Morning Report 6/27/05
The Pain Just Won't Go Away

Cheney's 'last throes' redefined by Rumsfeld as a long stretch—which neither will likely serve

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This June 1 cartoon in Baghdad's Al-Mada carried the caption "There is nothing in there," referring to high-ranking officials of Iraq's new government. Might as well have been referring to our guys too, like Dick "I had other priorities in the '60s than military service" Cheney, shown below in faux-military garb while campaigning in Ohio last spring.

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Defense Dept.

Dick Cheney must be in that "zone" craved by athletes in which time seems to slow down. That has to be why he recently said the Iraq insurgency was in its "last throes." Most of us knew better, and even fellow hawk Don Rumsfeld confirmed it Sunday on his blitz of talk-show appearances. As this morning's New York Times recorded:

    In Washington, Mr. Rumsfeld and General [John] Abizaid said the American-led operation in Iraq was making progress, but acknowledged that the insurgency had become increasingly deadly and could last for years.

    "Insurgencies tend to go on five, six, eight, 10, 12 years," Mr. Rumsfeld said on "Fox News Sunday." "Coalition forces, foreign forces are not going to repress that insurgency. We're going to create an environment that the Iraqi people and the Iraqi security forces can win against that insurgency."

Rumsfeld sounds like a fucking auctioneer. Not that this is a big shock. He's long dreamt of handing off a war to the current generation just like the war that marred dear old dad.

This just can't be good for recruiting. I mean, even the barely educated youths the U.S. military is desperate to shanghai know the difference between "last throes" and a dozen years.

More careful readers of the Bush regime should note that there's a significant correlation between the worsening war news and the number of appearances Rumsfeld makes on the Sunday talk shows. Yesterday, he made the entire circuit.

But perhaps the grimmest indicator is the Watermelon Index. As I noted on June 3, the seeds of violence included the new tactic of poisoned watermelons handed out one at a time to unsuspecting Iraqi police by "nice" local vendors.

Now, unfortunately, the number of martyred melons has dramatically increased, as the Washington Post reports today from Mosul:

    A suicide bomber drove a red pickup truck loaded with explosives into the building [on Sunday], killing at least six people, wounding nine and destroying an entire section of the structure, police officers and witnesses said.

    According to the Associated Press, witnesses said the pickup truck was allowed to pass through a checkpoint because it was carrying watermelons. "We didn't suspect him. Everyday we see such cars because we're near a market," one police officer, Mohammed Hussein Ali, 30, told the AP.

The Times reports that 1,000 pounds of explosives had been hidden under the load of melons.

As Rumsfeld said of the insurgents during one of his talk-show appearances: "They're killing a lot more Iraqis."

Apparently, Rumsfeld's furious pace of talk-show appearances was also designed to brace the public for Bush's upcoming performance. As the Times notes:

    With polls showing that support for the war is dropping, President Bush is expected to use a prime-time speech on Tuesday at Fort Bragg in Fayetteville, N.C., to press his case for a large continued military presence in Iraq and explain why the administration's strategy will eventually work.

    The success of Iraqi forces is the linchpin of the United States' exit strategy from Iraq, as many battle commanders contend that the country will slip into a civil war if the United States withdraws large numbers of troops before Iraqi forces are ready to take over.

Yeah, well, we know that those Iraqi forces are, because of the Bush regime's miscalculations earlier in the war, far from "ready." A better way of softening up the country for the expected bad news would be to OK the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes. Just for tomorrow night. How about it?


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