The Iraq War – A forty Day Party

As a former Reagan Republican, I cannot help but be severely disappointed by the level of incompetence of the present administration. However, it appears there is still a good deal of support among so-called Bush loyalists, a fact that amazes me. Either they are ignoring the mountain of evidence of malfeasance that has been accruing or they pay no attention to the country’s current military and financial situation. Therefore, I will occasionally post a review of one of the many books that chronicle the run-up to and the prosecution of the Iraq War. These are not Left-wing books of anti-Bush propaganda but books written by thoughtful writers, whose only purpose is to present the facts. And to any that bother to read the facts, they are disturbing.

Here is the first review,

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COBRA II by Michael Gordon and General Bernard E. Trainor

The Bottom Line:
Cobra II provides a good account of the thinking and non-thinking that propelled us into this never-ending war.

While reading Cobra II – when I wasn’t simmering – I got the impression that the strongest military in the world was being controlled and misused by a modern day version of the Keystone Kops. Not that I’m surprised. I and two thirds of the country (God help the other third) knew something was amiss, but many of the things I suspected were laid out in glaring fashion in this interesting text.

It’s like President “What me worry?” was having his arm twisted by Vice President “Darth Vader” undersecretary Darth Maul (Wolfowitz) to throw a forty day party in Baghdad. That’s right the war that has outlasted both World War I and the Korean War and is fast approaching World War II (It has now surpassed it) was expected to be a thirty to fifty day party and then we all go home with smiles on our faces. Perhaps it would have, except for two things.

First, our Defense Secretary, decided he knew more than all his generals combined. He threw out ten years of military planning for the invasion of Iraq, and proceeded to badger his generals to keep reducing planned invasion troop levels to a number he liked. I guess the secretary is into numerology. The number the generals started with was 380,000. The number the S.O.D. accepted was 140,000 – just enough to get us into Baghdad but not enough to get home.

The second thing, which some knowledgeable people foresaw, but not the myopic administration, was that the party might get crashed by some unwanted guests. Who you ask? Why, a bunch of young hot heads driving Toyotas, some wearing towels over the faces, some carrying funny objects on their shoulders or weapons in their arms and all looking for trouble. The first fatality of the war was caused, not by an Iraqi soldier but, a group of these hot heads in a Toyota Pick-up.

Commanders on the ground noticed this effective, unforeseen adversary, utilizing hit and run guerilla tactics and wanted to confront them, but the bigwigs in Cent Com ordered them to bypass these future insurgents and head straight to Baghdad, do not pass Go. Apparently they felt that once Baghdad fell everything. would fall into place. What they got when they took Baghdad was widespread looting. The authors Michael Gordon and General Bernard Trainor go on to speculate that the fediyeen, which the army was ordered to ignore and bypass on the way to Baghdad, became the backbone for the strong insurgency we now face.

Conclusion

Liberal, Conservative, independent – Right wing, Left wing, it doesn’t matter, reading this book will upset you. The book is not a liberal rag. It does not have a political bias, unless you consider a bias toward incompetence political. It just lays out the facts, often in minute detail. That, in fact is one of the books weaknesses. Cobra II reads like a play by play description of the war to date from the rationale though the planning to the prosecution of the war, with it’s attendant mis-steps. The prosecution portion of the war takes up at least two thirds of the book and unless you are a war junkie and despite some interesting parts begins, after awhile, to all sound the same.

The parts of the book I found most interesting were the initial planning stages and those portions dealing with the dissension that developed between Rumsfeld and Franks and later the turmoil between Franks and the generals in the field. The authors also point out how many of the problems that developed in the initial occupation of Baghdad and the aftermath were anticipated by various sources with suggestions, but were discounted or ignored by the administration. In short, the administration didn’t want to hear anything that might disrupt their vision of a forty day party.

Unfortunately the book only takes us through the war itself and the stirrings of the nascent insurgency. Three years later we are seeing what almost everyone agrees is a low grade civil war, verging on civil war.

Author’s Note; This review was written over a year ago. I would say things are pretty much the same, wouldn’t you?

