Doug's Darkworld

War, Science, and Philosophy in a Fractured World.

Certain Presidents

with 21 comments

evil.jpg
The new plan in Iraq? Credit: Webshots

Bush has announced his new plan for Iraq. It’s nothing new, and it’s not really a plan, do I have to give the man credit for trying? Unfortunately, as even Bush seems to be dimly realizing, some screw-ups are so bad that no amount of spin or powerful cronies can put things right. Just a few comments, the pundits will be analyzing this basically non event ad nauseum. The first thing to understand, this is not a surge, it’s a squeeze. Some troops will go back to Iraq early, some troops will stay in Iraq longer. For all practical purposes this plan means that the already over stretched Army will be stretched even further. Um, does it start to become clear why I say this isn’t much of a plan at all? “We’ll fight harder for a little while with our already exhausted troops” is not a plan for victory, it’s a plan for staving off defeat.

Then there’s the usual business about how bad it would be if we left. Yeah, we already figured that out. Of course it appears to be just as bad if we stay, if not worse. Bush also pledged another billion dollars for reconstruction efforts in Iraq, apparently he is under the misconception that there is reconstruction going on in the country. No mention of diplomacy with Syria and Iran, no plan to increase the size of the army, nothing. Bush’s plan is simply more of the same ol’ same ol’. Not surprising, but still, I was hoping for something more decisive.

As for President Ahmadinejad of Iran, yes, his rhetoric leaves a lot to be desired. Saber rattling is generally a bad thing. Nonetheless, that’s all it is, saber rattling. And it’s been blown wildly out of proportion by the western media. President Ahmadinejad has been very explicit that when he talks about the destruction of Israel he is talking about regime change, IE Israel will be destroyed in the same fashion that the Soviet Union was destroyed. It should also be pointed out that President Ahmadinejad is no dictator, he is an elected president with severely limited powers. A president who also did very poorly in his mid term elections. And lastly it should be pointed out that Iran has virtually no ability to project force outside of Iran, even if they did manage to acquire a few crude nuclear weapons they would not have the ability to deliver them anywhere. It might also be mentioned that historically Iran hasn’t invaded another nation since the nineteenth century.

And lastly, as has been pointed out here, a certain Bush and Olmert not only routinely threaten war and violence, they have actually carried out many of their threats. It’s pretty ironic to hear people complain about President Ahmadinejad’s language when the US has invaded and occupied two countries that border Iran. I’m pretty sure an American president would say bellicose things if Iran had invaded and occupied Canada and Mexico. Sadly most Americans seem constitutionally unable these days to even begin to see how other people view the world, so immersed they are in the cowboys and indians propaganda flowing from Tel Aviv and Washington and Hollywood. And yes, Ahmadinejad’s rants, exaggerated though they may be, are not helping.

Speaking of cowboys and indians, apparently the USA killed a bunch of woman and children for nothing in Somalia, the purported Al-Qaeda suspects all got away. And US troops are now in Somalia. Yes, that worked out so well last time, not content with the catastrophe in Iraq we’re now getting involved in a new catastrophe. In related bizzarro world news, the USA has announced it will take action against any country that tries to destabilize Iraq. My first question, is how would they be able to tell? The USA has managed to thoroughly destabilize Iraq all by it’s little lonesome, it’s not like Iraqis need help in this regard. The petulant almost whining quality of this demand irks me too, insisting that your enemies are being bad for doing what is in their best interest may play well in Peoria, but as a foreign policy it is singularly unproductive.

Thinking of Bush, I am reminded of another of history’s great conquerors, Julius Caesar. He of course also never backed down in the face of his enemies, especially barbarians (terrorists) and other threats to Rome. Oh, wait, he did. After conquering Gaul in one of the most brilliant military campaigns in history, Julius Caesar twice invaded the British Isles. The first time he realized he wasn’t fully prepared, and withdrew within weeks. The second time he was much better prepared, but again chose to withdraw in less than a year. Caesar didn’t sit in England watching his legionnaires get picked off by barbarian insurgents, claiming that these barbarians were going to march on Rome if he withdrew. Caesar realized his plans weren’t tenable, and changed them. He still managed to become Emperor of Rome despite these “failures.” And no, Celtic Barbarians did not cross the channel and attack Rome.

