Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Doublethink, Doubletalk, Double the Trouble

The New York Times reports this morning that a report dated May 5, 2004 prepared by the U.S. military's Criminal Investigation Command describes a "widespread pattern of abuse involving more military units than previously known" and contains a summary of the status of investigations of approximately three dozen cases of reported abuse.

However, the Deserter claimed in his speech Monday evening that the abuses in U.S. prisons in Iraq were committed "by a few American troops who disregarded our country and disregarded our values."

This claim by the Deserter is very telling. He stood behind a podium Monday evening at the Army War College and described a policy that, at least in tone, differed substantially from the policy ruinously pursued by the Pentagon for the last year. The salient question raised by the speech was whether it represented an actual change in U.S. policy or was merely a campaign speech designed to stanch the hemorrhage of support for the war with soothing words, however irreconcilable with our actions in Iraq. The Deserter's characterization of the abuse scandal provides the answer.

Can we change course in Iraq without facing up to the detainee abuse scandal and numerous strategic blunders in our Iraq policy? Are we facing up to the scandal if the President continues to claim (or more frighteningly, believe), in the face of official military reports to the contrary, that the detainee abuse scandal was an aberration, the work of "a few American troops"? This kind of willful flight from reality can only compound our troubles in Iraq.

I have hoped (perhaps against hope) that Rove might have finally said "enough is enough" and decided to leash the neocon dogs at the Pentagon, in belated acknowledgment of the disastrous political consequences of their Iraq misadventure. But it seems more apparent with each passing day that the neocons cannot fuck-up enough to cause Rove or the Deserter to break free. There is no amount of stupidity, corruption, deceit or negligence that will rouse Rove or the Deserter from their thrall. The neocons remain firmly in control. The Chalabi flap? I'll believe we've regurgitated Chalabi when his INC mafia has been uprooted from the Iraqi bureaucracy. I'll believe reports of a Chalabi/neocon schism when Chalabi is actually prosecuted for the espionage the U.S. has alleged. Until then, I have to assume that this is all just another incredibly byzantine plot by the neocons to bolster Chalabi's "street cred" in Iraq and blunt rising criticism in the U.S. of a policy that relied so heavily on a con-man, embezzler and Iranian spy.


Post a Comment

<< Home