Thoughts on Bush's semantic games and the true scope of failure in Iraq
President Bush recently gave a typically garbled press conference where he read remarks designed to reassure us that he's not completely mad just yet, that he actually does know what's going on in Iraq despite constant rhetoric to the contrary.
He also strived to convince us that they're willing to change tactics as it's required in Iraq, and said that they'd be establishing "benchmarks" for the Iraqi government to achieve towards becoming an actual functioning government.
Key to this is the fact that we're not to use the term "stay the course" anymore.
I caught Zbigniew Brzezinski, I think on the McNeil/Leherer News Hour, and he provided some insight into what this will likely mean.
He noted, as have others, that setting "benchmarks" is exactly the same as establishing a timeline... an idea routinely scorned and villified by Bush and all the others as being nothing more than "cutting and running".
So Bush is now doing exactly the thing the Republicans have made a lynchpin of their camapain strategy, namely asserting that setting a timeline was a Democratic idea which was out of the question and would be utterly disasterous.
Now he's doing it himself. Can you say hubris?
The reason benchmarks = timelines is this...
The U.S. can lay out dozens of benchmarks or goals for the Iraqi government to meet. But without setting a date by which they have to be achieved and holding to them, it's utterly meaningless. So obviously, there would have to be a "timeline" as part of this.
So, the deadlines come and go, the Iraqi's may have met some of the goals, and will surely not meet others, perhaps some critical ones.
Then look for a Bush policy of "Cut and Blame".
They'll begin to withdraw, but will increasingly blame things on the failures of the very Iraqi government they've installed, as cover for getting the hell out of there without admitting any blame themselves.
Also of very great importance, but nearly completely overlooked is the fact that Bush by this speech, was dialing back expectations in a huge way.
Until now, the goal was freedom and democracy in Iraq. Remember all the stirring semi-coherant podium thumping speeches Bush has given about "Freedom on the March", and how our soldiers are being slaughtered in the name of setting up a glorious democratic presence in the region which would then spread across the middle east?
You couldn't miss it.
Well, you'd never know it, but apparently Democracy in Iraq has been kind of quietly abandoned, now replaced by "stability".
The situation has been allowed to deteriorate so completely, the effort has been so botched, that simply having anything other than utter anarchy is now our goal. Forget Democracy.
As many have said for years now, the chances of Iraq ending up as something other than a Islamic republic much like Iran are now slim and none.
This is important when reading the ongoing death tolls, some of the highest ever recently, and why these people are dying.
And included in the speech for the first time was the mention of oil as a factor in why we need to "stay the course".
It's long baffled and alarmed me the eerie way it seems to have been universally agreed upon among politicians, pundits, and the press that the oil is not to be mentioned or discussed as a motive in why we find ourselves in Iran.
Isn't this a massive state of denial in itself?
It became forbidden to even mention oil, much less the obvious fact that ignoring oil as a prime reason why Bush and Cheney, two solid oil industry guys, invaded a country which posed no threat to us in the first place is simply irresponsible.
To not acknowledg that oil was a large reason, if not THE reason why they seemed so excited and absolutely insistant that we invade a country which had little to do with terrorism and nothing to do with al Queda or 9-11 is simply bizarre.
In his rambling speech, Bush allowed as how, if we withdrew, it would allow these bad Muslim guys to take over Iraq's oil and use the billions to finance their efforts in other countries.
Yep. And they can thank you for that Georgie. You idiot.
This brings me to a point which is also not realized by the general public, but which is acknowledged by foreign policy experts across the political spectrum and which has been mentioned for many months now.
Who has the invasion of Iraq benefitted?
The U.S.? Guess again.
Britain? Nope, though both were absolutely drooling at the prospect of carving up Iraq's oil after they were done being pelted with flowers from a grateful citizenry.
Democracy? Not a chance.
The two entities who have come out of this as big, big winners are....
al Quada and bin Laden
Bush has done everything according to plan. He's proven to millions of radical muslims that the U.S. is every bit as agressive, bloodthirsty, greedy to take their natural resources, and callous and anti-Islam as bin Laden every suggested in his inflamatory speeches.
bin Laden has lured a stupid U.S. administration into a situation where they're being bled white and becoming weaker by the day hemmoraging money and blood in a futile effort, and with Bush too stubborn, stupid, and arrogant to cut our losses and change course.
Bin Laden also couldn't have prayed to Allah for a more magnificently effective recruiting tool. Al Queda was a relatively small and minor split off of Islam, now millions and millions of young Muslims around the globe are drawn to the cause of defending the faith against Western agression. Way to go George. I'm sure old Osama would love to kiss you on the mouth.
Iran has been Iraq's blood enemy for decades. The war between the two, in which the U.S. actually sold arms to BOTH sides, but who officially sided with Sadaam, sending him the very biological weapons which Bush and others cited repeatedly (even as recently as this week) as a reason for taking out Sadaam. These are the very biological agents which Sadaam used on the Kurds.
The U.S.'s agent in charge of selling millions in deadly military equipment was none other than Don Rumsfeld.
Iraq keept Iran firmly in check at the border between the two, and prevented Iran, which is majority Sunni, from establishing a power center in combination with Sunni Syria.
Sadaam's regime was secular as opposed to Islamic republics around it. This is why Reagan supported him with hundreds of millions of military and other aid when he was at war with Iran, one of the bloodiest wars in history.
This is also why bin Laden and Sadaam were sworn enemies who would have killed each other gladly, NOT allies as the Bushies have consistently tried to convince the American public by outright lies.
Now, thanks to the ignorance and arrogance of the Bush administration, Iran is already in control of southern Iraq and has a large influence in the government in Bagdhad. They're in position to control most of Iraq completely in the future.
And Iran's power and influence in the middle east has grown exponentially since the invasion.
Thanks George, Osama and Iran offer their gratitude.
They couldn't have done it without you.