Monday, May 28, 2007

Now the money's there... so penalize the troops.

Caught a segment on, "This week at War," CNN. Seems that the Bush administration is extending tours of duty (again) for the troops in Iraq. The host of "This week at War," went on to ask a guest if this was a "new" strategy. What's "new" about it? Stop loss and extended tours have been the norm for our military forces in Iraq. Which is what GW actually had threatened Congress, that if he didn't get a "funding package cleaned of timelines" he would penalize the troops with keeping them (lacking in equipment, etc.) in Iraq even longer. Well, he signed the funding bill and there is no guarantee as to how the emergency funding will even be spent. That is, there is no guarantee that it will be spent on the troops. There is every guarantee though that GW does indeed hold the troops as pawns and uses them as political brickbats. As to whether this guarantees a "victory" in Iraq is another matter.

CBS News, "Up to the Minute;" there was a segment (late night--early Memorial day) in which a retired Colonel talked up the optimism of wounded soldiers and went on to blather about the institutions we must build in Iraq. Excuse me, isn't Iraq a "sovereign country" that should be building its own institutions? It was supposed to be a sovereign country, anyway, after J. Paul Bremer handed over the reins of government to the Iraqis themselves. Our being there should have been for rebuilding purposes only. Surely a recipe for failure that CBS news is not really prepared to call out the Colonel on. The fact that we continue to try to impose our will there is exactly why there continues to be a truly tragic mess in that country today. In May, we already have a reported 102 deaths. May has 31 days. That's about 3.29 deaths a day and May isn't over yet.

"Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer;" Candy Crowley said something that could truly be considered as dumbfounding. (Sunday, 27 May 2007.) Speaking of GW's sudden acceptance of the Baker/Hamilton report (Iraq Study Group), Crowley simply accepted the spin that even though GW did not show an initial public support for the report did not mean that he did not support it in private. Right, now. The Iraq Study Group met and handed in its findings in 2006. GW publicly repudiated it and attacked any Democrat for supporting any part of it. Crowley, it seems, suffers major short term memory loss.

To put it bluntly, GW does everything according to political calculation. He used 9/11/2001 as a political calculation in 2002 and 2004. He repudiated the Iraq Study Group's report out of political calculation in 2006. In 2007, as his "legacy" grows nearer and dearer to him, political calculus will determine his latest major flip and flop.

That flip and flop was described Wolf Blitzer's talkathon the spin for the flips and flops whether it involves the continued troop presence in Iraq or GW's sudden embrasure of a now very dated end game for Iraq (It could have been implemented then, who's to say it is even possible to implement it now?) was covered over two CNN programs. But, where were the necessary challenges to the Bush administration's current postures? CNN offered a helluva challenge to Clinton's one time affair with Lewinsky, even to playing illegally obtained tapes. So, why isn't CNN up to the task of challenging Bush on far more grievous issues?

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