Tuesday, January 02, 2007

January 2--Against Sycophancy

The feast day of Basil and Gregory, as the Mad Priest reminds us.

Which puts me in mind of this.

And of this: BBC World Service reported this morning that Casey was soon to be out, and Abizhaid would follow. The new military man in charge, the reporter went on, had averred that we needed to think beyond a military solution for Iraq, which, as I was leaving my car, caused me to pause and say, "Duh!"

Now the NYT confirms that, once again, serving up the master what he wants to hear is not always the best course to job security:

Over the past 12 months, as optimism collided with reality, Mr. Bush increasingly found himself uneasy with General Casey’s strategy. And now, as the image of Saddam Hussein at the gallows recedes, Mr. Bush seems all but certain not only to reverse the strategy that General Casey championed, but also to accelerate the general’s departure from Iraq, according to senior military officials.

General Casey repeatedly argued that his plan offered the best prospect for reducing the perception that the United States remained an occupier — and it was a path he thought matched Mr. Bush’s wishes. Earlier in the year, it had.

But as Baghdad spun further out of control, some of the president’s advisers now say, Mr. Bush grew concerned that General Casey, among others, had become more fixated on withdrawal than victory.
Bush, of course, is still fixated on victory, which is simply impossible to take seriously. The BBC World Service also noted this morning that an increase of 30,000 troops would break the US military logistically, so the anticipated "surge" will apparently be only 20,000. I'm sure the devil is in the details, and the difference of 10,000 troops will make everything all right, even though the troops are only expected to hold certain areas of Baghdad and Anbar province, and nothing more.

This is what we have come to. This is what Bush is doing to assure "victory." Tossing sycophantic generals overboard even as he demands greater and more vigorous sycophancy.

Hear the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Matthew.

Jesus said to the crowds: "You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how can its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything, but is thrown out and trampled under foot.

"You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid. No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.

"Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets; I have come not to abolish but to fulfil. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth pass away, not one letter, not one stroke of a letter, will pass from the law until all is accomplished. Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, will be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven."

This is the gospel of the Lord.

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