B After The Fact

Sunday, April 11, 2004

Or to put it another way thelead editorial in today's New York Times contains the first reference to something I expect to hear a lot of in the next year:

"But if the goal was clear, and people understood how to reach it, Mr. Bush could compensate. He could even bolster the desperately straitened military with a draft if Americans understood the need to sacrifice."

The word I am referring is to is DRAFT. It has to come. The other alternative is for the Bushies to cut and run.

Incidentally, I expect them to cut and run. I expect them to say that they did the right thing to pull out on June 30 because when the place explodes like a powder keg the Republicans are going to claim how smart they were in putting American soldiers out of harms way.

If the country will not accept a draft for Iraq then those who say that we should not have gone in the first place have a good argument.

I am willing to concede that it is possible that we could not have known, even with all the intelligence at our disposal, that Osama was going to use hijacked airplanes as missiles. It is not possible for professional military people (including, but only as a joke, Donald Rumsfeld) to think they were going into Iraq for less than 10 years. And I don't know how you get people to volunteer for that kind of war.

Some striking things when you read the October 6th briefing to the President, the one that says Osama wants to attack in the United States. It clearly predicts hi-jackings, it clearly talks about action that may occur in New York. It also clearly states that

"The F.B.I. is conducting approximately 70 full field investigations throughout the U.S. that it considers bin Laden-related. C.I.A. and the F.B.I. are investigating a call to our embassy in the U.A.E. in May saying that a group of bin Laden supporters was in the U.S. planning attacks with explosives."

The President reads this and thinks two things (a) the FBI was on top of things and (b) the CIA and the FBI are coordinating their efforts. These things turned out to be untrue.

The issue remains, as always, the attempted cover-up. The issue remains the assumption of several American administrations that the people of the United States would be unprepared to fight any war under any circumstance. The lesson that politicians are supposed to draw from that is not to go to war without clearly explaining your goals to the American people. The lesson that the Bushies draw is to try to convince people that war is cost-free.