In Monday’s news: Defense Secretary Robert Gates announced that he would not seek the traditional second term for the military Joint Chiefs Chairman , Marine Gen. Peter Pace, or Adm. Edmund Giambastani. Ostensibly, this measure was taken in order to avoid the prospect of bitter reconfirmation hearings, this summer, but it completes a near clean sweep of high slots that had been purged and filled with men simpatico with the previous Defense Secretary, Donald Rumsefeld.
Adm Mike Mullen, Chief of Naval Operations, has been recommended to replace Mullen, one more good sign, since the Navy was the service least purged, least eviscerated, least bullied or ruined by Rumsfeld and his gang of nutjobs.
All of this supplements to other recent signs -- some of them only symbolic or superficial, and yet welcome, nonetheless -- that appear to suggest that Robert Gates may be an “anti-manchurian”... an actual, bona fide, competent adult American who has slipped into a crucial cabinet post at a moment when maniacs seemed on the verge of ruining the greatest military in history... or else driving the most apolitical military in history to the brink of open revolt.
Certainly the daily destruction of the United States Army and the National Guard continues, even as we speak. But there is a slim chance, it seems, for at least a small buffer of protection for the beleaguered men and women of the Officer Corps. If Gates manages to achieve this one thing, then he will earn our gratitude.
That is, if he is what he appears to be.
I have been telling everybody that the one thing they MUST do is “adopt an ostrich”. Find one borderline, quasi reasonable -- or at least capable of reason -- “ostrich conservative, perhaps a libertarian or Goldwater type who still hysterically shakes his or her head, mutter “Clinton was worse...somehow.” Grab ahold of that one person, and don’t let go until the head comes up, out of the sand, and they realize that it is their side’s turn to have gone mad. And it is their personal turn - and duty - to stand up, admit it, help save civilization...
...and even possibly help to save something of conservatism, from the inevitable backlash, when decent citizens find out what’s been going on.*
Ah, but be careful what you wish for! Some converts from right-wing silliness become, well, pretty dramatic (if interesting) people. Like Arianna Huffington. Only now, Paul Craig Roberts makes her look pallid and colorless in his torch-hot conversion and actinic rage against the monsters who have hijacked our nation and his old movement.
Take this from his recent article ”Losing Iraq, Nuking Iran.” In which Roberts worries not only about Bush, but about the whole mad meme-storm that is festering within today’s Republican Party establishment.
“The prospect of nuking Iran doesn't seem to disturb the three frontrunners for the Republican nomination, who agreed in their June 5 debate that the US might use nuclear weapons to destroy Iran's uranium enrichment facilities.”
For those who don’t know, Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan administration. He was Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal editorial page and Contributing Editor of National Review. So he knows the GOP establishment very well. And no one is better qualified to tell you that this is not Eisenhower’s party, or that of Barry Goldwater or even Ronald Reagan or Bush Sr., under whom cronyism and corruption were moderated somewhat by an occasional lapse into public spiritedness. Or at least a willingness to let skilled people do their jobs.
“The war in Iraq is lost. This fact is widely recognized by American military officers and has been recently expressed forcefully by Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, the commander of US forces in Iraq during the first year of the attempted occupation. Winning is no longer an option. Our best hope, Gen. Sanchez says, is "to stave off defeat," and that requires more intelligence and leadership than Gen. Sanchez sees in the entirety of our national political leadership: "I am absolutely convinced that America has a crisis in leadership at this time."
“More evidence that the war is lost arrived June 4 with headlines reporting: "U.S.-led soldiers control only about a third of Baghdad, the military said on Monday." After five years of war the US controls one-third of one city and nothing else.”
Moreover: “A year ago Colin Powell said that the US Army is "about broken." Col. Andy Bacevich, America's foremost writer on military affairs, documents in the current issue of The American Conservative that Bush's insane war has depleted and exhausted the US Army and Marine Corps:"Only a third of the regular Army's brigades qualify as combat-ready. In the reserve components, none meet that standard. When the last of the units reaches Baghdad as part of the president's strategy of escalation, the US will be left without a ready-to-deploy land force reserve."
Must I (tediously) remind folks where they heard first about this administration’s war against the US military, and especially the educated and hyper-dedicated men and women of the Officer Corps?
Roberts cites dismal, depressing statistic, but let’s skim ahead to the next phase of neocon madness. (And remember, this is a guy who knows all the GOP sources.)
“Neocons have convinced themselves that nuking Iran will show the Muslim world that Muslims have no alternative to submitting to the will of the US government. Insurgency and terrorism cannot prevail against nuclear weapons.Many US military officers are horrified at what they think would be the worst ever orchestrated war crime.
“There are reports of threatened resignations. But Dick Cheney is resolute. He tells Bush that the plan will save him from the ignominy of losing the war and restore his popularity as the president who saved Americans from Iranian nuclear weapons. With the captive American media providing propaganda cover, the neoconservatives believe that their plan can pull their chestnuts out of the fire and rescue them from the failure that their delusion has wrought.”
* When people “find out what’s going on.” Did I really say that? Is anyone, anyone at all, willing to contemplate the possibility that men who were bright enough to seize such power and steal such vast amounts may not simultaneously be morons, after all? When a narrow cabal acts in such a way as to relentlessly turn a great nation and Western Civilization around from a steep climb into spiralling decline, through a myriad acts of uniformly awe-inspiring incompetence - why is it impossible to ponder, weigh, or even allow the imagination to consider, the possibility that the outcome we perceive, so perfectly executed, is precisely what the inner-inner ruling cabal was after, all along?
Implementing a plan with brilliance, and not the clownlike imbecility that they have feigned? (Ask yourself, “Who could be so stupid?” Should that not have been a clue?)
Will no one else even contemplate this Cassandra warning about the slim possibility of a “Manchurian scenario? What? Not even in order to prevent David Brin from getting all the credit, if it just so happens that this cheap thriller plot is later proved right?
Come on, you professionals, who are reading this right now. Are you SO comfy in your view of things - or so lazy - or suborned - or so scared of the Bob Roberts University grads who have been installed above you as be-fanged assistant undersecretaries, that you won’t even ponder briefly the possibility that more is happening, in heaven and Earth, than your pat vision encompasses?
How smug. How unprofessional and indolent. Hear that whirring sound? It’s Donovan and Dulles, spinning in their graves. And if this dark scenario ever proves true, you will have been the ones who broke your vows. Who failed your duty. Who let us all, civilization, America, the dream and the experiment, get flushed down the tubes.
Oh, here's a lagniappe: Under the category of If even a fraction of this is true...” (Of course a whole lot, most, and possibly all of it is. And yet, even so, the author does not connect the last dot.) The Muslim Brotherhood, Nazis and Al-Qaeda