Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
May 03, 2005

Bush Scapegoats Myers

Q: Do you feel that the number of troops that you've kept there is limiting your options elsewhere in the world?

BUSH: The person I asked that to - the person I asked that to, at least, is the chairman of the Joint Chiefs, my top military adviser.

I said, Do you feel that we've limited our capacity to deal with other problems because of our troop levels in Iraq? And the answer is no, he doesn't feel we're limited. He feels like we've got plenty of capacity.
Text of Bush Press Conference
April 28, 2005

Joint chiefs boss says terror war has put military at risk of ...
Salt Lake Tribune, UT
Wars risk military activity elsewhere, top officer says
Contra Costa Times, CA
US military stretched taut, Myers reports
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, AR

US admits stress of wars leaves risk of not meeting goals
Boston Globe, MA
Military's Readiness at Risk, Report Says
Los Angeles Times, CA
Iraq, Afghan conflicts limit US military
Houston Chronicle, TX
Pentagon Says Iraq Effort Limits Ability to Fight Other Conflicts
New York Times, NY
Iraq, Afghanistan Wars Preventing Proactive Moves
Los Angeles Times, CA
Report: War on terror cuts into US readiness
OCRegister, CA
Two Wars Are Costing US Military
TheDay, CT
Wars on terror costing US military flexibility, MS
Military feeling strain of 2 wars
Baltimore Sun, MD
many more alike headlines available via
Mai 3, 2005, 10:00am EDST

Never would this President lie to the public. Ergo, Myers must have lied either to Bush or to Congress. He ought to be fired immediately.

But wait, Myers is already scheduled to retire this summer? Let's wave him goodbye, but watch how Bush kicks his ass on the way out. Retires makes such fine scapegoats and Bush is such a fine boss. I wonder when the military brass will start a revolution.

Posted by b on May 3, 2005 at 10:19 AM | Permalink


Great find, Bernhard.

However, it does not seem to be that ominious.

In one of the links, threats to the US mainland were viewed as only moderate.

Doesn't look like Chinese landing craft will be able to establish a beachead in California anytime soon.

Posted by: FlashHarry | May 3, 2005 12:14:01 PM | 1

The first step to recovery is to admit there is a war...

Latin America has been the main beneficiary of Bush's adventures with only Colombia still in a secure orbit to the Deathstar.

Posted by: biklett | May 3, 2005 12:16:17 PM | 2

since the joint chiefs of staff are implicated in the 911 false flag op, meyers will just continue to bite the pillow.

Posted by: b real | May 3, 2005 12:46:17 PM | 3

Last year Myers gave the commencement speech at the Naval Academy. [This year: GWB.] In the speech he quoted a letter from a soldier in Iraq about how great things were, what great things they were accomplishing there. Made the parents proud to hear their kids were also destined for great things. Except it was a lie. The Iraq War astroturf letters were ghost-written for unsuspecting GI's and sent to their hometown papers without their permission. So maybe Bernhard is right about Myers lying to Bush. The truth, for Bush and for the parents of the USNA graduates, would be unbearable.

Posted by: gylangirl | May 3, 2005 1:21:12 PM | 4

looks like "alabamas law"; everyone that gets to close in forwarding Bushes agenda, pays the price of a totally discredited career. like that old 60's song "who'll be next in line", i guess world domination is one purdy girl.

Posted by: anna missed | May 3, 2005 3:22:57 PM | 5

it gets more surreal every day.

two hornet jets dissapear into thin air & silence radio

anna missed - bush' song is surely 'its my party & ill cry if i want to, cry if i want to

Posted by: remembereringgiap | May 3, 2005 3:36:35 PM | 6

Well, since no one wants to fight, I guess Imperial wars are doomed. Sad.

I mean, this is a Democracy, isn't it?

CONTEXT. This is being covered by "agenda setting papers" now, because the machinery for the draft is in place. Vampires can have unlimited source of fresh blood streaming in in 75 days.

Posted by: jj | May 3, 2005 4:01:49 PM | 7

two hornet jets dissapear into thin air & silence radio

I guess the pilots have been from the holy Air Force Academy and were just raptured out of their seats.

Posted by: b | May 3, 2005 4:34:22 PM | 8


today on french radio

two hornets dissapear in mid air (no explanation)

an american bombardement on the border of syria with many many deaths (no explanation)

a firefight in ramadi (no explanation

a large fight with insurgents in mosul (no explanation)

the coalition farce & its puppets in the green zone the 'parliamentary' burlesque (endless commentaries & info as if it was actually important)

sometimes i give up

Posted by: remembereringgiap | May 3, 2005 5:23:23 PM | 9

He probably did tell Bush that everything was peachy. Isn't that SOP for Bush advisors? Only tell him good news?

