Sunday, May 15


Outstanding summary of our military failures in Iraq:

The greatest failure of the US in Iraq is not that mistakes were made but that its political system has proved incapable of redressing them. Neither Mr Rumsfeld nor his lieutenants have been sacked. Paul Wolfowitz, under-secretary of defence and architect of the war, has been promoted to the World Bank.

Almost exactly a century ago the Russian empire fought a war with Japan in the belief that a swift victory would strengthen the powers-that-be in St Petersburg. Instead the Tsar's armies met defeat. Russian generals, who said that their tactic of charging Japanese machine guns with sabre-wielding cavalry had failed only because their men had attacked with insufficient brio, held their jobs. In Iraq, American generals and their political masters of demonstrable incompetence are not fired. The US is turning out to be much less of a military and political superpower than the rest of the world had supposed.

It can't be said too often, since the truth of it still hasn't sunk in, not with the Bush administration and not even with many Democratic politicians: Iraq is a VietNam-like quagmire. You can't win a war without the popular support of the people. The neocons intended for a display of military might in Iraq to cower our enemies; instead, the opposite is taking place. Our enemies are thinking that the big bully USA hasn't nearly the punch they thought we had.


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