Re-election More Important Than Military Victory

Ken AshfordElection 2004, IraqLeave a Comment

President Bush likes to accuse John Kerry of harming the morale of our troops in Iraq by criticizing the war. Of course, if you were serving in Iraq your morale would probably be affected much more by things like roadside bombs and suicide attacks, but let’s imagine you got a hold of today’s Los Angeles Times and read this:

WASHINGTON — The Bush administration plans to delay major assaults on rebel-held cities in Iraq until after U.S. elections in November, say administration officials, mindful that large-scale military offensives could affect the U.S. presidential race.


"When this election’s over, you’ll see us move very vigorously," said one senior administration official involved in strategic planning, speaking on condition of anonymity.

"Once you’re past the election, it changes the political ramifications" of a large-scale offensive, the official said. "We’re not on hold right now. We’re just not as aggressive."

This isn’t to say that initiating the assaults right now is necessarily the best military strategy. But making military decisions based on what will be most advantageous to one party’s electoral fortunes is nothing short of a betrayal of every man and woman who wears the uniform. Soldiers who would otherwise have lived will die because of it.

Truly despicable.

— from The Gadflyer