What’s In A Word?

This appeared in the June 15 edition of USA Today:


WASHINGTON — “The State Department says its diplomatic staff will not be safe after the American military leaves Iraq unless it has its own combat-ready protection force, a warning that underscores concerns about the Iraq army and police that the U.S. has spent billions of dollars training and equipping.

The State Department wants 24 of the Army’s Black Hawk helicopters, 50 bomb-resistant vehicles, heavy cargo trucks, fuel trailers and high-tech surveillance systems, according to the documents, which were obtained by the Associated Press . . .

” ‘After the departure of U.S. forces, we will continue to have a critical need for logistical and life support of a magnitude and scale of complexity that is unprecedented in the history of the Department of State,’ Patrick Kennedy, undersecretary of Defense for management, says in a memo to Ashton Carter, undersecretary for acquisition.”  The full article may be found HERE .  (Emphasis added)

All U.S. “forces” are predicted to leave Iraq, starting in July of next year, because, supposedly, our work there will be winding down.  But there is a problem.  The Shiites and the Sunnis are still killing one another.  Will we be able to resolve this memetic incompatibility, centuries in the making, in a year or two?  I don’t think so.  There’s no hatred like religious hatred.

Maybe it’s just me, but if we leave behind a large “combat-ready protection force of a size “unprecedented in the history of the Department of State”, have we really left?  What does “leaving” mean?  Lewis Carroll made Humpty Dumpty say, “When I use a word, it means just what I choose it to mean – neither more nor less.”

Sometimes I feel as if I am living on the other side of the Looking Glass.  But then, when one has built the world’s largest and most lavish embassy (see my post, Palace of Excess, 6/7/2010), one really needs the best insurance and what could be better than one’s own dedicated army, er, excuse me, “protection force”.

Meanwhile, our efforts at Nation Building continue in Afghanistan as well.  Corruption is rife, and not just among native officials.  Both fronts are awash in money we don’t actually have but are simply printing.  “Cases of suspected fraud and other wrongdoing by U.S. troops and contractors overseeing reconstruction and relief projects in Iraq and Afghanistan are up dramatically.”  Link HERE.

I stand by my post of March 13, 2010, “Is Afghanistan the Next Viet Nam?” but I have begun thinking about a future post.  Maybe I’ll call it, “The Endless War”


“You can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.”  — Jonathan Swift

Where have all the soldiers gone, long time passing?
Where have all the soldiers gone, long time ago?
Where have all the soldiers gone?
Gone to graveyards, every one.
Oh, when will they ever learn?
Oh, when will they ever learn?

—  P. Seger

About Jim Wheeler

U. S. Naval Academy, BS, Engineering, 1959; Naval line officer and submariner, 1959 -1981, Commander, USN; The George Washington U., MSA, Management Eng.; Aerospace Engineer, 1981-1999; Resident Gadfly, 1999 - present. Political affiliation: Democratic.
This entry was posted in Ethics / Morality, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy / War, Government waste, Islam and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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