23 December 2005

Support and Defy

When I started getting into politics, I grounded myself in the political writings of our nation's founding. Along with soaking up the words of Thomas Paine, George Washington, Patrick Henry, Thomas Jefferson and the like, I wound up taking a trip down to Williamsburg, VA to see history in action. After all of this I could honestly say I was proud to be an American for the first time in my life, because I understood exactly who we are, where we came from, and why we are so different from the rest of the world. I also developed a very deep understanding and respect for how important our uniqueness of government is in the 21st century. Which is why I get especially angry when I see politicians-- those who have been elected by the public trust to "support and defend" the Constitution of this fair nation-- completely ignore the ideas this nation was founded on in favor of appeasement and world opinion.

For example, the "Breaking News" this morning when I woke up was:

"FALLUJA, Iraq (Reuters) - U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said on Friday the number of U.S. combat troops in Iraq would be cut by some 7,000 by early next year, but the number involved in training Iraq's new military would increase."

As I got out of bed, I said to Katie Couric, "That's not breaking news-- that was linked on Drudge yesterday, wasn't it?"

Yes, it was at 4:06 pm to be exact:

"BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld hinted Thursday that the U.S. military will soon begin reducing its troop strength in Iraq below 138,000, the level it has considered its core force in the country for most of this year.

On an unannounced holiday visit to the Iraqi capital, Rumsfeld hinted a preliminary decision had been made to achieve the modest reduction by canceling the scheduled deployment of two Army brigades.

The cancellation of the deployments would gradually decrease the number of troops in Iraq by 6,000 to 7,000, said a Defense Department official who spoke on condition of anonymity because an announcement was not yet final. The official said that would bring the troop level in the country to a little above 130,000 sometime next spring..."

Having resolved that deja-vu issue, a reading of both news stories brings to mind another question. Compare and contrast with me, if you will,

December 22nd's Story:

"...achieve the modest reduction by canceling the scheduled deployment of two Army brigades. The cancellation of the deployments would gradually decrease the number of troops in Iraq by 6,000 to 7,000..."

December 23rd's Story:

"...the number of U.S. combat troops in Iraq would be cut by some 7,000 by early next year..."

These stories conflict, don't they? Apparently, on Thursday, Donald Rumsfeld gave "hints" whilst on Friday, Donald Rumsfeld "said" what was going to happen. Is there a solid difference there, or is this just nuanced verbiage? If so, would the difference between deployed and non-deployed troops also just be nuanced verbiage as well? And, if it is all just nuanced verbiage-- who's doing the nuancing here? I want names!

According to another Al-Reuters article published about a half-hour after this morning's "Breaking News":

"U.S. combat forces in Iraq would be reduced by two brigades by early in the new year, while troops involved in training Iraq's new military would be increased, he said.

He gave no specific numbers. Commanders have said troop levels should fall from a high of around 160,000 for the election -- achieved partly by overlapping troops on rotation -- to closer to the 138,000 seen previously over the coming months."

Now, it seems that we're either going to get below 138,000 troops, according to this morning's "Breaking News" or we're going to get "closer" to 138,000 troops, according to the post-breaking news of this morning.

What can I gather from all of this?

A. We aren't sending more troops to Iraq.

B. We aren't bringing troops home from Iraq.

C. We are restructuring our forces in the region. Instead of deploying more troops, we're taking a percentage of the troops we do have off the front-lines and putting them in the classrooms to train Iraqi soldiers.

D. Either the White House Press Corps, Donald Rumsfeld's speech writers, Republican Party strategists, or the MSM have decided to employ nuanced verbiage in order to give the appearance that major changes are on the way in Iraq, and that a large-scale pullout is imminent. This was probably done for one of any of these reasons:
  1. To counter the "Spying on Americans" delayed-release story.
  2. To respond defensively to Congressional Democrats' calls for pulling out of Iraq.
  3. To give Americans a reason to love the President and find hope in our country's future as they go into the holiday season & the new year. (This means ratings will boost when it comes to confidence in the economy--read, extra last minute holiday purchases, something NYC especially needs due to the transit strike--and it'll also boost the President's confidence ratings as well.)

Obviously, this is going to backfire on them, eventually. Possibly because, I humbly admit, I am not the only person who is going to notice and question the nuanced verbiage. Probably because most Americans are already dissatisfied with the President and the War in Iraq, not because they're a bunch of peacenik libs who want the boys home so they can spit on them in public, but because they realize that our government is trying to fight a politically correct war, and our soldiers are getting caught in the crossfire. I'd like to take a bet (and I'm not a gambler) that the majority of Americans would be A-OK with keeping our troops in Iraq AND deploying more soldiers over there if they were just allowed to do their job.

As Ann Coulter put it in her most recent article [12/22/05], "Among the things that war entails are: killing people (sometimes innocent), destroying buildings (sometimes innocent) and spying on people (sometimes innocent)." There's a reason we employ the phrase, "War is Hell." Yet, lately, I have to wonder if war wouldn't be just a tad more heavenly if we actually allowed ourselves to fight to win. Instead, we have our government playing Busby Berkeley, choreographing the latest production number according to the direction of our worst critics. Max Bialystock and Leo Bloom wouldn't invest in this production, because in the end the loss won't be counted in dollars, but in human lives.

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