Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Mr. Bush; please speak streight so that we can believe you in the good as in the bad

Mr. Bush,you are the only president we've got and it's
going to be that way for another three years.
Republicans or Democrats, we are all standing with you
on the deck of the same ship of state-- the USA-- of
which you are the captain. So, please, believe me,
none of us are so suicidal and uncaring about our
families, neighbors and heroes in combat to wish to
see this American ship of ours wrecked on a perilous
reef. We want you to succeed in your policies in Iraq.
Speaking for myself, let me say that if you do
succeed, I owe you a great thanks for removing from my
mouth before I die the bitter taste of defeat in
Vietnam that I live with daily. So, sir, I pray
constantly for your success, as does every American.

Given that fact, I beg you, please stop bombarding us
with jingle-like speeches that sound like a coach's
locker room pep talk for a team down at half-time. All
those words of attempted encouragement are washed away
by the affirmation by General Mohamed Abdullah
Shahwani, Director General of Iraq's Intelligence
Service, (he's the counterpart to CIA DCI Porter Goss)
that there are 200,000 insurgents fighting us in Iraq.
According to Gen. Shahawi, "the resistance is bigger
than the US military in Iraq." The Pentagon had
insisted that the insurgents amount to only one tenth
of that, tops. But, according to our American field
commanders, Gen. Shahwani's figure, "is a valid guess,
with as much credence, if not more, than any US
number."

Do you see why we can't trust anything Sec. of Defense
Rumsfeld said to us? His "metrics" are a sham; in the
words of the old adage: "figures don't lie, but liars
figure." And Mr. Rumsfeld had figured his way into
incredibility right from the start!

From the planning stages onward, Mr. Rumsfeld sought
to make the Iraq War his exclusive province, cutting
out from strategic decision-making more knowledgeable
CIA and Dept. of State experts. And so, under your
eyes, Mr. Rumsfeld had consistently misjudged every
step, right from the start. Recklessly he left our
forces desperately short and sent them into battle
intelligence-blind. How is it that, though you had
Gen. Powell in your Cabinet, the father of the Powell
Doctrine, (which said: to send in too much is
acceptable, to send in too little is unforgivable),who
led a fast victory over Saddam with minimal losses,
you-- the President-- allowed Mr. Rumsfeld's hubris to
put our heroes in such a fix by marginalizing Gen.
Powell?

Gen. Tommy Franks liked to distinguish between taking
chances and taking risks-- taking chances is
acceptable but taking risks is unforgivable. Yet, once
Baghdad was taken, he didn't want the chances he took
to turn into risks, so he retired immediately, before
finding himself face-to-face with Saddam's resistance.

If you really wanted to level with the American people
in your four speeches, you should have discussed, in
at least one of the speeches you recited to us, how it
came to pass that from the time of "mission
accomplished," when all Iraq came to cheer us in the
street, to now, the insurgents have grown from nothing
to a force greater than ours. You should have
explained why you never learned from near disaster in
Afghanistan, instead sending our men into Iraq
intelligence blind, under-armored and under-manned.
You say you listen to your field commanders; but how
is it that they supposedly tell you that they have
everything victory requires while telling others like
Congressman Murtha that we are losing and must get
out?

Just look at Vietnam for comparison. There, we also
went in intelligence-blind. Unable to distinguish the
peasant "sea" from the Viet Cong guerrilla "fish" in
the Mekong Delta, we plastered the countryside with
ordnance so that the survivors fled to the cites,
which we controlled. Thus, the "sea" drained out and
left the "fish" high and dry. It is thanks to the
likes of "Blowtorch" Komer, whose CORDS program
constructed five times as much as our military
destroyed, that the refugees became, what the
communists lamented to be "petits bourgeois"; starting
new urban lives, they sent their sons to fight the
Communists, hoping never again to become peasant
slaves under Red collectivization. In two short years
we transformed South Vietnam from 85% rural to 75%
urban. After Tet 1968, the Viet Cong ceased to exist;
to get us to leave, Hanoi had to engage its entire
army in regular combat from safe rear bases, where we
were not allowed to go, close to our perimeters.

Into Iraq we also went intelligence-blind. But once we
drove out Saddam's forces, Mr. Rumsfeld-- who hogged
this whole war to himself and his neocon bureaucrats--
didn't know what to do, so he did nothing. American
Colonels had to begin reconstructing Iraq out of
pocket. By order of Mr. Rumsfeld and his ignorant
neocons, our men stood helpless while criminals
looted, raped and murdered. In the meantime, Saddam's
guerrillas got into position. By the time they
attacked we couldn't even defend ourselves. Our lack
of boots on the ground was, as in Vietnam, supposed to
be compensated for by air power. It was said that we
used only "smart" bombs that minimized "collateral
damage." But, Mr. President, how "smart" could the
bombs be when the men who direct them are
intelligence-blind?

In Iraq there is no countryside, only desert. So we
bombed the very cities in which lived the Iraqis.
Falluja we destroyed in order to save it. But, thanks
to Mr. Rumsfeld's hubris, there was no "Blowtorch"
Komer and CORDS to rebuild what we destroyed. As a
result, the ranks of the insurgency grew. Seeing no
future for themselves, many youths became suicide
bombers. The more people they killed, the many times
more people we killed, we because we had the power to
do it and we were too few and too intelligence-blind
to know who was whom. To defend themselves our
intelligence-blind soldiers found themselves killing
people they never wanted to kill. When you said that
30,000 Iraqis lost their lives, did you think of how
many more we killed than the insurgents killed? And it
wasn't our soldiers' fault, they were sitting ducks.
As I tried to say, it was all because of Rumsfeld's
and the neocons' ignorant hubris that they were forced
to shoot at almost anything that moved, under-manned
and under-armored.

I had so hoped that after the shedding of so much
blood and the waste of so much treasure you would have
convinced us about the future through your candidness
about the past. Yet, as I carefully read all four of
your recent speeches, all I see is an attempt at
damage control. Spin will not bring back the dead nor
the lost limbs and eyes. But frankness would have
convinced us that we finally learned and thus are
finally doing things right. Alas, seeing a few points
rise in the polls, you seem to be deceiving yourself,
as you recite speech after speech, that you
rhetorically mesmerized us into a blue smoke of feel
good. But, as the setbacks unfold, our stupor will
quickly recede and once more we will find ourselves in
doubt.

Speaking to you as a fellow Christian who desperately
wants you to succeed, I can only pray that you will
find the courage to speak frankly, reporting the bad
news without sugar coating, thus making the good news
that much sweeter and, you the messenger, that much
more credible. I pray that God gives you the
inspiration to speak to us once more. But this time,
follow the example of our Lord Jesus Christ and speak
to us with humility, addressing us, your brothers and
fellow Americans, with unvarnished truth so that we
can feel confident in your steady hand at the helm in
the face of the torrents that await us. Together, we
can win; but only if we take things seriously and deal
with the facts as they are, not as we wish they were.

I beg you, Mr. President, try again; and this time,
speak from the heart so that we may share your
optimism and faith despite all the travails ahead of
us.

Best wishes for you and your family on the Holidays

Daniel E. Teodoru

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