Michael Gordon Toes the Military Line Again

November 23, 2007 at 7:43 am | Posted in Iraq, Michael Gordon, Military | Leave a comment

He’s back at the New York Times, toeing the line of the military, ensuring the propaganda continues, raising those fears once again. Do it this way, or the whole thing falls to pieces, the military says. Michael Gordon, uncritically passes it along to Americans for consumption. There is no critical analysis from Mr. Gordon, because he is sold on the propaganda. Could it be even possible in his eyes that the military might not know what the hell they are doing? After all, MOST of the problems we are facing are directly attributable to MILITARY DECISIONS! How does Mr. Gordon know that they are suddenly telling the truth, or even that they know what they are talking about? What possibly changed? Mr. Gordon will never tell you because he’s drunk his kool-aid and wishes you to drink also.

With violence in Iraq on the decline and a quarter of American combat brigades scheduled to leave by July, commanders plan to give the remaining brigades an expanded role in training and supporting Iraqi forces, according to officials involved in a confidential military review of the next phase of the American troop deployment.

The plan, not yet in final form, is intended to transfer more of the security burden in Iraq to the Iraqis without giving up the gains that the Americans have made in recent months in pacifying the most violent areas and weakening the Sunni insurgency.

The approach is strikingly different from the plans advocated by many United States politicians, including some Democratic presidential contenders, who have called for a rapid withdrawal of American combat brigades from Iraq — the very units that American commanders see as playing a central role in the transition toward Iraqi control.

Note there the insidious nature of Mr. Gordon’s writing, and the thinking of the military. Their aim is to directly undercut whatever a Democrat has as his or her plan when winning the White House next fall. The VERY UNITS that the military wishes to use to transition control to Iraqis will be the ones that Democrats wish to bring home next summer. Very insidious. Does Mr. Gordon ask the military commanders why they chose those particular units to carry the biggest load? Of course not. Because Mr. Gordon is playing a political game here, and he is not letting you know he is playing a political game. He’s pretending to be a non-player, when in fact, he is playing one of the most important parts. He is the Messenger. He ensures you only get the message the military wants you to hear. No criticism. The military couldn’t possibly be wrong. We can’t have the people at home hold the feet of military leaders to the fire to ensure only the most correct decisions are made, because, well, in the eyes of the military, they don’t make mistakes, so they can somehow be trusted to tell the truth.

This approach differs from proposals by some counterinsurgency experts, like Lt. Col. John Nagl, that the Army establish a permanent corps of highly trained advisers and use it as the principal means to train Iraqi and foreign forces elsewhere.

It is also radically different from that advocated by some foreign policy specialists, who have urged the United States to quickly withdraw combat brigades while leaving behind a limited number of trainers. Such a strategy was outlined by the Iraq Study Group, a panel led by former Secretary of State James A. Baker III and former Representative Lee H. Hamilton, and a variant of this approach has been embraced by Senator Barack Obama in his campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination.

The military really did not like the Iraq Study Group plan, and will do all it can to undermine it and destroy it. They seem to not like Senator Obama either. We can expect more attacks against him from Mr. Gordon.

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