TBT: The Brutal Truth

Sunday, March 13, 2005

20/20 Hindsight

A few days ago was the second anniversary of the Iraqi invasion. While most dollar-whoring corporate media outlets gave it a brief 30 second mention in their usual "sound-byte" format, journalist Joe Galloway of KnightRidder steps up to the plate and delivers an article that reminds us to ask (and in some cases re-ask) those pesky un-Patriotic questions that, of course, nobody in the Bushtapo will find themselves answering anytime soon.

When then-Army Chief of Staff Gen. Eric K. Shinseki reluctantly answered a senator's persistent questioning by suggesting that occupying and pacifying Iraq, an unruly nation the size of California with 25 million citizens, might require a force of "hundreds of thousands," he was mugged by Rumsfeld's minions.

Under Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz hastened to the Hill the next day and told the legislators that Shinseki's estimate was "wildly off the mark," and that Iraq wouldn't be nearly as tough as Afghanistan had been because Iraq didn't have the sort of nasty ethnic divisions one found in Afghanistan.

At that moment, in late February 2003, on the eve of the invasion, the U.S. invasion force of 278,000 American troops began to dwindle as someone tried to prove the job could be done with fewer than Shinseki's 200,000 troops. Call that the Shinseki Threshold.

That, my friends, is apparently the difference between a desired army and the actual physical army Rumsfeld delivered. On one hand, Rummy wanted to conserve troops just to wave his prick while also providing a convenient "Mr. Creosote" approach to Dick Cheney and his Halliburton buddies.


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