Home > Uncategorized > The Bush Version & The Truth

The Bush Version & The Truth

And what a surprise they don’t match up. 

Dick Cheney just came out of his hole and did his mad penguin schtick against Obama yet again.  The thing is, Dick and his sock puppet George the Lesser screwed things up so badly in Afghanistan and as a result created a much more long-term problem.  There is a report just out by the U.S. Army that points to the fact  that  Bush and Cheney…dithered while Afghanistan got more and more out of control.  It seems they shifted focus to a place called Iraq that had nothing to do with national security, the war on terror or the events of September 11, 2001.

The NYT reports:

Army History Finds Early Missteps In Afghanistan

In the fall of 2003, the new commander of American forces in Afghanistan, Lt. Gen. David W. Barno, decided on a new strategy. Known as counterinsurgency, the approach required coalition forces to work closely with Afghan leaders to stabilize entire regions, rather than simply attacking insurgent cells.

But there was a major drawback, a new unpublished Army history of the war concludes. Because the Pentagon insisted on maintaining a “small footprint” in Afghanistan and, General Barno commanded fewer than 20,000 troops.

The common refrain from Bush at the time was that he was “listenin’ to commanders in the field” and that they were telling him they didn’t need any more troops.  As a student of history I find it incredible to think that a field commander would be satisfied with such a paltry number of soldiers agianst an insurgency in a country with such a treacherous terrain.

As a result, battalions with 800 soldiers were trying to secure provinces the size of Vermont. “Coalition forces remained thinly spread across Afghanistan,” the historians write. “Much of the country remained vulnerable to enemy forces increasingly willing to reassert their power.”

That early and undermanned effort to use counterinsurgency is one of several examples of how American forces, hamstrung by inadequate resources, missed opportunities to stabilize Afghanistan during the early years of the war, according to the history, “A Different Kind of War.”

Translation: Bush and Cheney dithered, Afghanistan grew more unstable, they ignored the problem and handed it off to the new president whom Dick Cheney seems compelled to spew his vitriol and hubris at every opportunity for not having fixed their mess in the first year of his presidency.  And Bush?  He seems content to hide away and hope people forget that he was ever in office and that the cause of virtually every ill that plagues this nation now can be layed at his feet. 

“Even after the capture of Kabul and Kandahar,” the historians write, “there was no major planning initiated to create long-term political, social and economic stability in Afghanistan. In fact, the message from senior D.O.D officials in Washington was for the U.S. military to avoid such efforts.”

No planning.  They created a vacuum and left it to stew yet have the temerity to accuse this administration of dithering in regard troop strengths and strategy for Afghanistan.

In one telling anecdote from 2004, the history describes how soldiers under General Barno had so little experience in counterinsurgency that one lieutenant colonel bought books about the strategy over the Internet and distributed them to his company commanders and platoon leaders

I guess you go to war with the Secretary of Defense you have, not the one you want.

When the Taliban was on the run in the spring of 2002, Lt. Gen. Dan K. McNeill, the incoming commander of American forces, traveled to Washington seeking guidance. The message conveyed by the Army’s vice chief of staff, Gen. Jack Keane, was, “Don’t you do anything that looks like permanence,” General McNeill recalled. “We are in and out of there in a hurry.”

And eight years later….Obama is a dithering ignorer of the war?

The historians say resistance to providing more robust resources to Afghanistan had three sources in the White House and the Pentagon.

First, President George W. Bush and Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld had criticized using the military for peacekeeping and reconstruction in the Balkans during the 1990s. As a result, “nation building” carried a derogatory connotation for many senior military officials, even though American forces were being asked to fill gaping voids in the Afghan government after the Taliban’s fall.

Second, military planners were concerned about Afghanistan’s long history of resisting foreign invaders and wanted to avoid the appearance of being occupiers. But the historians argue that this concern was based partly on an “incomplete” understanding of the Soviet experience in Afghanistan.

Third, the invasion of Iraq was siphoning away resources. After the invasion started in March 2003, the history says, the United States clearly “had a very limited ability to increase its forces” in Afghanistan.

Misunderstanding of history, trapped into not wanting to fall into something they had blamed Clinton for, and pursuing a war of choice that had nothing to do with anything and ultimately removed the resources needed to stabilize Afghanistan and “win” that war in a timely and organized fashion.  Failure upon failure upon failure. 

The nerve of the apologists for the Bush/Cheney regime is staggering in their remarkable ability to ignore reality and facts.  Obama is blamed for the failure to secure Afghanistan even though Bush/Cheney did everything wrong for eight years there before Obama ever came to office.   The former Press Secretary to Bush, Dana Perino, went so far as to say after the shooting at Ft. Hood that there were no terrorist attacks on the U.S. during Bushes terms in office.

It appears that the historians are watching and noting what is really happening.  I think they all stand firmly with the position that there was a terrorist attack on the U.S. during Bush and Cheney’s two terms.  September 11, 2001, the date that they repeated ad nauseum as a reason to do whatever they wanted seems to be forgotten by them now. 

The more time passes, the more we learn of the extent of the failures of GW Bush and Dick Cheney.  Perhaps the only purpose of their terms in office was to serve as a warning to others.  Outside of that I can think of no upside to their administrations.

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