Remember that Old Vietnam Refrain?
With Secretary Don Rumsfeld and gate-keeper Steve Gambone no longer keeping the gates, the Pentagon is leaking. Through the cracks in the floor and door jams, Bush's dirty little secret is seeping out. Cheney wants to do an additional 'surge' deployment of 20,000 extra troops lasting possibly six to eight months.
Sources say that the Joint Chiefs have taken a firm stand to the effect that the White House still does not have a defined mission and is latching on to the surge idea in part because of limited alternatives to the Stay The Course 'strategerey'.
It isn't that Bush is just staying the course, hoping something will turn up and save his legacy (because it's always easier to be lucky than good). It's that his Republican sponsors want him to postpone American withdrawal until his inevitable Democratic successor can be stuck 'losing Iraq'. Bush's ultimate legacy, at this point, can only be resuscitated by a renewal of Republican hegemony in 2012. If it costs even more in blood and treasure to lay the grounds for swiftboating a 'defeatocrat' administration beginning in 2008, more's the pity.
The truth is we don't need 20,000 more troops in Iraq. We need 100,000 fresh troops there. And we don't have them. The occupation is already costing $2 billion a week. So how, exactly, are we going to afford the extra 20,000 troops? Robert Reich (needing no introduction), states
. . . defense appropriations continue to raise military pay 3.1 percent a year, considerably faster than civilian pay is rising.The joint chiefs have taken a firm stand on this 'surge' tactic because they believe this moment in time may be the last chance to save the armed services from being 'broken' and to curb Bush's unrestrained and counterproductive militarization of the war against terror.
Cash isn’t the Pentagon’s only lure. The military is also offering signing bonuses up to $30,000 for jobs in high demand. You can get up to a $150,000 cash bonus for re-enlisting if you’re with the Special Forces. And all recruits are eligible for up to $50,000 to offset the costs of higher education and up to $65,000 to pay back college loans. Not to mention generous housing, child care, and health benefits.
The question is will Congress stand up? More to the point, will We-the-People stand up?
It is time for Republicans and Democrats to stand up together and demand that we are out of Iraq and/or Bush is out of the White House by November 2008. One or the other, whichever comes first.