Google+ Badge

Thursday, January 11, 2007

President Bush--Iraq--Oregon

It took President Bush a whole month to write THAT speech? And that’s the plan?

He spoke like we just walked into the room, and he wants to tell us the story from the beginning one more time for twenty minutes like we’re simple-minded, like we don’t remember that this part was a lie and that part was just routine incompetence although on a massive scale, and this other part was proven to be false by your own Presidential Commission, without getting to the part about how he and Cheney really fucked up things so bad for all of us, the two most miserable fucks to every occupy the chairs they’re sitting in, the ones that will eventually be hounded out of the country, that we’ve got to send in another 20,000 troops, like this is about numbers.

Like this is about numbers.

We military families waited a month—right through the joyous holidays—for him to read off a teleprompter THAT speech? And THAT’S the plan? Didn’t he read any new books over the holidays?

The Sunnis and the Shia have been at it for a 1000 years. How could anybody miss that? It’s been going on for a THOUSAND YEARS!!! I know they were teaching this information at the college level in the ‘70’s…I took the class. “A” student in Politics of the Middle East.

The sentiment I am attempting to express here is that the information was available. I don’t know how they could have missed that part.

In any case, the Bush Administration missed it. And they missed on the WMDs and all the rest. And they didn’t notice the part about how wars lasting thirty years get started in increments, or the part about how rarely wars turn out in a way that makes any of the parties feel it was worth the cost, or the part about how Iraq itself remains one of the consequences of, a continuation of, the damage resulting from European nations’ prior aggression in and colonization of the region, and it is above all, a problem we cannot solve, not even in our uniquely particular American conceit, we cannot do it, and my essential point here is that we knew this years ago.

Pichot-Sykes. French and British. This is still their mess.

“A” student.

…As opposed to this “C” student who can neither speak nor read the English language in a way that does not bring shame raining down upon us among the civilized peoples of the world, both among nations where English is spoken as a primary language as well as where it is among the top three in common use.

George W. Bush is sitting where he is because he and his political machine, with a little help from the Supreme Court, was good at getting into office, if not exactly elected. There it is.

He’s going to make his name in the history books as the President who took the whole Middle Eastern oil system off line. This is as likely to occur in our lifetimes as is a hurricane flooding New Orleans, and that has already happened, and this is what is really at stake.

That was a really, really important part to miss, and the Bush Administration missed it.

One of my sons has already done two years in Iraq, Army National Guard, a first-rate forest fire fighter back in the US, but now firing a .50 caliber machine gun from the top of a humvee, security for convoys, divorced during the first tour, on the perimeter repulsing multiple daily attacks in Ramadi for a year, going out on missions day after day.

My dream for Tyler was Stanford University, baseball scholarship, leading the team to the College World Series, star pitcher US OlympicTeam, maybe a law degree, maybe just being who is….looks, charm, personality, smart, athletic to the genius level, magician with a baseball glove, game-winning hitter, unhittable pitcher, natural star and leader….I could see it all from the time he was four years old, and that was my dream. I could see it then and I think of it often now.

Just before his second tour in Iraq, Tyler took emergency leave from training to be by his brother’s side in an emergency room in Utah and then to bury Aaron in California and hours later the same day start driving in the dark to report back to camp about 300 long dark miles away in the dark.

That’s the way we treat these men and women.

Bury your brother, off to Ramadi, here’s your machine gun back, now we’re waiting for THAT speech? And if not with this rotation the next? Army National Guard. He was fighting forest fires in his real job before he was deployed more than three long years ago, when he was young. He’s 21 now, but who knows?

