Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Calling Daniel Ellsberg -- or anyone at the RAND Corporation

Via Think Progress: The Boston Globe reports that the Pentagon has commissioned a secret study about the failures of US operations in Afghanistan and Iraq -- including a history of the situation and what led to American and allied involvement in those countries. Sounds exactly like the "secret study" commissioned by Robert McNamara toward the end of his time as Defense Secretary regarding Vietnam; only that one was leaked by Daniel Ellsberg, an operative for the RAND Corporation which had one of the copies of the top-secret report.

Only this study is supposed to be released to the public -- or at least a portion of it, one can presume -- this fall (whether it's before or after the November mid-terms is unclear). But senior Pentagon officials are already talking -- and are contracting Donald Rumsfeld in stating the obvious. They tell the BG that among other things:
  • In many civilian areas troops used excessive force and wound up alienating the locals;
  • Commanders were way too slow in establishing relationships with local contacts (unlike Gulf War I, when Norman Swartzkopf -- who spend part of his childhool in Riyadh -- ordered his immediate underlinks to do just that with the mayor and chief imam in each city in Saudi Arabia and other countries where troops were being hosted); and
  • Law enforcement took a back seat to overthrowing the Ba'ath. This allowed many towns to slip into anarchy, a situation which continues to exist to this day, three years after Iraq was "liberated."

Adding to this is a previous analysis by the RAND group itself -- stating that there was little or no intelligence going on to figure out what motivated the insurgents, how they were being recruited or their numbers, or who was supporting them.

In other words, the US and its allies have done the exact opposite of what they promised to do. They're not winning the "hearts and minds" of the civilian population; they've succeeded in alienating them even further. Insofar Canada is concerned, Iraq isn't a problem since we sent no troops there; although we almost certainly had and still have spies from CSIS and the RCMP. But we are in Afghanistan, and along with our NATO allies we've fighting a rather uphill battle against the Taliban -- and the males who support them. (Very few if any females do, as the Taliman Bananas support the genocide of all women.) The joke that Afghani President Hamid Karzai is the "Mayor of Kabul" may be facetious but one wonders how much truth there is in that. If it took six years for the Allies to triumph over the Nazis in all of Europe (an area roughly the size of the States east of the Mississippi), then why are we still fighting after five years in an area that's about the size of Texas? With far more sophisticated weapons, no less?

The question is, will the people know the whole truth, and will they know it before November? Count on Rumsfeld and company to try to censor major portions of this new report, and even try to block it all together. The Supreme Court authorized the release of the first Pentagon Papers back in 1971, saying on a 6-3 vote that freedom of the press trumped national security Of course, the Marble Tower was much more liberal then than it is now, but there are still enough justices in the freedom of speech camp to uphold the ruling.

Will the RAND Corporation produce a new Dante, like they did with Ellsberg 35 years ago, and reveal the truth to all -- someone who will lead Americans back to the world of the sane? Will he or she also release the 28 censored pages of the Congressional investigation of 9/11; which pages potentially reveal who financed the 9/11 operation (namely, rebel members of the Saudi Royal Family)?

I'm not holding my breath either.

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