January 18, 2005
"Unforeseen circumstances" (or maybe she meant "unacknowledged warnings"?)

Neo-con monster: Condoleezza Rice does her creators' bidding, molding ineffective policies out of thin air....it's magic!

Confirmation time! Let's hurry up with this and get President Bush's second-term cabinet in order, eh, so we can begin the momentous task of laying the groundwork for peace in the Middle East. To assist in this endeavor, the American people have the wisdom and good judgment of faithful troopers like Condoleezza "Ex Post Facto" Rice, who, in today's Senate confirmation hearing unironically announced that "the time for diplomacy is now," in terms of working with allies to resolve the crisis in Iraq ("Crisis"? Shit, wrong word. I meant, umm, "problem". Social Security is the "crisis," and Iraq merely a "problem." Ok, wait, I'm getting all confused here. Let's move on.)

When asked by Sen. Joseph Biden (D) of Delaware about the strength (or lack thereof) of the current U.S. troop levels in Iraq, Rice countered, or rather, deflected:

"I would not presume to try to give the president military advice, but I do believe that he got good military advice and I do believe that the plan and the forces that we went in with were appropriate to the task," she said.

"We did meet with some unforeseen circumstances," Rice acknowledged.

Oh, dear..."unforeseen circumstances?" (Etiquette question: Is it bad form to call this woman a goddamned close-minded imbecile? Because "unqualified fucking idiot" seems so much ruder.)

Let's take a look back. Patriots from California to Maine so fondly recall those optimistic days in October 2002, when we all had faith that there was surely going to be an overthrow of the tyrannically unsafe-for-Americans Iraqi governing body...and our war plans seemed so efficient, so reasonable! We knew our nation's leaders were listening to experienced veterans of combat, and were shrewdly calculating how to achieve the lofty and noble objective of ridding Iraq of its WMDs...

Fuck it, I can't continue with this sarcastic bullshit anymore. Some things transcend the classic model of asshole-ness, and disparaging the ineptitude of others is one of those things. Let's instead try channeling some constructive hostility of the "We-told-you-so" variety:

What follows is a (lengthy, but necessarily so) selection by Michael T. Klare from "War Plans and Pitfalls", from the October 21, 2002 issue of The Nation.

However, while there appears to be unanimity among top Administration officials on the need for a military assault on Iraq, there has been no such consensus regarding the precise form of such an attack. Senior military commanders with experience in the 1991 Persian Gulf conflict have argued for a Desert Storm-like engagement involving hundreds of thousands of US combat troops, while civilian strategists in the Defense Department and some conservative think tanks have advocated a more daring and innovative approach, employing a relatively small contingent of ground troops backed up by the massive use of air power and precision-guided munitions. It appears that President Bush--under pressure from Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Vice President Dick Cheney--has accorded primacy to the unconventional approach.

Bush favors this approach for several reasons. To begin with, the unconventional approach allows for a much earlier assault on Iraq than would be the case under the conventional one. Any replay of Desert Storm, however scaled down, would require the deployment of hundreds of thousands of troops (plus all of their heavy equipment) from the United States and Europe to the Middle East. This task could not be completed until next spring, and so would require US forces to commence combat operations at the onset of the blistering desert summer. The unconventional plan, on the other hand, would entail fewer troop deployments and could be set in motion by early winter--the optimal time of year.

Adoption of the bolder plan also helps the United States get around the problems created by the reluctance of some friendly Arab countries, including Jordan and Saudi Arabia, to allow the use of their territory as a staging ground for the US invasion of Iraq. An army of 250,000 combatants would almost certainly require the use of bases in Saudi Arabia, as was the case during the 1991 conflict; a force of 50,000 can be assembled in Kuwait, Qatar and some of the other small Gulf kingdoms.

But it is ideology, most of all, that appears to govern the President's choice of strategic options. By starting the war in January or February, the Administration would escape more than the summer heat--it would short-circuit the diplomatic process at the UN and undercut any international effort to rely on UN arms inspectors to complete the "disarmament" of Iraq. Even while pushing for a favorable resolution at the UN Security Council, US officials have warned that the time for diplomacy is rapidly running out. "We're talking days and weeks, not months and years," President Bush said of the time that should be given to Saddam Hussein to comply with UN demands for the disclosure and destruction of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) remaining in his possession.

The more innovative plan would also give armchair strategists in the military academies and think tanks an opportunity to test innovative, "out of the box" techniques that have been gaining favor in recent years. These include the use of commandos equipped with laser target-designators who can infiltrate deep into enemy territory and pinpoint targets for attack by laser-guided bombs and missiles. Such attacks are intended to "decapitate" an enemy force (kill or immobilize its top leaders, or otherwise impair their ability to transmit orders to combat units in the field) and to pulverize its "centers of gravity" (e.g., presidential palaces, major military headquarters, communications centers, fuel depots). Another approach to be tested is "effects-based" targeting--that is, attacks intended to produce a desired effect (here, the disintegration of the current Iraqi regime) by targeting the assets, properties and institutions most valued by the enemy leadership.

Finally, you'll recall "coalition forces" subsequently invaded Iraq in March 2003. March. No longer near the height of the cool season which had at one point seemed so important. Which means the Administration fucked up the invasion and occupation on all fronts.

It's reassuring to consider, however, the degree to which Team Bush was held accountable for their dishonesty and poor judgment in last fall's elections, right? (Shit, there goes that goddamned sarcasm again. Enough, enough, enough.)

And our apologies to Miss Manners, but "unqualified fucking idiot" seems to be the way to go here.

Posted in a Grave fashion.

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