He sent me photos of his RumVee with the jury-rigged armor, my son up there in the turret with his .50, as good with the .50 as he had been with a baseball with the game on the line either on the mound or at the plate. Place hitter at the age of seven! Sheer glove magic! A fastball beyond the skills of most hitters and above that, “The Heater,” a pitch I taught him that was perhaps the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen on an athletic field, a pitch I had once taken right between the eyes, playing catch with my son, it was so beautiful to watch coming in, from the catcher’s point of view, it mesmerized me, and I didn’t move my glove up to stop it, the ball striking me exactly between the eyes, knocked me right on my back, but I had to laugh at the time, because it was such a marvel, Tyler was a genius with a baseball. That was one beautiful pitch. I watched it all the way in. I’m so glad it wasn’t the heater, the ball would still be bouncing.

Last winter, I saw a picture of my son, published in the 22nd Infantry Division online newsletter, up there in the turret. The caption read that he was on his way out to pull another shift at an outpost in Ramadi. Tyler Cruz, the caption said, was on his way back out. Again.

The Iraqis were hitting them every single day, multiple attacks every single day the entire year he was in Ramadi, let’s call them what they are, they’re Iraqis and after we are gone they are going to be after each other again for the next thousand years.

We military families have waited for President Bush to write a speech for a month, to announce his big new Texas-sized plan, so that I personally can know, for instance, in terms of my own family, whether he will require my son’s service in Iraq yet again.

President Bush wants to tell us the story once again all over again, as his administration begins to fall in around his ears, and soon he will start looking sweaty on camera, right now he almost looks like he’s talking to himself, and the public discussion will soon turn to comparisons of George W. Bush with other world leaders who throughout the vast length of recorded civilization went a foreign invasion too far and as a consequence sent their entire civilizations into decline.

The boy is here. What’s new is television.

As the world’s thirst for oil places more demands on production and delivery, as the world’s supply of oil declines, as the costs go up as you know they will, as the systems of production and delivery become absolutely vital beyond anything we can currently understand, the blood cost of Middle Eastern war will soar, and right now we are facing the fact that the Bush Administration has set us all firmly on that path.

If only we could simply fire these people…. Two more years with a man, a decider for crying out loud, a “C” student who just spent the last month cramming in vain, a man whose Presidentialism Factor registers at nil.

He’s decided that he’s sending the loved ones of military families straight into modern urban guerilla warfare, said it on the news nationwide in a special broadcast, which only the President can do, which fact in itself should have attracted widespread notice, but which did not, which brings me to another important point, one which has completely escaped the notice of the uninvested, including the President himself, and that is, historically speaking, in the history of insurgencies, one of the unique characteristics of insurgencies is that they endure shortages of weapons, ammunition, explosives and other critical gear.

Iraq is the exception. The Bush Administration didn’t send in enough troops to secure the weaponry and munitions even weeks after they had cleared the armories of Iraqi defenders.

Then they allowed the Iraqis to take all of that stuff and hide it, and thus this President’s team furnished the conflict with enough ammo to blow the region to hell for the next decade or more.

We military families remember that part, too.

In any other walk of life, other line of work, these people would have been fired. Escorted out the door.

Today I saw on the network news the White House ceremony, the President awarding the Congressional Medal of Honor to the parents of a young Marine who threw himself on a grenade to sacrifice his own life to save the lives of his buddies, that’s the kind of people we have in the fight, but the problem is that not everyone on the other side(s!) is a terrorist, there are brave people all over the world, and some of them are fighting armies occupying unwelcoming neighborhoods, and wherever there is an unwelcome army there is also an insurgency, unless there is a strongman in power, controlling a “police” force ruthless enough and for which the main job is keeping the locals quiet in those neighborhoods where the unwelcome armies are operating.

Just like it was when Saddam Hussein was in control. There will be someone or something else just as absolute, just as flawed, let’s be real….

And those grieving parents, and all those who grieve with them, including those Marines whose lives their son saved, and their families too, for as long as generations remember, those grieving parents, as brave as their son, the nation largely yawns….