And that in a nutshell appears to be the difference between Bush and the great leaders of history. Bush does not seem capable of grasping that when reality turns out different than your cherished plans, it’s time to change the plan. For over three years Bush has steadfastly refused to face reality in Iraq, and now he thinks he’s making a bold move by admitting that mistakes were made years ago? The best thing I can say about the man is that I’m sure glad I’m not in his shoes. God help us all.

(The above Webshots image is claimed as Fair Use under US copyright law. It is not being used for profit and is central to illustrating the post.)

Written by unitedcats

January 11, 2007 at 11:30 am

21 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Well, at least you have it all figured out, having minimalized the ongoing threats and reduced efforts to deal with the enemies of America to another stupid mistake by the idiot president.

    Whew, I feel better.

    icanplainlysee

    January 11, 2007 at 12:33 pm

  2. Hi Doug,

    From a friend:

    President Bush has now announced his new strategy for Iraq, and I’m going to go out on a lonely limb. The plan will work. There, I’ve said it. The rest of you are welcome to laugh at me if it turns out I’m wrong.

    The American people have supposedly lost confidence in the U.S. effort in Iraq. Many never supported the war in the first place. Others once did, but changed their minds when we didn’t find the weapons of mass destruction that Saddam wanted everyone to think he had. Still others lost heart as time passed, casualties mounted, and sectarian violence erupted.

    The President, faced with falling public support for the war, and conceding that he too was disappointed in the progress, ordered a thorough review of the war, replaced his military team, conceded some mistakes, had a “come to Jesus” meeting with the prime minister of Iraq, and issued new orders.

    The president’s new expectations of the Iraqi government and Iraqi security forces are significantly higher than before. He said, “Only Iraqis can end the sectarian violence and secure their people. And their government has put forward an aggressive plan to do it.” President Bush’s new plan also comes with an ultimatum, to wit, “America’s commitment is not open-ended. If the Iraqi government does not follow through on its promises, it will lose the support of the American people.” The ultimatum may not be specific, but it’s clear.

    There are timetables for some of those promises. “To establish its authority, the Iraqi government plans to take responsibility for security in all of Iraq’s provinces by November. To give every Iraqi citizen a stake in the country’s economy, Iraq will pass legislation to share oil revenues among all Iraqis. To show that it is committed to delivering a better life, the Iraqi government will spend $10 billion of its own money on reconstruction and infrastructure projects that will create new jobs. To empower local leaders, Iraqis plan to hold provincial elections later this year. And to allow more Iraqis to re-enter their nation’s political life, the government will reform de-Baathification laws, and establish a fair process for considering amendments to Iraq’s constitution.”

    Critics have wanted the President to acknowledge mistakes, which he did, and took responsibility. “Where mistakes have been made, the responsibility rests with me.”

    What were the mistakes? “Our past efforts to secure Baghdad failed for two principal reasons: There were not enough Iraqi and American troops to secure neighborhoods that had been cleared of terrorists and insurgents. And there were too many restrictions on the troops we did have.” Also, “In earlier operations, Iraqi and American forces cleared many neighborhoods of terrorists and insurgents, but when our forces moved on to other targets, the killers returned.”

    What’s different now? “This time, we’ll have the force levels we need to hold the areas that have been cleared. In earlier operations, political and sectarian interference prevented Iraqi and American forces from going into neighborhoods that are home to those fueling the sectarian violence. This time, Iraqi and American forces will have a green light to enter those neighborhoods — and Prime Minister Maliki has pledged that political or sectarian interference will not be tolerated.”

    In short, the new plan involves stepped up efforts by both Iraqi and U.S. forces to reassure the Iraqi people that even as some level of violence continues, chaos will not reign. “Daily life will improve, Iraqis will gain confidence in their leaders, and the government will have the breathing space it needs to make progress in other critical areas.”

    There’s no guarantee, of course, that this new strategy will work better or quicker than previous efforts, but it’s not just “more of the same,” and it sounds to me like a significantly better plan. The new congressional leaders and presidential wannabes who are condemning it without a trial are apparently convinced that Iraq is a lost cause, and that it’s smarter, politically, to bet that we lose. That places them in what I hope is an awkward position of staking their political futures on U.S. failure. That’s not a position I’d want to occupy as a politician, nor as an American, but if they are comfortable with it, so be it.

