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The US Military Overextended?

by JOSHUA FRANK

Rainbow Lake, New York

In a leaked classified report, Gen. Richard Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs, asserted that the US military is over-extending itself in the Middle East. Quick to defend his unsavory prognosis, Gen. Myers clarified that he still believes the US “will prevail” in Iraq and Afghanistan.

As President Bush’s ratings have dropped sharply, so have recruiting numbers for the US military. April figures alone were telling, a staggering 60% less than expected. Some may see this as great news for Bush’s opposition. But not so fast there, speedy.

Even though the US military is stretched to its limits, this doesn’t mean the neocons don’t already have their sights set on mullahs in Iran. Take the interpretation of Seymour Hersh, who has reported in the New Yorker that the Bush administration hopes covert ops and smart bombs alone can topple the religious leadership in the country. The hawks at the Pentagon don’t think there will be any need for an extended occupation.

They can do it, they think, with what they got. That’s why Gen. Myers’s latest “report” may just be smoke and mirrors. Bush doesn’t want the public, let alone his “opposition,” to think he even has the capability of attacking, Syria, Iran or North Korea. But just because he isn’t putting a hundred thousand troops on the ground doesn’t mean there isn’t a war on the horizon.

And since when did intelligence matter for these guys, anyway? As we know all too well, Bush doesn’t care what the intelligence has to say, unless it’s aligned with his own bloody agenda. He’s a public relations man. Pulling the wool over the public’s (and more importantly the media’s) eyes is all it takes to get what he wants.

Whether it is the “value” war, or those pesky terror alerts — in the end it’s all just Bush propaganda meant to divert the public’s attention from what’s really going on.

What is really going on, you ask, besides another war in the mix? Well, as the Republicans, with ample help from their Democratic collaborators, sign the Bankruptcy bill into law and begin their plans to drill in ANWR, we are all stuck flipping through the cable news networks and thumbing our way through the filthy pages of the New York Times where space is wasted on Pope Rat’s inaugural mass and the darn “nuclear threat” (which of course is always posed by our enemies, not brought on by our own chemical dabbling). And that is just the news we get when the corporate media happens to cut away from Michael and the runaway bride.

So the big to-do about Gen. Myers’ assessment of the US armed forces is all-for-not. And no, it certainly doesn’t mean a draft is in the air. At this point it looks like that’s the last thing Bush would want to bring upon himself. There is nothing that would amp up an antiwar movement more then forcing skinny kids to go murder and die for an unjust cause.

JOSHUA FRANK is the author of the forthcoming book, Left Out! How Liberals Helped Reelect George W. Bush, to be published by Common Courage Press. You can pre-order a copy at discounted rate at www.BrickBurner.org. Josh can be reached at: Joshua@BrickBurner.org.

 

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JOSHUA FRANK is managing editor of CounterPunch. His most recent book is Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion, co-edited with Jeffrey St. Clair and published by AK Press. He can be reached at joshua@counterpunch.org. You can troll him on Twitter @joshua__frank

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