The top American military commander in Iraq said today that he might call for an increase in American troop levels in Baghdad as part of efforts to recapture the capital from insurgents and death squads that have pushed killings in the city to some of the highest levels of the war.
Gen. George W. Casey Jr. declined to specify steps to be taken to adjust the Baghdad security plan, which the American command said last week had failed to achieve targets for lowering violence when 7,000 additional American troops, roughly double the number previously deployed here, were assigned to Baghdad in August. At that time, American commanders described the stepped-up bid to regain control of the capital as a critical moment in the war, one that would likely determine its outcome.
"We're not going to telegraph what we’re going to do to the enemy," General Casey said today.
Or tell the American people apparently. Just hint and hedge. The above is from John F. Burns' "General May Call for Increase in U.S. Troop Levels in Baghdad" (New York Times). To no one's surprise (but those building their homes on the sands of the 'generals' revolt') Casey's comments are no surprise. And the point of "Quck take: The Generals!" (The Third Estate Sunday Review -- and, as Mike pointed out, it is "Quck take" -- the "i" is left out intentionally). This was also one of the points Ruth made in her latest report. And you honestly have to wonder did no one see Dr. Strangelove? (Or get beyond the press spin on Wesley Clark?)
Lloyd and Martha both noted Ellen Knickmeyer's "More U.S. Troops May Be Iraq-Bound" (Washington Post):
The top American commander in Iraq said Tuesday that he may call for more troops to be sent to Baghdad, possibly by increasing the overall U.S. presence in Iraq, as rising bloodshed pushes Iraqi and American deaths to some of their highest levels of the war.
The commander, Gen. George W. Casey Jr., also said he now believed Iraqi forces would be ready to take over security responsibility from the Americans no sooner than late 2007 or early 2008. The announcement of a 12- to 18-month target again pushes back the withdrawal of the bulk of the 145,000 or so U.S. troops in Iraq.
When Casey spins. Dropping back to yesterday, Paul Reynolds (BBC) offered perspective on Casey's ever spinning time frame:
The problem for General Casey is that he has said all this before. In July 2005 he predicted major troop withdrawals by this summer, only to have to accept today that he had to reverse that trend when summer came because the Iraqis could not cope with the surge of sectarian violence in Baghdad. He even said today that he would ask for more troops if necessary.
Zach notes Brian Cloughley's "What Are They Dying For?" (CounterPunch):
I was a soldier for 36 years. And when soldiers of NATO (including the US) and Commonwealth countries are killed, nowadays, I feel that "there but for the Grace of God go I" because during my military service I was preparing to fight (or was actually fighting) against people who were enemies of my country.
But when I examine the wars going on at the moment I wonder whether NATO and Commonwealth soldiers (and others, too) who are suffering so many casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan should feel morally comfortable with fighting against the people who are resisting their presence and attacking them. What are they fighting for?
In September, 74 US soldiers were killed in Iraq. In the first 19 days of October, 70 US troops died. Of the 370 US soldiers wounded in September, 295 are seriously incapacitated. In Afghanistan the picture is equally grim. Day by day the number of dead soldiers increases--British, American, Canadian and French, mainly. And of course there are hundreds of Afghan and Iraqi soldiers and police who have been killed, in addition to countless thousands of civilians in both countries whose deaths matter not one jot to the Washington warfighters.
Why have they died?
Why are so many people being killed? What vital Cause have these soldiers died for? What message do their gravestones have for us? And why have hundreds of thousands of civilians been killed in countries since they were invaded by foreigners in order, we are told by the Bush people, to "bring democracy" to them. What's going on in Washington?
Forget the sexual peccadilloes of a hypocritical little Congressman and the lies of Republican leaders who protected him until the game was up and their contemptible conduct was exposed. These people are but tiny morsels of stinking dross in the stove of history. They are slimy maggots who are as worthless as they are self-important, and their posturing and pompousness deserve nothing but scorn. They have forgotten they have a higher duty to the American people than simply being re-elected, which, to the whole lot of them (and to all politicians, everywhere in the world) is the most important thing in their squalid little lives. There isn't a politician alive (or dead , or yet to come) who wouldn't sacrifice his or her dearest principle if they realized that by sticking to it they would fail to be elected.
Members of both Houses in Washington forget or ignore the fact that they are just as responsible as Cheney, Bush, Rumsfeld and Rice for the deaths of American (and other) soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. These legislators are just as guilty as the White House barbarians, too, for the deaths of all the women and children who have been killed by berserk militias that didn't exist in Iraq until after the US invaded. And they are equally responsible for the deaths of all the ordinary citizens who have died in screaming agony after being subjected to "precision" bombing by US aircraft or the midnight guns, grenades and fists of door-smashing soldiery.
Lastly, Megan notes today on KPFA (time given is PST):
Guns and Butter
Wednesday, October 25th, 1:00pm
"China's Cultural Revolution": A new book on the great proletarian cultural revolution, Mao's Last Revolution.
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