War stories that don’t make sense

President Bush called for over 20,000 more troops to be sent to Iraq. It will evidently take months for all these troops to get there and filmmaker Michael Moore points out that this will merely return troop levels to what they were last year; the situation wasn’t under control then either.

I heard a rumor that these troops were going to be sent to the border with Iran to protect against an Iranian retaliation for an Israeli strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities, due to occur by the end of February. But 20,000 troops doesn’t seem likely to be enough for that job either. If the Israeli strike happens as the rumor predicts and the Iranians retaliate in a conventional manner as the rumor predicts (two very big ifs), the 20,000 troops will be far too little, far too late.

So if none of this makes any sense, the only thing that makes sense is to try and figure out whom the intended recipient of this message is and what that message actually is. I’m guessing the people in that part of the world have a far better sense of the situation on the ground than most Americans; they won’t be impressed either. And it seems like most Americans strongly oppose any escalation; they won’t be impressed.

If there’s a message here, it seems to be one of increasing presidential detachment from reality. I don’t think I even wonder what Bush is saying to those portraits that hang on the White House walls.

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