On the floor of the Oregon Senate today, largely a routine administrative session for the first reading of bills, the morning after the President of the United States of America announced he was committing more troops to the battle we generally all agree is—to a credible degree—highly likely to fail, but absolutely for sure and certainly using the same troops, using the same military families over and over again, committing our people our families again like we don’t know who they are, and yes once again we’re sending your son your daughter your husband your wife your mom your dad your grandpa your GRANDMA, for Christ’s sake, into a bitter conflict that has raged for a thousand years, and we’re going to send them into the most dangerous combat environment on the planet—urban guerilla war.

I’ll tell you something about military families, something that will illustrate the vast endless chasm that separates the vested from the non-vested people in this war, the vested from the non-vested in the actual blood cost in this country, here’s the insight: Prior to the invasion of Iraq, it was common knowledge that the military regarded modern urban guerilla war as the world’s worst most dangerous combat environment among possible environments short of thermonuclear war, this modern urban guerilla war, but the Bush Administration also assured we military families at the very same time that absolutely for sure certainly our generals were too smart—way too smart—to get caught up in something as awful as that, modern urban guerilla warfare. And we’re going to stay away from civil wars too, and that assurance came before we even knew about without even counting the IEDs and the willingness of people to die for their beliefs, which actually has been going on since the beginning of humanity if you give it a second thought, how could they miss that part too, and besides, our very President Bush described his war in Iraq as “hard work” multiple times, “hard work”, and that descriptor and the way the President said it made it seem like ok, we can do this, and we are fine with “hard work”, particularly the way the President said “hard work” like, “Damn, this is hard work!.”

We military families are always down with hard work and sacrifice. That’s what makes military families tick, that’s who we are. And proud, too, but I digress….

Speaking about the difference between the vested and the uninvested families in this war, which is indeed a vast chasm, the military families were paying attention to the briefings about the dangers of modern urban guerilla warfare more than three years ago, and we remembered that part, so when the President said last night he was sending the loved ones of many thousands of military families straight into modern urban guerilla warfare, even though now we absolutely do know about the IEDs and the deep well of resources in the Middle East if you are looking for people willing to sacrifice their lives NOW for their beliefs, the uninvested are unsure about whether 20,000 is a big number or a small number….

The President wants to talk about numbers and the nation slumbers.

All I want to say about the Oregon Senate Chamber today is that you would have never known we are a nation at war if you were in that room today. I don’t know if they remembered about the war in the Oregon House today, someone who was there will have to tell me…I don’t know how they could miss it over there, because Representative Brian Boquist was either in the room or in the war—again.

The President said last night that 20,000 American families—some number of them Oregonians—are nightmare-bound for the foreseeable future and there wasn’t a ripple in the chamber.

I rest my case: the difference between the vested and the uninvested is a chasm.

Following the broadcast of the Marine receiving the Medal of Honor was another story, a story about a soldier whose leg was blown off in Iraq, and how he has no complaint about the loss or the medical treatment, but he and his marriage have been under a whole lot of unnecessary stress because the VA has been underpaying his benefits for the past eight months because they haven’t processed his paperwork yet, and do they doubt that he lost his leg, can’t they figure it out, and we military families know that this is typical, and we who heard the President speak last night doubt that the 20,000 troops the Nation is sending into modern urban guerilla will receive any better treatment than that, because the non-military families aren’t even paying for this fucking war with their taxes or with higher gas prices, imagine the ruckus if gas prices go up a nickel, we all know that the money cost will be borne by our grandchildren….

I think I’ve said my piece for the moment. I want to conclude this post with these words from Sun Tzu in The Art of War more than 2,000 years ago:

“The worst policy is to attack cities. Attack cities only when there is no alternative.”

“If the general is unable to control his impatience and orders his troops to swarm up the wall like ants, one-third of them will be killed without taking the city. Such is the calamity of these attacks.”

“Thus, those skilled in war subdue the enemy’s army without battle. They capture his cities without assaulting them and overthrow his state without protracted operations.”

“Your aim must be to take All-under-Heaven intact. Thus your troops are not worn out and your gains will be complete. This is the art of offensive strategy.”

Pearls before swine.

No comments: