Lies Versus Incompetence

You know the noise machine is sputtering when the lies aren’t even good anymore. In reaction to John Murtha’s call for a phased 6-month redeployment in Iraq, the President said “as long as I am commander in chief, our strategy in Iraq will be driven by the sober judgment of our military commanders on the ground.”

Let’s put aside for the moment the fact that this is a lie: the “sober judgment” of Gen. Eric Shinseki was that we needed more troops, and he was fired for his sobriety.

Instead, let’s assume it’s true: it still demonstrates manifest incompetence. Military commanders do not, and should not, determine our “strategy in Iraq” that job is for those who purport to be our political leaders. Iraq is a political problem: if our strategy is being driven solely by the military, it shows that we do not understand it.

A major reason why the Bush-Cheney strategy is so criminally incompetent is that it assumes that if we just blow up enough people, then we’ll win. The job of creating a stable Iraq so far transcends that that it’s little wonder we have been so unsuccessful. The Marines entered Baghdad, the statue came down, and we figured it was over. There was no political strategy following up because everything was entrusted to the military.

This also points to the wisdom of Murtha’s saying that the military has done everything it could do: his point is that the military cannot be expected to solve a political problem. The Administration does not understand this.

Clearly, military necessities have to be an element in developing a coherent political strategy. But the political strategy drives the military, not vice-versa. It’s too late to expect the President to read anything, but perhaps someone around him should take a look at this.

Daily Lesson

Jonathan Zasloff writes:

Early yesterday morning, the House Republicans passed a budget resolution severely cutting Medicaid, food stamps, and child care. Meanwhile, their allies in the Senate passed a resolution extending tax cuts for some of the wealthiest investors.

Class, the Daily Lesson comes from Amos, 8:1-8:

Thus the LORD showed me: Behold, a basket of summer fruit.

And He said, “Amos, what do you see?” So I said, “A basket of summer fruit.”

Then the LORD said to me:

“The end has come upon My people Israel;

I will not pass by them anymore.

And the songs of the temple shall be wailing in that day,”

Says the LORD God–

“Many dead bodies are everywhere;

they shall be thrown into silence”

Hear this, you who swallow up the needy,

and make the poor of the land fail,

saying:

“When will the New Moom be past that we may sell grain?

And the Sabbath, that we may trade wheat?

Making the ephah small and the shekel large,

Falsifying the scales by deceit.

That we may buy the poor for silver,

and the needy for a pair of shoes–

Even sell the bad wheat?”

The LORD has sworn by the pride of Jacob:

“Surely I will never forget any of their works.

Shall the land not tremble for this,

And everyone mourn who dwells in it?

All of it shall swell like the River,

heave and subside

like the River of Egypt.”

We might also read from Isaiah 10: 1-2

Woe to the legislators of infamous laws,

who refuse justice to the unfortunate

and cheat the poor among my people of their rights,

who make widows their prey, and rob the orphan.

Class, who would like to comment? Rev. Dobson? Rev. Robertson?

Hello?