Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Last night there was an inaugural event using troops as props honoring the troops. Steve Holland of Reuters spotted the key quote in Bush's speech:

Among the 7,000 people in the audience were troops wounded in combat, 75 family members of soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan and as many as 80 winners of the Congressional Medal of Honor, the highest military award. The event was beamed to troop gatherings in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Bush told the troops that "much more will be asked of you in the months and years ahead." ...

(Emphasis mine.)

Here's the full speech.

I guess Seymour Hersh is right:

“This is a war against terrorism, and Iraq is just one campaign. The Bush Administration is looking at this as a huge war zone,” the former high-level intelligence official told me. “Next, we’re going to have the Iranian campaign. We’ve declared war and the bad guys, wherever they are, are the enemy. This is the last hurrah—we’ve got four years, and want to come out of this saying we won the war on terrorism.”...

In interviews with past and present intelligence and military officials, I was told that the agenda had been determined before the Presidential election.... The war on terrorism would be expanded.... The President has signed a series of findings and executive orders authorizing secret commando groups and other Special Forces units to conduct covert operations against suspected terrorist targets in as many as ten nations in the Middle East and South Asia.

And yet, according to Sunday's Washington Post,

Bush said he will not ask Congress to expand the size of the National Guard or regular Army, as some lawmakers and military experts have proposed.

It's just like Wal-Mart, kids -- we're not increasing staff, and you're all just going to have to suck it up and do more. And four years from now, maybe Jeb'll throw you another inaugural ball.

(Link via Democratic Underground.)

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