Sunday, December 07, 2008

Cause and effect, and perpetuating the lie about Shinseki

I'm constantly amused by headline writers' lack of ability to write clearly, and news editors' lack of ability to detect stupidity. The headlines below indicate that not only is the selection of Shinseki related to the economy, but the economy will get worse as a result of Obama picking Shinseki.

It's a tired old lie, repeated constantly this weekend, that Shinseki was "ousted" because he disagreed with the Bush Administration. He "left" in June 2003 exactly when he was scheduled to retire. Even the DailyKos nuts know it.

Shinseki's non-ousting disagreement with Rumsfeld was over additional troops needed to occupy Iraq. The liberal media is trying to portray Shinseki as somehow "foresighted" when in fact he said it would require "hundreds of thousands" more -- we now know that the successful "surge" didn't require as many. And the reason the "surge" worked was at least as much about refocusing our fighting strategy as increased numbers. Now just imagine if we had listened to Shinseki and deployed all those forces throughout Iraq: with our original mindset, it would have been a complete bloodbath.

In other words, USA Today is full of it. The New York Times was full of it (but what's new?). And James Fallow at The Atlantic is completely dishonest to ignore the real numbers that Shinseki proposed.

The irony of it all is that Obama is picking someone who supported an even larger Iraq occupation than anyone had envisioned, including McCain, when Obama himself opposed the surge from the start and still can't admit its success. (Note that I'm talking "success" from a tactical perspective, nothing more.)

And shall I say it again? So much for "change" in Obama picking yet another Washington veteran.

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