A friend just asked me what I thought about the mutiny in iraq. Since I'm not the most prolific of writers, here's my answer. She's guaranteed to chew on my thoughts and spit out something way more profound, so I may have to revise my opinion later, but here goes.
Well, I have mixed feelings. After all, the Normandy invasion was basically a suicide mission, too. I guess I feel pretty inadequate to judge.
I know in the military its supposed to be all about obeying orders without question, but you have to figure that for that kind of structure to hold, there has to be a level of trust by the soldier in his/her higher-ups. I mean of course in the abstract everyone thinks their top brass are morons, but when you're jumping out on the Normandy shore (or over the walls at Gallipoli for that matter), into the face of major artillery, you gotta have some faith that your commanders wouldn't be sacrificing you without a really good reason. That they were doing everything they possibly could to strengthen your odds. So to me this whole thing is all about a breakdown of that trust.
Since giving that blind trust to GW has been driving me nuts for the past 2 years, being what seemed a stunningly willful refusal to face facts in order to get through the day, I suppose I should be glad the whole house of cards is tumbling. But mostly it makes me sad for those 17 (and overwhelmingly glad I've never had to make a decision like that). Also I can't help wondering what happens to the people out in the field who were waiting for that supply convoy.
In political terms, how long do you think it'll be for Bush to start blaming Kerry and the Dems for this "breakdown in morale, brought about by their endless pessimism and politically motivated refusal to support the troops"????? Up is down, baby. But I think we need to be ultra careful here--not for political reasons, but for the 150K or so troops in Iraq. This could get really bad if not handled right--and I think its a guarantee Bush et al won't handle it right, they'll certainly crack down hard on the soldiers rather than deal with the systemic problem. So Kerry will need to step up. Also, Dems need to find a way to step up, too. Supporting the troops isn't just a slogan, and pointing fingers at Bush won't be enough. After all, if Bush actually pulls out this election, we'll have 150K people stuck in a disintegrating Iraq with little hope of real improvement.