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The right captain
by Thanos Kalamidas
2007-02-02 09:00:29
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The truth is that you can avoid thinking that the king is totally isolated from reality when you read things like the latest from George W. Bush. His decision to nominate a new commander of the US military forces in the Middle East with his mission being a “new and different” approach in Iraq is fine, since that’s the destiny of kings, emperors and other superb creatures, but what about their advisers?

I will always remember what an American friend told me once when I pointed that Ronald Reagan was pushing things too far. He said, no need to worry, the president might be even stupid but he has a lot of advisors to hold him and lead him to the right decisions. Lately the situation in Washington D.C. reminds me of the film The Last Emperor where everybody inside the Forbidden City in Peking lived like they were in a capsule of time and space ignoring what was really happening around them.

Oddly, at the very same time, 40 more people were killed and over 100 injured, some seriously, across Iraq in a series of bombs and attacks while the Shia Muslims celebrate the festival of Ashura. “I believe the situation in Iraq can be turned around but time is short,” said to the Senate Armed Services Committee, Admiral Fallon, adding that, “the previous US strategy was not working” and then he probably fainted as a result of all this sudden inspiration and logic!

I can understand that it is not easy to admit failure especially from a mighty power as the US Army; it’s bad PR. However, they could at least admit that they have become part of the problem and instead of trying to solve the problem alone to ask from the UN to help. After all the UN is the only one who can help now and before it is too late. Too late regarding the trust Iraqis and in general middle east could show to an institution based in the west.

“What we have been doing has not been working…” really admiral? And when did you realize that? Bodies piling up all around Iraq and you think that things don’t work? What’s the matter, wasn’t your breakfast good this morning or did you sense that the administration is soon changing and slowly you are pulling back ready to blame ‘orders’ from the last administration for all the mistakes? Because that’s how it looks to me.

From one side you have an administration that doesn’t want to admit defeat, continues mistakes and bad calculations on every level; it is more than obvious that a lot of questions will be asked if the Democrat win this elections especially regarding this famous reconstruction of Iraq, the companies that got the contracts and the links to the administration and an increasing opposition from the public to the continue base of the American army in Iraq. From the other side it is obvious that the new administration if democratic is going to blame Bush even for the cataclysm and it is natural that careerist ambitious people like the admiral don’t like to connect their future with that.

Admiral Fallon, who currently heads the military in the Pacific, is poised to become the first US navy officer to head Central Command, Centcom. He is replacing General John Abizaid who is retiring after nearly four years as Centcom chief and if confirmed he will become the immediate boss of general David Petraeus who was recently confirmed as the commander of US forces in Iraq.
And reading that, I got it. Now I know why they sent the admiral to sort things out and I know why he is so optimistic. Who could ever captain the Iraqi-Titanic better than an admiral?

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