Thursday, June 28, 2007

Chess and the General's Boy

On Morning Edition today Inskeep sucks up to talks to Major General Lynch (Major Propaganda) about operations in Iraq. There's no problem talking to major players in the US military about what's going on in Iraq, BUT there was not one critical, skeptical, confrontational moment in the interview (which is pretty outrageous given Lynch's penchant for delusional optimism). Most of this morning's interview consists of Maj. Gen. Lynch blabbing away without ever being asked to substantiate his claims - for instance:
  • "...and then kill or capture the leaders of those terrorist networks."
  • "...this deep in the operation we’ve killed or captured about a 180 of the insurgents…"
Call me cynical, but I'd have a few basic issues to raise. This conflating of terrorist with insurgent is remarkable, does he mean al-Qaeda, Sunni insurgents attacking armed forces of the occupation, Sunni insurgents attacking civilian targets, Shiite government connected militias, etc. And equally important, I'd challenge the number of "insurgents" killed or captured given the regular (and very recent) US habit of calling anyone it slaughters "militants" "insurgents" or "terrorists."

The point of the interview where Inskeep really earns his medal comes when he asks General Lynch,
"As your troops have gone from town to town has anybody come out of their house and said, 'Where’ve you been?'"
Lynch can barely contain his glee as he chuckles,
"Yes, as a matter of fact they have, and they say, ‘We’re glad you’re here,’ and then they say, ‘are you staying?'"
God, those Iraqis just love us. After Shock 'n Awe, Abu Ghraib, and Haditha who could blame them. But for those few Iraqi dead-enders and those in the last throes, the only worry most Iraqis have is that the US military might go home before the job's done in, say, 25 or 50 years.

(Oh, and the graphic above - Maj. Gen. Lynch'em said without any sense of the ironic that US operations in Iraq were like "
three dimensional chess in the dark." I'll say!)

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