(Reuters) - The top U.S. military officer faulted U.S. political leaders on Friday for failing to get across what he portrayed as the huge stakes in Iraq and elsewhere in the U.S.-declared global war on terrorism.
"The most important thing we have ... right now in this kind of conflict is our will and our resolve," Gen. Richard Myers, outgoing chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said at the Pentagon, adding the U.S. public does not get the stakes.
He contrasted the national mood with World War II, when Americans planted "victory gardens" of vegetables and took part in scrap metal and paper collection drives to boost the military effort.
"This military can do anything as long as they have the will and resolve of the American people," said the general.
You could not be more wrong, General. First, I know what is at stake here. I know that the largely irrational grievances of a few extremists have been sown, fertilized and cultivated into a widespread, virulent movement by George Bush's Oedipal, oil-soaked crusade. I know that we are going to reap a long-term harvest of horrors from what arrogance and stupidity have planted. I know that the options in Iraq have narrowed to (a) total civil war, (b) Islamic theocracy, and (c) both of the above. I know that there is nothing our military can do now to stop the entropy, but that we compound the agony with our "will and resolve." And I know that nothing is accomplished, and nothing is gained, when the next soldier needlessly dies "honoring" the prior needless deaths.
I also know, General, that "will and resolve" are not the most important thing. Limitless reserves of will and resolve are not enough to make pigs fly, or make the world conform to the magical vision of the neocons. The most important thing is to understand the world before trying to act upon it. All of our will and resolve cannot transubstantiate the unwinnable clusterfuck they have wrought into anything good or safe or just.
And finally, General, I know that our children's children will suffer for the crimes in which you have been complicit. What else, exactly, would you like me to sacrifice at the altar of your folly?