Monday, October 24, 2005

American Troops, Not War, Supported

I'm sure you've noticed them, those magnetic yellow ribbons stuck on the backs and sides of cars and SUVs and trucks, which read "Support Our Troops." It seems a significant precision of phrasing that Americans have found - these ribbons do not say they "Support The War In Iraq" or "Support The War in Afghanistan". Certainly Congress has given approval for the war in it's constant funding of the war's cost, regardless of any public posing they may take with the media. But Americans have chosen their words wisely, it seems, and carefully.

U.S. Troops are also leaning on that support, though their morale seems to be in an ever-weakening state, some due to the usual military confusion and incompetence, but they have also taken to the blogging world and their stories provide intimate details and a picture of a military campaign that seems to be losing traction.

Operation Truth has been a firm chronicler of the experiences of vets from Iraq and Afghanistan and has detailed information about the slipping morale.

Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, former Chief of Staff at the State Department, in a speech last Wednesday, noted the harmful nature of a "secret cabal" making foreign policy decisions at the White House and the dangerous nature of American's secret or "flummoxed" strategy in the war.

my army right now is truly in bad shape – truly in bad shape. And I’m not talking about the billions and billions of dollars of equipment it’s burning up in Iraq at a rate 10 or 15 times the rate its life cycle said it should be burned up at, but I’m also talking about when you have officers who have to hedge the truth, NCOs who have to hedge the truth. They start voting with their feet, as they did in Vietnam, my war. They come home and they tell their wife they’ve got to go back for the third tour and the fourth tour and the wife says, uh-uh, or the husband says, uh-uh, and all of a sudden your military begins to unravel. And the signs are very concrete right now that the Army and the Marine Corps – to a lesser extent the other services because they’re not quite as involved in the deployments that we’re talking about here and the frequency thereof, the op tempo as we say it – problems are brewing."

Also worth noting is Brent Scowcraft's scathing view of our lack of military strategy:

The neoconservatives -- the Republicans who argued most fervently for the second Gulf war -- believe in the export of democracy, by violence if that is required, Scowcroft said. "How do the neocons bring democracy to Iraq? You invade, you threaten and pressure, you evangelize." And now, Scowcroft said, America is suffering from the consequences of that brand of revolutionary utopianism. "This was said to be part of the war on terror, but Iraq feeds terrorism," he said

And most assessors see the U.S. stepping now into yet another country, Syria.

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