August 17, 2007. attack, Baghdad, Books, cakewalk, Cheney, Civil War, crime, dishonest, ethics, explosions, George W. Bush, Iraq, liberators, politics, President, President Bush, Psychiatry, relationship, Rumsfeld, satire, Saudi Arabia, Shiite, slam dunk, suicide, Sunni, Syria, Terrorism, Uncategorized, Vice Persideny, war. 2 comments.

The War That We Can’t Win

The Bottom Line; Before totally rejecting the merits of my editorial, I ask only that you keep an open mind and ask yourself, has anything we’ve done so far, worked?

The War That We Can’t Win

No not that one. There’s another war going on beside that one and it’s been going on a very long time, longer than I can remember and it’s unwinable. It is a war that we tend to forget about but from time to time we are reminded that we still are at war. When there is a huge drug bust or when a promising high school or college student dies from an overdose or several are killed in a drive by shooting or another drug lord is arrested in Columbia or another patch of marijuana is found in a National Forest or another meth lab in a neighbor’s basement is destroyed, then we are reminded that we are engaged in a daunting, frustrating, war that‘s impossible to win. The War on Drugs. But fight on we must. It’s the right thing to do, right?
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Wrong!

Who says we have to keep beating our heads against the wall? I know this is unpopular but the hand writing is on the wall, we can’t win, so I’m advocating the extreme solution. Let’s put up the white flag and say ok drug pushers you win! Let’s surrender. Let’s legislate the thugs out of business. Let’s legalize drugs. Can it be any worse than it already is?

Ok the cat’s out of the bag. I’m a nut, a loon but let me explain my rational. It has been reported that some seven million Americans are already addicts with another ten million as users of varying degree. Folks, that’s almost six percent of us. Add another twenty million casual (occasional) users for anther seven percent for a total of thirteen percent, that for me is mind boggling. True legalizing drugs isn’t going to reduce the addicts and it may even increase them a little but the benefits are overwhelming.

Government figures state that something like eighty percent of violent and one on one crime is drug related. Why is that? I suppose we could assume that five or six million of the hard core addicts do not have jobs that are capable of supporting the cost of their addiction, so they are forced to mug, rob, steal, burgle or whore toward this purpose.

Make no mistake this is a growth business like any other business, the workers (pushers) are encouraged to bring in new addicts who are also encouraged to turn on friends, addicting them and so forth. The profit potential for sellers on up is enormous. It is said that the cost of the product sold on the streets is about one hundred times the production cost and that is the reason that despite the intrinsic dangers, the astounding profit potential keeps enlarging the pool of participants.

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But what about the Downside?

What downside? If you’re talking about the availability of hardcore drugs to your kids, think about it. Right now it’s easier for a twelve year old to get crack than beer. Why? Because beer isn’t sold on the streets. You have to go into a store or a bar and buy it. If drugs were sold in stores, wouldn’t your kids have to go into a store to buy them as well. Can you see a teenager going into a store and buying a lid of weed or a vial of cocaine? Especially if you had to have a permit to buy there and a video camera would record every transaction. No way, Jose!

True, we would be encouraging existing and future addicts to make a direction of life decision. Do I want to lead a normal life or do I want to be a speed freak for the rest of my life? Probably fewer than you think would choose the latter and for those that did, they would no longer have to rob and steal to feed their habit and that’s the big bonus to legalizing drugs. Crime would fall up to eighty percent and the country would save billions and billions a year on law enforcement, courts, prosecutors, public defenders and prisons.

And here’s the best part. Legalizing drugs would put the drug cartels out of business. The drug scumbags from the drug lords on down to the street pushers will have to find another and most likely less harmful scam, for no one in their right mind would buy illegally on the street when they could buy legally from a licensed store.

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Can it be that easy?

I know it’s not that simple, that there are a lot of nuances and intangibles but I’m not talking about a plan. This is an idea. Let the legislators work out the nuts and bolts. As far as I can see legalizing drugs would be a ridiculously easy solution to the rampant crime that exists today and remember, it wasn’t that long ago (approx. a hundred years) that illegal drugs were legal and since narcotics were made illegal their use, on a per capita basis, has increased and crime has gone through the roof.

August 10, 2007. Books, burglaries, Cocaine, crime, dealers, dishonest, Drug Lords, drugs, ethics, Heroin, junkie, lies, marijuana, meth, politics, relationship, robberies. 2 comments.