The American effort to chase bin Laden into this forbidding realm was hobbled and clumsy from the start. While the terrain required deep local knowledge and small units, career officers in the U.S. military have long been wary of the Special Operations Forces best suited to the task. In the view of the regular military, such "snake eaters" have tended to be troublesome, resistant to spit-and-polish discipline and rulebooks. Rather than send the snake eaters to poke around mountain caves and mud-walled compounds, the U.S. military wanted to fight on a grander stage, where it could show off its mobility and firepower. To the civilian bosses at the Pentagon and the eager-to-please top brass, Iraq was a much better target. By invading Iraq, the United States would give the Islamists—and the wider world—an unforgettable lesson in American power. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich was on Rumsfeld's Defense Policy Board and, at the time, a close confidant of the SecDef. In November 2001, Gingrich told a NEWSWEEK reporter, "There's a feeling we've got to do something that counts—and bombing caves is not something that counts."
The American people don't want to hear about guys crawling around at night and killing silently. They wanna see shit blow up.
Hey, if ya got all them good toys, might as well use 'em, right? When I was with SAC, all the B-52 and missile guys were just drooling for WW 3, for the Russians to "push the button" so we could send the Minutemen and bombers to Moscow.
It's that whole self-fulfilling, military-industrial complex thing Ike warned us about.
This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence -- economic, political, even spiritual -- is felt in every city, every State house, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society.
In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the militaryindustrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.
We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.
The more cool shit you give the military, the more they want to use it. It's even worse when politicians (Cheney) are the ones making money from the war.
As long as Bush is in power, bin Laden will walk free and the Iraqi Occupation will endure.
Thanks to Atrios for the Newsweek link.
Note: Sorry I ain't been around much the last couple days, but homeowner shit at the Fixer hacienda and over at the in-laws has kept me running this weekend. Back to normal (heh ...) form tomorrow.