Robert M. Gates, Bush's Secretary of Defense after the disgraced Donald Rumsfeld was moved out to his greater reward, let us know why we should now pour massive amounts of money earned by US workers (or their descendants) and lives into the occupation of Afghanistan.
"With the invasion of Iraq our attention- and resources- were diverted," Gates told an audience at an American Legion national convention in Milwaukee. "Afghanistan became a second tier priority for troops, equipment and security and development assistance."
The American Legion--now there is a critical audience likely to ask penetrating questions of our Secretary of Defense. Some of these guys are still fighting the Vietnam War ('If we woulda just listened to Rocky we coulda won'). Gates probably could have said that we need to stay in Iraq until they are out of oil and found a friendly reception there. Cybermatch on the big screen: Rocky Balboa v Iraqi al-Biya, 110 rounds! I wonder if Gates carpooled there with House Republican leader Representative John A. Boehner of Ohio, who snarked to the Legionnaires, “Some leaders who opposed, criticized, and fought tooth-and-nail to stop the surge strategy now proudly claim credit for the results.”
This is a familiar tactic. Gates learned it from Bush, who spent most of the first few years of his presidency speaking on military bases, avoiding Helen Thomas, and steering wildly clear of any crowd that wasn't under direct orders to love him. Really. As he pumps up deluded support for the invasion of Iraq in January 2003 he goes to Fort Hood.
Here he is at Fort Bragg in 2005.
And just to show he hates the Muslims too, he dropped by Fort Hood again (all of 30 miles from his Crawford ranch) after the 2009 shootings by the insane Nidal Hassan, who killed 13 and wounded several more on the base.
We could go on. His people cherrypicked the easiest crowds possible for him and the media studiously avoided noticing. Now we hear from Gates at the American Legion and that is also just taken in stride.
Well, I guess that's fair. My academic association isn't exactly bidding to hear from these warmongers, so they have to talk to friendlies. If I were destroying the American economy and sending Americans to kill and die for nothing more than the profiteering of the elites, I'd probably try to stick to the audiences where the propaganda had landed on fertile soil, where the commitment to war was unquestioned, and where anything other than slavish devotion to war rhetoric would be seen as treason.
So, who do they think they're foolin'? Sigh. Too many, sadly.