Bush Addressing Our Brave Troops (Thursday)
When I first put this up on 13-March, I didn't have anything much to add. Now that the Ides of March have come and gone, I do.
As depicted above, Bush is responding to a recent poll which indicates morale of U.S. troops in Afghanistan, our forgotten war, has dipped significantly lower than for our troops in our Iraq
Secretary of Defense Gates has gotten 'the memo' from Europe: the cavalry is not coming from Europe to rescue our cowboy war president. Tonight, I heard Gates quoted on Bill Moyer's Journal to the effect that the 'problem' with E.U. governments is that they get confused; that their antipathy for Bush's war in Iraq contaminates their resolution for helping out in Afghanistan. Wow! (That memo has been on my desk for a year or more.)
It's not much of a surprise to discerning Internet readers is it? Consider:
- Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen, the highest ranking military officer overall in the United States Armed Forces, in his recent Congressional testimony:
In Afghanistan, we do what we can. In Iraq, we do what we must.America has not been leading by example by committing more of its own resources to Afghanistan from the beginning when Busheney sacrificed their mandated post-911 mission. In case anyone has forgotten, that was to capture Osama bin Laden 'dead or alive'. That mission was abandoned in order to prep-up for invading Iraq. This statement of Mullen comes half a decade later to confirm all European suspicions that we have been expecting, and hoping and relying upon them to pull our chestnuts out of the fire in Talebinistan. NATO populations in Europe and Canada are now convinced that we are not serious about the mission, and that understandably makes them all the more dubious of the whole enterprise. Checkout public opinion surveys in Europe if there's any question of this: you will find approval ratings supporting Afghanistan deployments to be in the twenties.
- From the beginning Busheney's Global War on Terror (GWOT) has ponderously conflated the war in Afghanistan with the
waroccupation in Iraq. That's been for U.S. domestic public opinion, of course. But we Americans have no idea how much more Europeans read our press and media than we read theirs. They are stakeholders in what goes on within the ex-leader of the free world. So it's natural that keep their eye on our demagogue-in-chief. So, when they hear that the two theaters are like World War III, well, that's not exactly what they signed up for.
- Finally, we have the firing of Admiral William J. Fallon. Fallon as the Commander, U.S. Central Command ranked 2nd only to Admiral Mullen. He was the remaining high-ranking soldier holding Gates' feet to the fire with respect that our global strategic interests are not centered in Iraq. Europeans took note of this, too.
The truth is that NATO governments, being functioning democracies, are attentive to their publics. Furthermore, Europeans have watched Busheney conflating Iraq and Afghanistan in USA's 'global war on terror' (GWOT). They have followed it year after year as Bush has bundled, budgeted and bloviated his Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom as one in the same. Those NATO publics who oppose the war in Iraq have come to view the mission in Afghanistan as guilty by association. No amount of browbeating, cajoling, and guilt-tripping is going to change their mindset on this.
All of this is to say, my fellow Americans, that help is not on the way. The cavalry is not coming. We are the people we have been waiting for.