Art Pottery, Politics and Food
Saturday, December 25, 2004
A story, more or less hidden, in the Christmas morning edition of the Washington Post by Thomas E. Ricks describes “an indictment of the education and performance of senior U.S. officials involved in the [Iraq] war” by Maj. Isaiah Wilson III, an Army historian and strategist who from July of 2003 until March of 2004 was “the chief war planner for the 101st Airborne Division” and “served as an official historian of the campaign” in Iraq.

A Christmas Day bus burning in Mosul.

The Post describes Wilson’s “essay” as similar to previous criticism of Iraq war planning but that these criticisms “until now…have not been stated so authoritatively and publicly by a military insider positioned to be familiar with top-secret planning.”
The Post quotes Wilson as saying the uppermost echelons of US civilian and military leadership “failed to grasp the strategic situation in Iraq and so not did not plan properly for victory” and that “because of this failure…the U.S. military remains ‘perhaps in peril of losing the 'war,' even after supposedly winning it.’”
The Post, and one assumes Maj. Wilson, does not investigate why this present state of shocking failure has happened, indeed, one imagines Pontius Pilot’s hand-washing bowl, if transported to modern-day Washington would be inundated with clucking elites eager to disassociate themselves from the orphan of this treasonous failure.
But, no matter, a Christmas morning publishing event virtually guarantees the unnoticeability of this uncomfortable story along with, what is becoming a regular compliant media feature and Bush signature, the enabling Judas kiss of apparent public exposure.

And, hey, that desperately tap-dancing Rummy sure is a cut-up within smaller and more controllable groups of prop soldiery, isn’t he?

While Ricks’ story of Wilson’s indictment will likely join Colonel Dowdy, the looted Iraq national treasures and huge civilian casualty rates in the nether darkness outside the many false and purposefully dazzling lights of corporate newsury, the question of why this historic failure happened remains.
While civilian politics has always beset the upper ranks of America’s military, I think it is safe to say that never before in American history have political interests so hamstrung our vast military machine.
Indeed, to this casual but interested observer, it seems that the rightwing penetration of the Pentagon, begun in the mid 1980’s by none other than Newt Gingrich and currently promulgated by today’s infamous neo conservatives, has culminated in the Valley of Death some see looming before our people and troops today.
I have no solution and no comfort neither for our weary and treasonously led troops nor for you dear reader.
Ricks’ story is an ugly one I would urge you to read before it vanishes into what some on the web call the memory hole.

Rummy in Mosul on Christmas Eve.

Our “leaders”, like Rummy currently on his Love Me Tour and certain highly placed others, seem to adore theme jackets when milking our enlisted before the electronic eyeballs of the quiescent national audience.
I’d like to suggest one or several jackets constructed of, perhaps, unfashionable but well-deserved and hardly unique materials such as tar and chicken feathers and that they wear them while, again perhaps, tied hand and foot to a rail and being figuratively and literally run out of town.
While offering some meager protection to these “leaders” from the shrapnel of public condemnation I know these desperately needed jackets would boost troop morale.

Photos: Reuters

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