As some of you may recall, during the early days of the American-led war with Iraq, I developed a serious crush on Brigadier General Vincent Brooks. He was frequently on televsion as he was the spokesperson for the U.S. Army Central Command. Back then, very little was known about him. Now he has his own Wiki page and can’t help steer longingly at his picture. Perhaps its the uniform. He is so distinguished. On a more serious note, there is also a great profile of the General on the HW Wilson Company site.
It is good to see that Prime Minister Blair is starting to be honest about the situation in Iraq. Maybe now that he and President Bush are publicly owning up the reality of the situation over there, something will be done to bring this war to an end.
I am not advocating that the US and British military pull out anytime soon, but they need to redefine the mission based on the current state of affairs. Plus they need to do what is necessary to help the Iraq government be more stable and thus accountable for running their own country again. If that unfortunately means allocating more money and sending more troops in the short run, I’m all for that. But maintaining the status quo, is simply not ideal. Things just seem to be going from bad to worse.
Blair admits Iraq is ‘pretty much a disaster’
By Philip Webster, Political Editor of The Times
Tony Blair went close last night to admitting that the invasion of Iraq had been disastrous. Challenged in an interview on Al-Jazeera’s new English-language channel that the Western intervention in Iraq had “so far been pretty much of a disaster”, he gave a brief agreement before swiftly moving on.
He said: “It has, but you see what I say to people is why is it difficult in Iraq? It is not difficult because of some accident in planning, it is difficult because there is a deliberate strategy, al-Qaeda with Sunni insurgents on one hand, Iranian-backed elements with Shia militias on the other, to create a situation in which the will of the majority for peace is displaced by the will of the minority for war.”
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Regardless of where you stand on the Iraq War, there is no justifiable reason for disabled veterans who served their country with honor to be homeless. So shame on the United States government for letting even one veteran fall through the cracks.
Goodness! Did we not learn anything from Vietnam? Hmmm. Maybe not! After all, if we did, we wouldn’t be in the middle of such a hot mess. I mean, lets face it, poor decisions in the early days of the war by people like Donald Rumsfeld who have finally being shown the door has turned the early victory into a near defeat. Thus, it just confirms that the neocons in charge didn’t fully understand or know the enemy. If they did, we wouldn’t be where we are today in Iraq. Such a shame, because as Sun Tzu wrote a zillion years ago in The Art of War,
“if you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”
With that, here’s hoping that after three years the Unites States government with its coalition (really just the British), has finally begun to understand the enemy. If not, we are in continued danger of loosing a lot more than Iraq.
I am currently listening to Ted Koppel read the names of the 737 American soldiers who have died in Iraq. I am overcome with emotion. They are all so young. Heck, quite a few weren’t even old enough to have a drink. I feel for their families.
The war in Iraq is still front and center. I only wish that Army Brigadier General Vincent Brooks was too.