Thursday, June 07, 2007

Gates Swinging Both Ways on Iraq

The man who replaced the unlamented Donald (Often-Wrong-But-Never-in-Doubt) Rumsfeld has seemed, by comparison, reasonable and realistic. Who wouldn’t? But the current Secretary of Defense’s ambivalence about Iraq is showing.

Commemorating the June 7, 1944 landings in Normandy, Gates said today, “We once again face enemies seeking to destroy our way of life, and we are once again engaged in an ideological struggle that may not find resolution for many years or even decades. Just (as) during World War II, free nations of the world are banding together--and dying together--to confront their common threat.”

Very Bush-Cheney, down to the basic untruths: Nations are not “banding together” but bailing out of the so-called Coalition of the Willing, and “the enemies seeking to destroy our way of life” are a collection of unpredictable fanatics rather than the organized armies we faced in World War II.

Gates knows better. Last weekend, he told a conference on Asian security that “we have not made enough progress in trying to address some of the root causes of terrorism in some of these societies, whether it is economic deprivation or despotism that leads to alienation."

In Iraq, Gates is not talking about “many years or even decades” to the parliament, setting late summer as a deadline for getting their act together if they expect us to extend the Surge.

His double-edged (or if you will, two-faced) talk may reflect, at long last, some unwelcome reality seeping into the White House. One thing is sure: If he were still running the Pentagon, Donald Rumsfeld would be railing against such defeatist talk.


Lynne said...

The only enemy seeking to destroy my way of life is the Bush regime.

Watch 'n Wait said...

I second that.