Blogs > Cliopatria > An Accountability Moment

Dec 24, 2006 5:16 pm

An Accountability Moment

A modest proposal for other bloggers, if anyone feels like playing along: On Dec. 29, highlight the one-year anniversary of this confident pronouncement from a high-ranking U.S. military spokesman in Iraq that (as the government summary I link to characterized his remarks at the time),"Insurgents in Iraq are showing little capacity to keep up numerous and persistent attacks."

Better yet, from the same Dec. 29, 2005 government faux-news story:"Because of this improvement among Iraqi security forces, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said during recent appearances in Iraq that the United States would reduce the number of combat troops there by approximately 7,000 in 2006."

Why remind people what our military leaders were saying a year ago?

Because it appears that, in the coming weeks, we will be watching as the administration and its subordinates in the military make their inherently political argument about the positive effects of a so-called"surge" of U.S. forces in Iraq. In this spectacularly obtuse Dec. 2005 announcement, we have a simple piece of evidence that clearly shows the emptiness of American political rhetoric about the course of the war. What our leaders say has nothing to do with what happens on the ground in Iraq, and this year's confident pronouncements are likely to be just as correct as last year's. Our leaders are irrecoverably lost, and it doesn't hurt to keep pointing it out.

I'm especially interested in trying to use the social network of this"blogosphere" thing to create some of the acountability that has been so sorely lacking in our disaster in Iraq. Perhaps someone will have readers in the Air Force who can provide information about Brigadier General C.D. Alston's current whereabouts, and let us know how to get in touch with the man. Perhaps too one of the larger blogs can get in touch with the press office at the Pentagon and see if anyone there is willing to comment on their year-old work product.

This comparison might also be a useful one to make. But however you do it, I would love to make Dec. 29"C.D. Alston Day" on the Internet. This year, and for the duration of the war.

(Cross-posted on Historiblography)

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