Posted by: logorrhea | May 3, 2005 5:30:12 PM | 10

US Planes missing?

Take off!

These reports said the planes took off from:

1) Carl Vinson?

2) John Stennis?

3) John Stennis?

USS Stennis is in drydock I think; these reporters get paid?

Posted by: Friendly Fire | May 3, 2005 5:42:50 PM | 11

@FF - you are right

Stennis is scheduled to remain in dry dock until early September [2005]. Vinson is in the Gulf.

Stennis Enters Dry Dock

Those reporters reporting on Iraq do not know shit about the military and military history. The just copy official statements.

Posted by: b | May 3, 2005 6:04:16 PM | 12

off topic,

Recombinomics The fatality ratequoted by authorities is incorrect. Fatality rates are based on known outcomes of cases. There are 281 reported outcomes for Marburg in Angola and 280 are deaths. Thus, the case fatality rate remains in excess of 99.6%. The fatality rate cited by authorities would be correct if all of the 32 reported cases with unknown outcomes would survive. Since there has only been one survivor in the first 281 outcomes, it is unlikely that there will be 32 survivors in the next 32 outcomes.

Posted by: MarcinGomulka | May 3, 2005 6:09:49 PM | 13


you sd it

i 'm working while listening to franciinfor & they talk about the first 'democratic' elections in iraq like they are reading from some script - yet almost every major commentator who is interviewed on france info on iraq 99% call it a complete & continuing disaster

yet some talking head will give information like the above re the ships - that has completely no context & or basis in fact

Posted by: remembereringgiap | May 3, 2005 6:20:57 PM | 14

"Those reporters reporting on Iraq do not know shit about the military and military history. They just copy official statements."

They ad lib, too B:

Six months ago I learned than an american infantry battalion was composed of 100-125 men. This from Jamie McIntire, CNN's Pentagon groupie. Wolfie(Blitzer)
didn't correct him either.

Some of the Inbeds are even worse.

I could attribute all this to a brilliant Pentagon plan:

Confuse the shit out of the order-of-battle boys on the other side.

But I really guess everyone's just trying to be amusingly informative.

Posted by: FlashHarry | May 3, 2005 7:52:01 PM | 15

two hornet jets dissapear into thin air & silence radio

oh I'm sure it is just a severe sandstorm... isn't that the customary excuse?

Posted by: DeAnander | May 3, 2005 8:11:58 PM | 16

Myers is a freakin' whore and deserves whatever he gets. He's an Air Force geek who specialized in ballistic missile defense and managed a program that they still can't make work. Too bad it's costing us $10 billion a year for the boondoggle.

What's truly horrendous and which Myers can't begin to figure out how to correct is the recruiting shortfall, especially with the Army and the Marines. The Army is down 15% from its recruiting goals of 80,000 people for the year. Another way of saying that is the Army will be 12,000 people short of new enlistees (as in privates, PFCs, corporals, and Spec4s). Those are the folks who make up the bulk of the sharp end of the spear. That 12,000 gap is essentially the equivalent of the operational personnel for a full division, of which we have only ten. We can't even expand the number of divisions we might want to have and the platoons and companies are going to be operating pretty thinly in Iraq and Afghanistan, likely with no reserves to respond to increases in insurgent attacks. Brittle battalions begin to make mistakes, leading to just increased losses.

When will some US Senator ask George W. Bush, "Quintillius Varro, give me back my legions"? Without doubt Dubya has destroyed the cream of the US Army as surely as Varro did in the Teutoberger Wald two millenia ago.

Posted by: PrahaPartizan | May 3, 2005 8:12:39 PM | 17


I like the idea of people not joining the Armed Forces as a sort of way of voting against Bush with their feet.

A bankrupted administration, with a bankrupted ideology, they can fool the electorate, they can fool with the voting machines, they find a sizable force of rightwing zealots to turn up the volume - but when credibility crumbles, people will just get up and walk away.

I see the Neocons shell "charge" and everyone just dropping their weapons and walking away.

Kind of like the way the Soviet Union fell. The vast majority no longer cared and just simply turned their backs on the apparachnicks. (sp?).

Posted by: Timka | May 3, 2005 9:01:54 PM | 18

U.S. Army misses April recruiting goal by 42 percent

The U.S. Army missed its April recruiting goal by a whopping 42 percent and the Army Reserve fell short by 37 percent, officials said on Tuesday, showing the depth of the military's wartime recruiting woes.

...The Marine Corps said on Monday it that in April, for the fourth straight month, it missed its goal for signing up new recruits.....

