January 11, 2007

OK class, let's review

OK class, let's review Bush's "war" to date.

Eric Alterman, in a piece about how badly the neocons who cheered the war and jeered those who said it was a mistake from the beginning, concisely sums up...
The Bush/Cheney war in Iraq has proven to be even more catastrophic than those who had the good sense to oppose it could have predicted. It has killed Americans and Iraqis, destroyed a functioning, albeit unfree nation, increased the threat of terrorism, destabilized the region, empowered our enemies--particularly Iran and Syria--inspired hatred of the United States across the globe and will ultimately cost American taxpayers upwards of a trillion dollars. It is, almost certainly, as Al Gore has noted, "the worst strategic mistake in the entire history of the United States."
To put Bush's latest bit of strategery into perspective, perhaps a little recap of our fearless leader's track record so far is in order.

Keith Olberman provided a brief review on his show last night, to which I've added a few bits and pieces that he omitted.

So how has Bush lead the country since 9-11?

Well, on the notion of nation-building: Bush during the campaign said that he opposed it and said it was wrong for America, now he says it's vital for America.

Bush said he would NEVER put U.S. troops under foreign control, today U.S. troops must obey Iraqi government restrictions.

Then there were:

Weapons of Mass Destruction

Mobile Chemical Weapon labs

Secret sources

Aluminum tubes

Yellowcake uranium from Africa

And so far, the rationale behind the squandering of billions and billions (140 million PER DAY) and hundreds of thousands of dead and wounded in Iraq has been:


Osama bin Laden

al Qaeda

Terrorism in general

To "liberate" Iraq

To spread freedom

To spread democracy

to keep oil out of the hands of terrorist controlled states

and because Saddam tried to kill his Daddy.

Bush passed on chances to take out:

Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, Muqtada al-Sadr, and Osama bin Laden

Bush went in with fewer troops than were recommended, then:

Disbanded the Iraqi army

"De-Bathified" the government (got rid of all members of Sadaam's Bathist party, even though many were only Bathists to get ahead or save their necks. Even though they ran the nuts and bolts of the country, they were pushed out.

Short-changed Iraqi training

Didn't plan for wide-spread looting and did nothing to stop it.

Didn't plan for or anticipate the erruption of sectarian violence.

Sent in troops with inadequate armor and equipment. (Rumsfeld's infamous, "You go to war with the army you're given..." quip.

Gave jobs to foreign and oil industry contractors and didn't hire Iraqis.

Staffed U.S. positions in Iraq based on partisanship over competence.

And because of these things and more, we learned that:

America has prevailed.

Mission Accomplished

The resistance was "in its last throes".

As to troop levels, Bush said that more troops were not necessary, then that they are necessary, and then that it's up to the generals, and then he removes generals who said more troops would be necessary.

Then there are the "turning points" (including my own observation that this "war" has had at least 15 "crucial" six months or two months or month, as in, "These next two months will be crucial as to the future in Iraq.")

Some "turning points" which were supposed to herald the beginning of the end include:

The Fall of Bagdhad

The murder of Uday and Qusay (Sadaam's sons)

The capture of Sadaam

The provisional government

The trial of Sadaam

An Iraqi charter

An Iraqi constitution

And Iraqi government

An election (complete with purple fingers)

An new, new government

The death of Sadaam

And of course, we were told it would be a "cakewalk" and we'd be greeted as liberators, that as Iraqi's stood up, we'd stand down, we would "Stay the course", that we never had stayed the course, the enemy was al Qaeda, foreign insurgents, "dead-enders", "Sadaam-ists", terrorists, Bathists, and the most bizarre and desperate, "Islamo-fascists".

And of course, the price tag for it all. Well, we've been told:

The war would pay for itself with Iraqi oil revenues

It would cost $1.7 Billion

It would cost $100 Billion

Then $400 Billion,

Then half a trillion.

And last night he was asking to do something that at least 80% of the public and most of the military brass are against.

And remember that "coalition of the willing" we heard so much about? Don't hear much about it anymore.

That's probably because Britain has reduced their presence in Iraq to a very small number, and I there's only a couple countries left in Iraq, one of them Poland with a couple thousand personnel.

The fact is, we are virtually alone as a country, standing in the midst of a collossal and tragic mess which was dreamed up, pushed, started, and mismanaged by George W. Bush and the "grown ups" we were told were going to be in charge.

What are your feelings or opinions regarding the called for escalation in Iraq?

Do you think Bush will bomb or start hostilities with Iran or Syria before he's gone?

Or, as sometimes seems the case, unless it involves petty local politics, do you really not give a damn?

Anything you'd add to the list above?


At 1/13/2007 11:03 AM, Anonymous yinn said...

Please add one thing: the mercenaries. I've heard that contractors such as the Blackwater people number 100,000 now. In effect Bush has his own private army. Does no one find this scary?

At 1/14/2007 12:52 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

One hopeful sign is that the Dems are said to be planning hearings on much of the privitization of our defense, including everything from laundry to actual armed security.
If they don't wuss out, expect the public to finally get a glimpse at how the Bushies have handed over this war to corporate profiteers who charge $35 for a six pack of Coca-Cola and forced truckers to make life-risking runs up and down highways pulling completely empty semi trailers in Iraq because Halliburton got paid by the RUN, not by how much freight was delivered, and on and on.


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