An email from a friend who works with the military:
Just had an interesting conversation with a fellow who just returned from the theater and I mentioned my theory about the Prez going nucular about the supplemental funding resolution and its pullout dates because he was going to pull a lot of troops out next summer (the same timeframe) and claim it was because of “success.” He busted out laughing saying “of course that’s why” and its openly spoken of by the troops and leadership in Iraq.
He said KBR (Halliburton) has already started closing things down, cutting back the nice to haves, and letting go all their non-American employees (mostly eastern European guys). Clearly they’ve gotten the word to scale things way back.
Our side needs to be prepared to counter the propaganda that will be driving this. I know it’s politics as usual, but the soldiers who die in the meantime are pawns and should not be forgotten in the calculation. The military leadership, while always biased to conservatism, is particular craven in its failure to speak the truth and in its collusion in this charade.
The soldiers are generally not stupid, but many still feel somehow that they are fighting for American freedoms. It’s that loyalty and patriotism that is tapped by the venal jerks on the neo-con right and exploited. I am not ashamed of the soldiers or my former career as an officer, just the generals and culture that have become hypocritical and duplicitous in the un-American and undemocratic times we find ourselves.
You can put an “X” on your calendar next summer when “success” miraculously happens in Iraq.
Although plenty of reasons exist to feel cynical about any withdrawal talk, some very real limitations exist on how much longer we can keep lots of American troops in Iraq. The new (improved!) fifteen-month tours are an obvious sign of desperation, the National Guard commitments are unsustainable and ongoing stories about sailors and airmen training for street combat suggest how ridiculously overcommitted we have become. Safe withdrawal takes time and careful planning to keep it from turning it into a rout, wait too long that window will close.
I suppose we should feel marginally grateful for signs that our leaders are just hacks who play politics with American lives, repeatedly, rather than the reality-denying loons that they themselves insist they are.
One ancillary thought. Assuming that this accurately reflects Bushie thinking, do you suppose they bothered to clue in Joe Lieberman?