The official blather on Iraq continues
Secretary Rumsfeld, Gen. Myers, Gen. Abizaid (CENTCOM commander), and Gen. George Casey (the ground commander of the multinational force in Iraq) appeared today before the Senate Armed Service Committee. Abizaid and Casey are clearly “political” generals, cut out of the same ideological cloth as President Bush and Condoleezza Rice, with the familiar slogans emanating from them non-stop: “Democracy … the Iraqi people want a better life … all human beings wants freedom … the insurgents are isolated and have no support … as the political process continues, the insurgency will decline … we’re making progress …”, and on and on. The same intellectual disconnect that has informed all discussions of the war for the last two years is as operative as ever: Some example of “progress” is adduced as evidence that we are “winning,” but this proferred “progress” (as I’ve pointed out about a thousand times) never bears any connection to the only issue that matters: are we defeating the terror insurgency? After a round of slow-witted pointless questions and comments from the chairman, Sen. Warner, the ranking minority member, Sen. Levin, asked a refreshingly direct and pertinent question of Gen. Abizaid: is the insurgency more or less strong than it was six months ago? Replying with surprising frankness, Abizaid said there are more foreign fighters entering Iraq than there were six months ago, and that the insurgency overall has about the same strength that it had six months ago.
So where’s all the “progress” the witnesses were telling us about? If the insurgency is at least as strong as it was six months ago, then all our recent pro-active military engagements against insurgent strongholds and against the “rat-line” from Syria, about which Bushites have made such a big deal, not to mention all the progress in rebuilding Iraq’s civilian society, have not made any difference as far as the ultimate outcome of the war is concerned. The various packets of “good news,” both civil and military, that the administration and its supporters keep touting, do not lead to the conclusion that we are winning the war, in the sense of eliminating the enemy’s ability to wreak havoc in Iraq and make it ungovernable.