Wednesday, November 01, 2006
Support Our Troops?
Not if you're George W. Bush. Then you abandon them behind enemy lines:
The move [to abandon the checkpoints and the kidnapped American soldier] lifted a near siege that had stood at least since last Wednesday. U.S. military police imposed the blockade after the kidnapping of an American soldier of Iraqi descent. The soldier's Iraqi in-laws said they believed he had been abducted by the Mahdi Army as he visited his wife at her home in the Karrada area of Baghdad, where U.S. military checkpoints were also removed as a result of Maliki's action. The crackdown on Sadr City had a second motive, U.S. officers said: the search for Abu Deraa, a man considered one of the most notorious death squad leaders. The soldier and Abu Deraa both were believed by the U.S. military to be in Sadr City.When even Andrew Sullivan is disgusted with Bush over this, you know it's got to be pretty vile:
In a showdown for control of Baghdad, the Iraqi prime minister took orders from Moqtada al-Sadr, and instructed the U.S. military to withdraw from Sadr City. The American forces were trying both to stabilize the city but also to find a missing American serviceman. He is still missing. [...] The U.S. military does not have a tradition of abandoning its own soldiers to foreign militias, or of taking orders from foreign governments. No commander-in-chief who actually walks the walk, rather than swaggering the swagger, would acquiesce to such a thing. The soldier appears to be of Iraqi descent who is married to an Iraqi woman. Who authorized abandoning him to the enemy? Who is really giving the orders to the U.S. military in Iraq? These are real questions about honor and sacrifice and a war that is now careening out of any control. They are not phony questions drummed up by a partisan media machine to appeal to emotions to maintain power.That's exactly right.
Thus, on January 27, 1973, the United States and North Vietnam signed the peace agreement. And, on that day, the North Vietnamese gave the United States their list of American prisoners. It showed only 591 men — a figure far below what U.S. Intelligence had expected. But what could be done? The agreement had been signed, and neither the American public nor Congress, weary to the bone with this war, would countenance a resumption of the conflict. Two months after the signing, Hanoi released the last of the 591 men and Nixon went on national television and said, "All of our American POWs are on their way home."
It is now unshakably clear, from a mass of evidence, that Nixon knew this was not true. Several of his key appointees — notably, Defense Secretaries Melvin Laird, Elliot Richardson, and James Schlesinger — testified under oath at Senate hearings that they were convinced by the intelligence data before them that a number of men were not returned. That intelligence, and a flood of data since unearthed, shows that the number was in the hundreds.
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