Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Kinda Makes Ya Wonder

Was Cheney going to go to Baghdad and chickened out? Entirely plausible.
It wasn't until 6 a.m. on Thanksgiving morning -- more than five hours after the initial reports -- that the unequivocal denials began. Cheney wasn't in Iraq, had no plans to go to Iraq, et cetera and so on. He was spending the holiday at an undisclosed location somewhere in Washington.

In Iraq, meanwhile, and Baghdad in particular, Thanksgiving had turned into a very bad day indeed. U.S. soldiers mistakenly opened fire on a van carrying Iraqi laborers to their jobs in Sadr City, Baghdad's Shiite slum, killing four and wounding eight. In a separate incident, three Marines were killed, bringing to 52 the number of American soldiers to die there in November.

And as Thanksgiving morning progressed, the violence escalated. Mortars and car bombs shook the city, and the rattle of small-arms fire echoed in the streets. The death toll was horrendous, with 216 Iraqis dying in one coordinated series of car bombings alone. The Baghdad airport and the Highway of Death that leads to it were ordered closed as Iraq's feeble military and police forces struggled in vain to stop the savagery their fellow countrymen were inflicting on each other.

For their part, the Americans wisely elected to stay in their barracks and take the day off from trying to referee what has clearly become a civil war.

But you've got to wonder. At what point did reports of the rapidly deteriorating situation on the ground prompt our chickenhawk vice president to tap the pilot of Air Force Two on the shoulder and say, "Turn this thing around. I'm not going down there."

At what point, exactly, did Cheney make the executive decision that a picture of him serving up a plastic turkey -- and some video of him telling the troops on the ground how "we're" going to win this thing -- just wasn't worth the possibility of becoming a casualty in a war he largely started.


Post a Comment

<< Home