In the movie, A Bridge Too Far, about the ill conceived and poorly planned allied parachute attack on Arnhem during World War II, there is one scene I will always remember.
The paratroopers in the movie are in desperate straits, with communication lost, and the airdrop zone where they are to be resupplied with food and ammunition in the hands of the enemy. In one scene, one of the crates that is being dropped with supplies misses the drop zone and falls tantalizingly close to the men, but out in the open where the Germans can shoot at anyone who tries to get near it. Because things are so desperate and the allied troops are almost out of ammunition and water, one of them risks his life and runs out to the crate. He grabs it and it looks as if he might make it back, when he is cut down by a burst of machine gun fire. The crate falls open. It is full of red, ceremonial hats-- sent by commanders who have apparently been reading their own propaganda and want the paratroopers to be ready for the victory parade.
I was reminded of this scene when I read this article: Congress plans for victory party.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The military's top generals have warned Iraq is on the cusp of a civil war and that U.S. troops must remain in large numbers until at least next spring. But if the winds suddenly blow a different direction, Congress is ready to celebrate with a $20 million victory party.
Lawmakers included language in this year's defense spending bill, approved last week, allowing them to spend the money. The money for "commemoration of success" in Iraq and Afghanistan was originally tucked into last year's defense measure, but went unspent amid an uptick in violence in both countries that forced the Pentagon to extend tours of duty for thousands of troops.
Republicans have yet to claim responsibility for the provision. Democrats say it was likely added by the Senate's majority Republicans, and less than five weeks from congressional elections are pointing to it as another example of where the GOP has gone astray handling the war in Iraq.
Apparently someone in the GOP still thinks that victory is just around the corner (note that this is the authorization bill for this year only). This kind of out of touch with reality attitude is downright scary. But it goes along with what we've been hearing for the past three and a half years now, about how victory had already been achieved or was just about to happen, or whatever drivel they were framing on that day.