Jim Austin's Vermonter at Large
Jim Austin
Jim Austin
is a freelance writer from Putney, Vermont.

His previous columns are archived HERE.

Posted 01.19.05


Relax, the US is winning

We all know someone who is incapable of admitting error. Much of their energy is directed at justifying mistakes. These people are generally witless, oblivious and dangerous.

George W. Bush is one of these people.

He is the most powerful man in the world. He holds the fate of this country in his hands. Over 100,000 Iraqis and 1300 Americans (and counting) have lost their lives because of his obsession with defeating Saddam and transforming Iraq.

Our troops and the people of Iraq are sitting in a quagmire of violence and death that not only shows no sign of ending but has been escalating. Roadside bombs are bigger. More and more insurgents are flocking to Iraq to join the throngs engaged in fighting our troops.

Even members of the GOP are starting to gulp and rub the backs of their necks at the perilous tunnel vision displayed by their leader.

Our side does not report the number of deaths incurred by ordinary Iraqi citizens. (The number above was quoted in The Lancet, a major British medical publication.) Nor do they make public the number of wounded that been shipped home missing limbs or struggling to cope with other grievous and life changing injuries.

Such a policy would tend to abrogate the rosy predictions emanating from the White House.

All of this administration's eggs are in one basket. The Iraqi elections due to be held at the end of January have become the linchpin and final justification for our invasion. The insurgents, of course, know this very well.

They will escalate their attacks on US troops and Iraqi security forces up to the election and certainly beyond. It is after the election that the anti-American forces will go berserk. They will do everything they can to make sure that Bush fails.

For a comparison, ask the British how long they have been losing troops in Ireland fighting against a small insurgency. British troops had to control a tiny area in Ireland fighting against three or four hundred active Irish Republican Army insurgents.

America is facing thousands upon thousands of suicidal fanatics with unlimited (apparently) weapons and explosives and a river of new recruits joining the cause every day.

We have no chance of achieving anything like the outcome that has been scripted for us by the zealots in this administration. We will reap only death and misery for both the Iraqis and ourselves.

By being unwilling to admit that this Iraqi disaster is a colossal failure Bush is changing the face of America both nationally and abroad. Our reputation will continue to spiral down the toilet unless and until Bush and his handlers are able to focus on the reality of this hellish situation.

Forty percent of the troops in Iraq are from the National Guard and reserves. These are "weekend warriors" who had hoped to earn some extra income for their families and to be on hand to deal with national emergencies like the floods in California. They did not expect to face suicide bombers and RPGs when they joined the Guard.

They signed up for twenty-four months. How many do you think will re-up when their tour is finished?

Bush must change the law to force them to stay longer or institute a draft. There are no other options.

In a blatant attempt to orchestrate further justification for his war Bush awarded the "Medal of Freedom" to the architects of this disaster. General Tommy Franks, Former CIA Director George Tenant, and Iraq Administrator Paul Bremer all received this nation's highest civilian honor.

Franks was in charge of the invasion of Iraq, a poorly thought-out exercise both in implementation and aftermath.

Bremer ushered in the hand picked puppet government that has further inflamed the insurgency.

Tenant was fired from his position as Director of the CIA for incompetence.

Add Bush's "Mission Accomplished" disgrace aboard the USS Lincoln in May 2003 and the sequel to 1984 is complete.

As the families of our fallen soldiers receive their paltry $12,000 death benefits, George and his cronies are preparing for their multi-million dollar inaugural extravaganza.

You could not make this up.