Sunday, November 05, 2006

The Sinking Ship

The rats are going over the rail. The doomed band is playing "Nearer my God to Thee" on the promenade deck of the Titanic. People and groups have come out against the current situation, that I never thought to see:

Richard Perle, the anchor of Republican defense departments since Ronald Reagan, has said that if he'd known how this would work out, he would have suggested other strategies.

Kenneth Adelman, who said that liberating Iraq would be "a cakewalk", now says the Bush national security team is "among the most incompetent teams in the postwar era".

Most telling to my mind, the Military Times Media Group, a Gannett subsidiary which puts out Army Times and its sister sheets, will publish an editorial Monday in all its titles (liberally leaked in advance), calling for Rumsfeld's dismissal, on the grounds that he "has lost credibility with the uniformed leadership, with the troops, with Congress and with the public at large."

If you yourself have never been around the military, you may not realize how apocalyptic this is. They have to be hearing this from their readership, the serving military; in fact, the editorial will say that "active-duty military leaders are beginning to voice misgivings about the war's planning and execution." The American military just doesn't do that. The code that says you never criticize the brass is tremendously strong. But the American military is also nothing if not pragmatic, and the truth of the situation in Iraq is sinking in.

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