1 Nov 2011
by Jeff Huber
The about face happened even faster than I thought it would. Only two Fridays ago young Mr. Obama announced that the last American soldier would leave Iraq by the end of this year.
The last soldier, that is, except for the Marine contingent we’ll leave behind at the embassy/fortress we built in Baghdad. But Marines aren’t in the Army, so they’re not technically soldiers are they? That's why they call them "Marines," isn't it? And the mutant CIA ninjas we’re leaving behind aren’t soldiers either, so they don’t count. And the heavy brigade of Blackwater mobsters we’re leaving behind under the control of State Department clerks, they don’t count as soldiers, either.
Some undetermined number of “advisers” we’ll leave behind even though the Status of Forces Agreement says we can't will be special force types, but lots of them will be Navy SEALs, who aren’t soldiers because they're sailors. Some of the advisers we leave behind will be Army Green Berets, who are soldiers if you want to be a stickler about it. But their operational chain of command goes through the Unified Combatant Command called U.S. Special Operations Command aka USSOCOM (pronounced “U.S. so calm”). But SOCOM (for short) has its own budget just like one of the uniformed services (i.e., Army, Navy, Air Tunes) so it’s kind of a separate uniformed service itself.
SOCOM, even operates under different laws and legislative oversight procedures than the rest of the armed services do, so it can do things that mere mortal soldiers and sailors and Marines can't do. SOCOM is like the CIA in that regard, but the CIA, which isn't part of the Department of Defense at all, operates under a different set of laws and oversights than SOCOM, so that if some dirty deed needs doing that SOCOM doesn't have the legal dope deal to deal with, then the CIA can deal with it instead (and vice versa). In case some totally rat's-fundament-filthy dirty deed needs doing that neither the CIA nor SOCOM can do then it gets done by mercenaries like the Blackwater gunsels we’re leaving behind at the embassy in Baghdad, whose activities overseas aren’t governed by any laws of God or man.
"Fabios of Fortune" can wear
their hair much longer than their
military counterparts are allowed to.
There’s bound to be talk sooner or later, if there isn’t already, about how this system of having three separate dirty deed doing directorates is inefficient and costly, and that we should just pour the SOCOM and CIA appropriations directly into our Blackwater thug budget. That way, not only can our dirty deed doers commit atrocities with impunity; they can pitch national treasure into the wind to their black little hearts' delight.
The counterargument to completely outsourcing our dirty deeds, and it’s a good one, says that if we ax the CIA and SOCOM in favor of commercial thuggery, we’ll eliminate the commercial thugs industry's training program. Pretty soon we won’t have anybody qualified to do dirty deeds for hire, sort of like how we’d soon run out of airline pilots if we shot down military aviation.
But the counter-counter argument says that we can just pay Blackwater to recruit and train goons for us. This counter-counter approach offers several strategic advantages over the present system.
For starters, we ditch the cumbersome requirement to track the money used for training because once we turn it over to Blackwater it falls into a black hole, the same way that we’re now saying the $6.6 billion we thought maybe we left on the seat of a Baghdad bus is “found” because we discovered it was “transferred” to the Central Bank of Iraq. Where that $6.6 billion was transferred from there is irrelevant, by Jupiter; we’ve got a phony-baloney receipt for it and that’s all that counts.
Next, we don’t have to apply the same entrance qualification standards to our Blackwater trainees that we require of our military enlistees. That lets us recruit hoodlums straight from the hood, where they’ll come to us with prior experience of firearms and lethal violence and an innate disdain for law and order.
Best of all, if we recruit criminal ruffians and train them to operate outside the limits of decent restraint from the get-go then we don’t have the problem of reprogramming military and CIA snake snackers, who have been conditioned to pay at least a modicum of attention to legal limits, as they transition to the private sector.
The Senate Armed Services Select Committee
But for the time being we’re stuck with fuddy-duddy CIA and SOCOM, some of whose activities do, in fact, have to endure legislative scrutiny. That’s okay, though. The congressional scrutinizers who scrutinize them get on select scrutiny committees the same way one gets adopted into the Soprano family. You’re the new kid on the block and somebody does you a big favor and gets you on a select committee. They feed you a few dirty secrets and let you approve of things that it isn’t legal for you to approve of, and the next thing you know you’re a bona fide law breaking lawmaker, a made member of the Pentarchy, and you’re knocking back ice-cold shots of Stoli with Revoltin' John Bolton ringside at the Bada-Bing.
So anything the Pentarchy wants from you you’re pretty much going to approve, just like you won’t ever again put up a fuss about it when a president bypasses Congress completely and starts a war on the authority of his Ambassador to the UN, the way Bombardier Barry started the lollapalooza in Libya.
And don’t worry that something might crop up in the Middle East that SOCO or CIA can’t carry out once the “soldiers” leave Iraq, because the soldiers aren’t going very far. As prominent Pentagon propagandist Tom Shanker of the New York Times announced this past Saturday, the Obama administration plans to replace the soldiers in Iraq with soldiers in Kuwait. This, Shanker tells us, is in case they need to “respond to a collapse of security in Iraq or a military confrontation with Iran.”
This Shanker cat has got to be
jiving me, man.
Man-oh-Manischewitz. What an irredeemable line of unlimited weight class bull roar. Security in Iraq collapsed in 2003 when we invaded the place and it hasn't recovered to this day. As for a military confrontation with Iran, Iran can’t project land or air power any further than any other country in that region, which is about three miles from its border. The only potential military confrontation we might have with Iran is the one we instigate on the next set of fabricated and unsupported accusations that no one in the three pillars or fourth estate of our failed experiment in government will question because everyone in them is part of the war mob, a mob for which there is no witness protection program because the people who would protect you are the very people you’d be witnessing against.
Our country, fellow citizens, is captive in the clutch of warmongers and the fearful fools who follow them.
Commander Jeff Huber, U.S. Navy (Retired) writes at Pen and Sword. Jeff's novel Bathtub Admirals (Kunati Books), a lampoon on America's rise to global dominance, is on sale now.