Constant's pations

If it's more than 30 minutes old, it's not news. It's a blog.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Impeachment: Iraq, and the White House-DoD integrity problem

A defendants' out of court, inconsistent statements are admissible when they show the witness is not reliable; or when the statements tends to contradict the sworn testimony of a witness and raise issues of credibility and veracity.

* * *

In Iraq, America isn't serious about winning. It's serious about asserting things are going well.

Congress has independent sources of information. They're finding out things the White House and the Joint Staff do not want them to know.

* * *

President Bush has stated several times that he will provide more troops to Iraqi commanders, if that is what they request. Rumsfeld now denies refusing to provide the troops. How could he deny something supposedly the commanders never requested?

Time reports that the unit commanders have requested more troops, despite the statements otherwise in orchestrated discussions.

Yet, even if, as Time reports, that DoD plans to double the number of explosive experts, it's one thing to have a goal, and another to find the troops to fill those spots.

Moreover, even if the manning requests are granted, where are they going to get them without a draft? GAO reports that 1,484 specialties are unfilled.

If things are truly "going well," in Iraq, why the sudden interest in smearing Murtha? They want to attack those who most know what is going on.

* * *

Top excuses Bush gave not to provide troops:

  • The enemy would get stronger. [Flawed Argument: If we are weak and stupid, the enemy will remain weak; if we are strong, the enemy will mobilize and that is not good.]

  • The appeal to ignorance: more Americans would suggest that we intend to stay forever. [Flawed argument: If we provide the troops to do what we say we're going to do, we are concerned about whether the Iraqis think it may take a long time to do that. Even if we provide enough troops to do the job in a finite, timely matter, the Iraqis will assume we cannot do the job and will stay forever. George Orwell: A specific time is actually the same as infinity.]

  • Appeal to authority: Even if the ground commanders say they need more troops, the President deferred to the Judgment of the Joint Staff.
    "As we determine the right force level, our troops can know that I will continue to be guided by the advice that matters: the sober judgment of our military leaders. "Ref

    Despite this non-sense, the commanders in 2004 were already openly stating that there weren't enough troops. By 2005 Rumsfeld suggested the troops numbers may have to increase because of the December elections; but this momentary blip, if it occurs, seems like a permanent escalation.

    * * *

    The problem America has is that we've already known for a long time that the growth in the number of insurgents was far faster than the US combat troops.

    Here is an analysis showing that the window of opportunity has already passed: The US, even if it were to increase the number of combat troops on the ground to 1M, would not be able to have sufficient numbers trained, in place to outmatch the insurgents.

    In other words, for the US to have more than enough manpower-resources on the ground, it would have had to have already started a draft months ago.

    Despite the studies showing the US needed more troops, and that a draft was needed, the President did not listen to either Gen. Sanchez or Civilian Bremmer who both independently concluded in 2004 more troops were needed.

    The President failed to respond to specific requests for more troops, contradicting his public comments above about sending more troops if the commanders need/want/ask for them.

    * * *

    There are options to withdraw the troops, but Bush says he won't withdraw the troops during his Presidency.

    * * *

    How can we believe that the "terms of the withdrawal" are up to the commanders; when the same commanders are getting ignored over whether they do or do not need additional troops to do the job?

    Why should we believe the "issues related to success are in Iraq," while the US commanders are providing options to withdraw, regardless what the US does or does not do by way of providing needed resources to do the job?

    How many other assurances from DoD and the White House as the Congress relied on, but are contrary to the facts on the ground:

    if you pull out of an area and don't leave security forces in it, all you're going to do is leave the door open for them to come back.Ref

    * * *

    Bogus news about a sham war: Wasn't that Vietnam?

    * * *

    How can the US credibly threaten either Syria or Iraq, even if there is a WMD problem, given the lack of national commitment to provide the troops what they need to do the existing job?

    * * *

    What do you call it when:

  • You don't have enough troops to win;

  • You can't afford to pull out;

  • You refuse to discuss a draft?

    You may pick more than one:

    A. Leadership problem
    B. Big problem
    C. Delusion
    D. George Orwell's 1984
    E. Catch-22
    F. A war of choice, with a sealed defeat
    G. An excuse to target those who are saying the obvious
    H. Stupidity
    I. The beginning of the end for the American Empire
    J. An excuse for a witch trial
    K. Time to find another scapegoat
    L. Thank goodness the Super Bowl is only a few months away
    M. It's the fault of __________ [pick your innocent bystander, but don't mention the Holocaust]
    N. Quagmire

    * * *

    Success criteria are publicly at odds with the actual conditions:

    The President says that "Our troops will come home when Iraq is capable of defending herself," however this implies that "success" is on the back of the Iraqis.

    However, based on the above, we know the opposite: Success is a function of whether the Unite Commanders are or are not getting listened to, whether they have the resources to do the job, and whether the Joint Staff/White House are listening to them.

    The illusion is to presume that "success" and "victory" will occur based on what the Iraqis do or do not do. The actual problem is that the "end point" for Americans to return has more to do with whether the US is serious about winning, providing enough troops, and having a draft.

    America wants to talk about victory, and smear those who suggest the truth: That we either need to commit to what is needed, or get out.

    The lie is to assert we are there for the Iraqis, yet we aren't committed to do what it takes. It is foolish to stay in a situation when you're not supported by your commanders, either in the Pentagon or in the White House.

    This Joint Staff and White House have shown they have been lying, unresponsive, and talking out of both sides of their mouth.

    * * *

    Who's known about the problems in the Joint Staff, and have there been materially false, and misleading statements given to Congress by the Joint Staff?

    We conclude that the fissures within the Joint Staff are real; and that the White House Staff knows that misleading statements have been given to Congress not only prior to launching combat operations, but in sworn testimony:

  • How things are going in Iraq

  • What was known about the conditions

  • Whether resources were adequate relative to real requirements

  • Whether commanders have or have not requested additional troops

    * * *

    We argue the matters are not simply politics and secrecy over war, but issues of criminal law.

    The White House and Pentagon continue to apparently mislead the Congress not only on the conditions on the ground, but the actual costs and resources needed.

    It is a separate issue whether the resources are linked to any vague or specific success criteria. Most likely, they are not.

    Thus, the GOP smears Murtha, all the while the President denies plans of a pullout, yet Rumsfeld has a plan with options stating otherwise.

    Even if they had a plan, would they know what to do with it? Recall, the reason we're in this problem is the risks identified before the invasion were ignored.

    A leader that fails to plan going into battle will not likely prudently plan to win or get out.

    That is the definition of a quagmire. When the leadership swears up and down that they're listening, but we learn from the troops otherwise, we have a reasonable question to ask: How much energy are the spending to create the illusion this is not like Vietnam?

    Nixon's plan, when all the options failed, was to lie about invading Cambodia. This leadership, despite real limitations, appears inclined to do the same in Syria or Iran.

    Nixon didn't last. It's unclear what will save Bush from a similar fate: Resign of face impeachment for lying to Congress.

    * * *

    Why would the insurgents have to hide in Syria, when they can easily hide in Iraq?