Posted by: Nugget | May 3, 2005 9:17:08 PM | 19

Timka, I agree with your assessment that a sizable segment of the US electorate is voting with its feet and just walking away from Dubya's disaster. Dubya and the posse can't compel obedience yet, lacking the draft to force people into their legions. Mercifully, it is likely that they will not be able to get a draft either, because his party colleagues in the Congress know that they will blow away on the wind if they support draft legislation.

Nonetheless, the pity is that the US Army is shattered, worse than at the end of the Vietnam War. With the Army running a publicly announced average of 15% under recruiting targets (and perhaps 30% according to private sources), the Army will be bleeding the equivalent of one division per year in just its recruiting shortfall. Throw in the loss of another division's worth of personnel due to combat losses, and one can see the Army attriting at the rate of two divsions per year. With no prospect of being able to make that up. More than one or two years of that type of attrition and the security of the nation will be in jeopardy.

The Republicans need to be savaged in the 2006 elections for the danger they've exposed the nation to. They were told this was a likely outcome and they assured the nation it would not come to pass. They were wrong and they must go.

Posted by: PrahaPartizan | May 3, 2005 11:54:46 PM | 20

This is from Thomas Friedman's latest column:

"...So yes, this is a big, deep struggle in Iraq. Yes, the forces of decency and pluralism are slowly winning. But it is not over - not by a long shot. The U.S. Army and the first freely elected Iraqi government still do not control all the terrain there. Unless we can help the Iraqis create a secure environment in their country, and unless their new government can find a way to integrate the more pragmatic Sunni Baathists, and even dejected jihadists, who want to be part of a better future for Iraq, that nation will not see self-sustaining democracy. The bad guys won't win, but neither will the good guys, and all we will have produced is a bloody stalemate."

Just exactly what does he mean when he says that, "unless we can help the Iraqis create a secure environment in their country..." Maybe he's thinking about sending his own two daughters. They must be about the right age to join up. He was a BIG war supporter; he should insist his children enlist.

Posted by: susan | May 4, 2005 1:17:45 AM | 21

Technology transfer

FORT MONMOUTH, N.J. -- In 1965, the U.S. Army published a detailed manual on how to build and hide booby traps, complete with detailed diagrams illustrating various means of wiring detonators to explosives, and advising on the best locations for concealing the deadly bombs along roadways and elsewhere.

Two decades later, the Iraqi military issued its troops an Arabic version of the same manual, copying not only the wording but also many of the drawings. Dated March 1987 and stamped "confidential," the manual includes a message from Saddam Hussein, then Iraq's supreme ruler, underscoring the importance of perpetual learning.

...Concern that Iraqi rebels may be drawing on U.S. bombmaking tactics prompted investigators last year to "pull off the shelves" for review all the manuals that the Iraqis may have had access to, according to a colonel in Washington familiar with the effort.

A common connection could be turned into a U.S. advantage, said electronics and weapons specialists at this New Jersey base, where much of the Army's intensified research on countering roadside bombs is located.

"The upside is, if you know what their training manual is, then you know what you're up against," said one senior civilian official here. "Having them use our tactics, techniques and procedures isn't necessarily a bad thing."

The official, who first studied the U.S. bombmaking manual as a young Army recruit in the Vietnam War era, said it has limited application in the current conflict in Iraq. He said Iraqi insurgents are employing more modern methods, particularly in their choice of electronic detonators that enable the remote triggering of explosives.

Still, he estimated that 10 percent of the bombs planted in Iraq use the pressure-detonation techniques detailed in the U.S.-conceived document....

Posted by: Nugget | May 4, 2005 2:01:50 AM | 22

I wonder when the military brass will start a revolution.

I have often wondered when, if, or how the military rank and file would turn against Bush and this administration. I thought last election would have been a good opportunity and there were a number of Generals that came out for Kerry.

However, in order for that to happen, it must be assumed that military brass are reasonable folks. As we hear more and more about radical orthodox religious infiltration of the armed forces, as has been recounted at the AF Academy, that really cannot be assumed to be the case anymore. As long as faith trumps reason, I see no reason why the sycophancy would not continue. I mean who are you going to trust, Pat Robertson or your lying eyes (or perhaps in this case your dead colleagues)?

Posted by: Bubb Rubb | May 4, 2005 2:17:10 AM | 23

Here is an interesting piece of historical revisionism, courtesy of the Little Goebbels at Pravda on the Potomac.

Apparently, the neocons were studying the wrong maps.


The Tide Is Turning. And No, Dave Barry Did Not Write This.

Posted by: FlashHarry | May 4, 2005 6:01:33 AM | 24

How many foreign contractors working in Iraq at jobs that would normally be done by the military? (Halliburton, etc.)

5,000? More?

How many are available? Theoretically, an endless amount.

How many arrested individuals in the US have seen the charges against them dropped when they enlisted?

Pittsburgh Live recently ran an article advising..

