Friday, August 11, 2006

By default, we wage war.

* digby:
"Consider this: George W. Bush turned the office of State Department undersecretary for public diplomacy into a patronage job and appointed one of his second rate office wives at a time when this country's greatest challenge is to win a war of ideas. He's kept Don Rumsfeld in charge of the war effort even as we have been watching him slowly unravel before our very eyes. Americans are hated by a majority of the world's inhabitants now. There is no Democrat in the country who would have done that."

* digby:
"Most of us take the threat of Islamic fundamentalism --- indeed fundamentalism of all kinds --- far more seriously than the Republicans with their comic book and paint ball approach to complex problems. I think most of us feel that Bush has exacerbated the threat to such a degree that we are in vastly more danger today than we were before he undertook his absurd neo-congame. Again when you are actually right about something for some reason these elites consider you a fool and therefore you can't be taken seriously on national security matters. With that kind of thinking we'll be lucky to avoid blowing up the planet."

* arkin:
"Military intelligence failed to understand their Iraqi foe, the nature of the country, or the task ahead for the day after. It is time to stop blaming everything on Ahmed Chalabi and the neocons.

Military planners and logisticians failed to design an American military presence in Iraq for after defeat of Saddam's army that wasn't highly vulnerable because of exposed and extravagant supply lines. Tons of bad decisions were made at the political level, but the military occupation blundered forward, almost begging the post-war fighters to take up arms.

Time and again, the American military has vanquished its conventional foe, accumulating all the right indicators of success only to find themselves befuddled when the enemy refuses to fight the way the war gamers said they would."

* arkin:
"Israel, Sen. Clinton, and Secretary Rumsfeld all are captive to a different and rather conventional approach: The three are all stuck in their belief that there is still some decisive action -- military action -- that can bring victory.

The dynamic is quite simple: A crisis occurs, a threat looms, a challenge awaits and the President or Prime Minister gazes out over their respective Cabinets looking for "options." Time and again, it is only the military that is able to offer anything tangible -- forget how many divisions the Pope has, Condi has nary a one, and even when she suggests action, she has to borrow from the Pentagon.

By default, we wage war."

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