Wednesday, May 16, 2007

President Bush Finds A Sucker His New War Czar

Well, after being turned down by everyone with dignity a lengthy and comprehensive search, the White House has finally found its new 'war czar'-
After a frustrating search for a new "war czar" to oversee the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, ABC News has learned that President Bush has chosen the Pentagon's director of operations, Lt. Gen. Douglas Lute, for the role.

In the newly created position of assistant to the president and deputy national security adviser for Iraq and Afghanistan policy and implementation, Lute would have the power to direct the Pentagon, State Department and other agencies involved in the two conflicts...

What the hell does that even mean? Direct what exactly? He must have people skills.

And while publicly the White House will tout the addition of Lt. Gen. Lute to the team as a further sign of a 'new direction' (recycling troops + same policy = new policy) and thus the need for more time-buying patience with the war, I think we can all guarantee that this man will make no decisions of consequence. The Bush/Cheney crew is still The Decider. If Mr. Lute decides to break ranks and make uncomfortable comments-- like Sec. Gates has done with Guantanamo, for instance-- it will be remarked upon by no one.

Speaking of uncomfortable comments, $10 to the first Senator to bring up this 2005 article at his confirmation hearings-
The US is expected to pull significant numbers of troops out of Iraq in the next 12 months in spite of the continuing violence, according to the general responsible for near-term planning in the country.

Maj Gen Douglas Lute, director of operations at US Central Command, yesterday said the reductions were part of a push by Gen John Abizaid, commander of all US troops in the region, to put the burden of defending Iraq on Iraqi forces...

...He said: “We believe at some point, in order to break this dependence on the . . . coalition, you simply have to back off and let the Iraqis step forward.

“You have to undercut the perception of occupation in Iraq. It's very difficult to do that when you have 150,000-plus, largely western, foreign troops occupying the country.”...

Sounds like a smart guy. But hey, how'd that work out for ya, Dougie?
George W. Bush, the US president, has said no decisions have been made on troop levels in 2006. “I think they were rumours. I think they're speculation,” he said at his ranch in Crawford, Texas, this month after meeting his national security team.

Ahhh, of course. The Decider struck again.

Welcome to the team, Lt. Gen. Lute. Please join us in counting down the next 614 days.

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