Monday, March 26, 2007

The Greatest Year of Our Life

How many times do we have to hear from NPR how the training of Iraqi troops is going to be the magic solution to the disaster of Iraq? This morning Steve Inskeep takes us on a trip to fantasyland Iraq complete with "imitation Iraqi villagers" and "contractors who play Iraqis." Inskeep lets us hear quite a bit from Major Jason Figuerido who is leading the training exercises in Kansas. In an audio clip that sounds like bitter comedy, Figuerido says of the coming mission in Iraq, "We’re all looking forward to it. I mean this could be pretty much the greatest year of our life. Very few times in your life where you’re thrown with eleven guys into such a overwhelming experience, but yet so important."

Inskeep, instead of offering any critical check, chimes right in with "Important for this reason: military officials do not regard the so-called surge of U.S. forces in Baghdad as a way to win the war by itself. They consider it a way to buy time, time for a political solution, or time to improve the economy, or time to build stronger Iraqi forces, which is where Americans like Major Figuerido come in."

Well, dear readers lets jump inside the old time machine and travel back about two year to April 12, 2005 when Vicki O'Hara was our tour director through the land of delusion. She noted that "General Peter Schoomaker, the Army Chief of Staff...spoke at the American Enterprise Institute: 'If we continue to see the kind of great progress that’s taking place in standing up Iraqi security services as the political process takes traction, as they continue to stand up and mature.'" Just in case any of the sane among us were doubting this fine serving of b.s., she added, "Analysts and military officials say there are reasons to be encouraged..."

If all this weren't insulting enough Inskeep finishes his Fort Riley commercial with a bit of tried and true racism. We hear Figuerido insist that "the most important things the transition teams will do here is learn to build relationships…and understand the culture and the mindset of the Iraqi Army..." and Inskeep concludes that "When Americans meet real Iraqis they may have to learn to tolerate divided loyalties or corruption..." Good thing the American mission in Iraq has never been tainted by divided loyalties or corruption.

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