If it's cunning, brave warriors the military is looking for, the Army and Marines should consider moving their recruiting offices from suburban strip malls to street corners in our inner-city neighborhoods.>Link

Posted by: Blackie | May 4, 2005 6:48:05 AM | 25

Oh I forgot the main point. Rising poverty and unemployment equals a growing army.

Posted by: Blackie | May 4, 2005 6:54:48 AM | 26

Scott Ritter: Dereliction of duty regarding Iraq

Myers knows this reality, and yet, he ignores it. His words and actions, together with his fellow joint chiefs, remind me of another generation of American generals, who occupied the office of joint chiefs of staff, those written about so devastatingly by HR McMasters in his classic book, Dereliction of Duty.

McMasters details how general officers could, and did, forsake their fellow warriors by glossing over the reality of what was transpiring in a conflict in the name of political expediency, designed to further their own personal careers and reputations.

As McMasters points out, however, careers may be salvaged, but personal reputations stained by such cowardice cannot stand the test of time and history.

Myers and his fellow joint chiefs, like those of their ilk who so shamefully served during the Vietnam era, have committed a massive dereliction of duty in the manner in which they so brazenly embraced an illegal war of aggression.

Posted by: b | May 4, 2005 8:42:26 AM | 27


actually, i think the reconstruction is a good model for what is going on in iraq. But, i think it will fail for the following reasons which differentiate iraq from the confederacy

1. the yankees will always be seen as occupiers and foreigners and will never fit in. so where the killing and vigilantism in the south eventually decreased I don't see this in irag

2. the lack of geographic continuity will eventually force the us out of iraq due to high cost and a strained military

Posted by: ed_finnerty | May 4, 2005 9:05:02 AM | 28

FlashHarry, I can't figure out what Ignatius was trying to say. Worse, he offers no insight into what US policy should be to avoid the debacle of the Reconstruction. One could go through that commentary and replace exactly every reference to Union policy in the Reconstruction with US policy in Iraq to arrive at the most likely end point for the US scenario in Iraq. You can replace the Southern planters with Iraqi Sunni irredentists, race with ethnic, Northern investors with global petroleum firms, 1873 panic with 2006 recession, etc. Again, American reluctance to study history is coming back to bite us in the butt. Of course, that is so pre-9/11.

Posted by: PrahaPartizan | May 4, 2005 11:02:31 AM | 29

Fascinating article, damn! But I think Ignatz has some inkling of whom he's addressing.

He knows he's talking to the South about The War of Northern Aggression. And unlike the North, Southerners do study their history. So, when Ignatz says:

Above all, don't let racial or religious hatred destroy democratic political institutions as in the post-bellum South.

Our risen-again-South administration knows exactly what this means. Don't let racial or religious hatred destroy democracy; build democracy on that hatred!

No doubt they'll be giving him a humanitarian award soon.

Posted by: citizen | May 4, 2005 11:15:36 AM | 30

Hereabouts, I'm told that the Klan was formed to fill a vacuum, no governance of any kind being provided by the Feds. Pure chaos prevailed, pure anarchy, no policing or tax-collecting, etc. I'm not a student of the problem and so I can't vouch for the accuracy of this view, but it does provide a suggestive analogy for the current scene in Iraq.

Posted by: alabama | May 4, 2005 11:38:51 AM | 31

The Zone:

“It’s so unorganized out here,” she says. “There have to be arrangements. You’ll find out.”

Indeed he will – he’ll find thousands of arrangements, for warmth, love, food, simple movement along roads, tracks, and canals. Even G-5, living in its fantasy of being the only government in Germany now, is just the arrangement for being victorious, is all. No more or less real than all these others so private, silent, and lost to History. Slothrop, though he doesn’t know it yet, is as properly constituted a state as any other in the Zone these days. Not paranoia. Just how it is. Temporary alliances, knit and undone.

Posted by: slothrop | May 4, 2005 11:52:14 AM | 32

What lessons does this dismal history convey for U.S. forces in Iraq? First, what you do immediately after the end of hostilities is crucial, and mistakes made then may be impossible to undo. Don't attempt a wholesale transformation of another society unless you have the troops and political will to impose it. Above all, don't let racial or religious hatred destroy democratic political institutions as in the post-bellum South. Giving up on reconstruction led to a social and economic disaster that lasted nearly a century. That's a history nobody should want to repeat, least of all the Iraqi insurgents.

What are we supposed to conclude from this - by his advice the US has already lost the peace - i.e. no troops or political will to impose it. So he is relying on the insurgents stopping the insurgency because it it is their long term interest. This is our exit strategy ??? we are f**ked

Posted by: ed_finnerty | May 4, 2005 3:53:19 PM | 33

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