Opinion by


A lot of my fellow anti-Iraq-war activists are mad as hornets today because of some statements the president made. Never the most articulate world leader, Bush often says things we think he doesn’t mean and does the opposite of what he says. The verbage that leaves his lips often entertains, frequently confuses, and sometimes outrages those who hear the grammatical cluster bombs that explode in a typical Bush speech.

But I think what he said today, was exactly what he meant to say. I think Bush may be testing the waters one last time during his presidency. Note, he never actually stated, in his Washington Post interview, that he has decided to send 15,000 to 30,000 troops to Iraq for six or eight months. He said that is one of the options under review. Now this evening, message boards, forums and blogs across the Internet are decrying that Bush decided to send more troops to Iraq. That is not what he decided.

What Bush decided was that the US military needs to be expanded, enlarged, if you will. It is an acknowledgement that Bush agrees with the assessment of Army Chielf of Staff General Peter Schoomaker that “the active army is about broken,” something that has been echoed by the Joint Chiefs of Staff and former supporters of the War in Iraq, like Colin Powell.

Bush said his decision to increase the size of the military is to meet the overall global war against terrorism. He pointedly left the War in Iraq out of the equation because realists in our military and government realize the connection between al qeda and Iraq is a red herring created by us. If there had been no war in Iraq, the country would not have become a terrorist/insurgent magnet.

I do not know many people who do not believe we shouldn’t expand the size of our active military force, me included. But we also believe and many of us believed it when the War in Iraq was merely an atom in Bush’s very convoluted brain, that the War in Iraq had less to do with terrorism and a lot to do with oil, but that’s a topic of another commentary.

No, based on what Bush said to the Washington Post, I’m not ready to heat up the tar and pluck the chickens just yet. We need a stronger, more proessional army that is well rested. We need to pull out of Iraq as quickly as possible, lick our wounds, take some time out for R&R and extra training and build up the size of the force. The battle we fight should have a clearly defined purpose, not be preemptive.

If Bush does anything less, in my opinion, Americans should take to the streets and make the protests of the Vietnam era seem about as rowdy as a Southern Baptist Church convention.


Yahoo News

Washington Post

Wordworks2001 is a retired US Army master sergeant. He lives in Indiana and works in Nigeria. He blogs at http://wordworks2001.blogspot.com

Be Sociable, Share!