribution). Hello? What happened to this 'adapt to win' nonsense, the talk of how we have a flexible strategy?

The truth is, we don't have a mission to re-work. You could put all the parts of a Ferarri on the floor in my garage, and it doesn't matter how many times I re-work the mission, you're not going to see me driving a Testarossa any time soon – because it's not a mission I can accomplish, no matter how hard I wish it to be otherwise.

When the mission objectives are unrealistic and unattainable, we move from the realm of strategy into the realm of wishful thinking. It's time for the generals to stop trying to please the idiot in the Oval Office and give the mission a long, hard look.

Because a side effect of this keep-our-hand-in-the-fire approach we've got going is that we're losing good soldiers to a bad mission, and we're also losing capable leaders – and having them replaced with ass-kissers.

An army full of ass-kissing sycophants ain't gonna win a damned thing, let alone secure Iraq.



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