Thursday, March 26, 2009

Defining Power

Wasn't it not too long ago when liberals and leftist decried the Bush administration for redefining words like torture? Didn't we come unglued with the creation of new terms (misnomers?) like "enemy combatants"? Thank goodness Barack Obama is here to save the day. He would never try to redefine words or would he?
Despite Obama's Vow, Combat Brigades Will Stay in Iraq
by Gareth Porter

Despite President Barack Obama's statement at Camp LeJeune, North Carolina Feb. 27 that he had "chosen a timeline that will remove our combat brigades over the next 18 months," a number of Brigade Combat Teams (BCTs), which have been the basic U.S. Army combat unit in Iraq for six years, will remain in Iraq after that date under a new non-combat label.

A spokesman for Defence Secretary Robert M. Gates, Lt. Col. Patrick S. Ryder, told IPS Tuesday that "several advisory and assistance brigades" would be part of a U.S. command in Iraq that will be "re-designated" as a "transition force headquarters" after August 2010.

But the "advisory and assistance brigades" to remain in Iraq after that date will in fact be the same as BCTs, except for the addition of a few dozen officers who would carry out the advice and assistance missions, according to military officials involved in the planning process.

Gates has hinted that the withdrawal of combat brigades will be accomplished through an administrative sleight of hand rather than by actually withdrawing all the combat brigade teams. Appearing on Meet the Press Mar. 1, Gates said the "transition force" would have "a very different kind of mission", and that the units remaining in Iraq "will be characterised differently."

"They will be called advisory and assistance brigades," said Gates. "They won't be called combat brigades."

Obama's decision to go along with the military proposal for a "transition force" of 35,000 to 50,000 troops thus represents a complete abandonment of his own original policy of combat troop withdrawal and an acceptance of what the military wanted all along - the continued presence of several combat brigades in Iraq well beyond mid-2010...
You see, this is one of the perks of power -- defining words and concepts. When you're in charge, you're the one who gets to make out the agenda, draw up the orders or set the table. President Obama simply is following in the footsteps of every other American president and power broker.

I'm not giving him a pass, though. As much as I was irked with Reagan, Bush Sr., Clinton and Bush Jr. for playing these kinds of games, I'm just as mad with the new guy.

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