    My bet is this. By mid 2008, the Iraqi government will thank the U.S. for our mission in their country, and say, “we can take it from here.” That will provide the backdrop for a presidential race in which the candidate who is perceived of having the most confidence in the U.S. role all along will be the next president of the United States.

    -Jack

    bereans

    January 11, 2007 at 1:13 pm

  3. Why thank you Icanplainlysee. :0) Can you explain why people who support an aggressive interventionist, foreign policy have to cloak their war mongering behind a pretence that sending American armies to attack tiny, backwards, agrarian countries on the opposite side of the globe has something to do with defending ourselves? Because that, frankly, I don’t yet understand. Furthermore, if Bush really is trying to reduce the threats against America, when is he going to resume trying to catch a certain Osama Bin Laden? I would think that would be his priority, nu? JMO —Doug

    unitedcats

    January 11, 2007 at 1:32 pm

  4. Doug

    Excellent. According to reports from Iraq on CNN Bush lied again to American people. John Burns of New York Times reported that Maliki went to Amman to tell Bush to withdraw all the American troops from Iraq.

    The question is why would Maliki agree to strike against his own supporters and cut the branch when he is enjoying the power of being the ruler of Iraq.

    Al Qaeda (Al Qaida) is just another popular slogan which sticks well with common Americans who really don’t have much knowledge and who does not pay attention and don’t analyze the situation themselves. The truth is that Al Qaeda (Al Qaida) presence in Iraq is exaggrated by Bush Mafia. The reality is that there might be some Al Qaeda (Al Qaida) fighters fighting with Iraqi Resistance which all Iraqi patriots who are fighting for their real liberation from occupation.

    Quran Bible

    January 11, 2007 at 1:46 pm

  5. Dear Cats,
    I’m as dissapointed as you are that American “aggressive interventionist” war hasn’t worked out better. Although, just a guess, you would prefer internationist pacifism be the order of the day. Or maybe, now that were involved, an outright humiliating defeat for the nation and the US Armed Forces. But I wouldn’t want to judge your motives or patriotism.

    On the other hand, if your not a patriot, find no reason to ever support American interests and long for the creation of a worldwide Utopian socialist society, then your sincere reluctance to characterize current events accurately is understood.

    Frankly, this latest escalation is about Iran in my opinion. Withdrawal of US forces would be a tragic mistake. Enemies in the region percieve any retreat as weakness and will boost terror and a little interventionist agression of their own, not that they aren’t already doing so.

    In a perfect world, a little appeasement and a few verses of Kumbaya would settle disputes. We both know better.

    If you insist on recreating Vietnam and can’t find any way to support our troops or President, then your entitled to do so. However, life is long. This mess will be resolved one way or the other. When it is, can you honestly say you did anything other than harp, snipe and whine about the day to day events?

    If Bin Laden were dead, nothing else would be affected. Except American detratctors would have one less item to whine about.

    Your not a kid..and if you know anything about Islam you know this won’t end in our lifetimes.. I would ask that you consider doing what you can to support efforts to make the world safer for your kids and grandkids.

    icanplainlysee

    January 11, 2007 at 2:09 pm

  6. You might be interested to see what your allies think.

    You can get a pretty good idea by visiting the British Army Rumour Service site (google it) and visiting their current affairs forum. They aren’t very impressed …

    caractacus

    January 11, 2007 at 2:44 pm

  7. Of course, icanplainlysee probably views the average British squaddie as traitors to America for not agreeing with him and his monkey.

    caractacus

    January 11, 2007 at 3:28 pm

  8. Hi Doug!

    I sent a huge comment that your spaminator may have weeded out.

    -Jack

    bereans

    January 11, 2007 at 4:07 pm

  9. Doug, excellent analysis. I’m plainly also in agreement with Caractacus and QB. Jack, you or the friend I think you quote say that some “changed their minds [about the war] when we didn’t find the weapons of mass destruction that Saddam wanted everyone to think he had.”

    Whatever else Saddam Hussein’s faults, he made no such claim, and the Bush administration surely knew what weapons he did have since they sold most of them to him.

    The false WMD claims were manufactured or contrived by western (non)intelligence and used as a flimsy pretext for invasion.

    I wish I could share the blind faith in Bush but its his speechwriter that’s likely being quoted there and I think this current development just pours gasoline on the inferno he ignited.

    As for giving “every Iraqi citizen a stake in the country’s economy, [passing] legislation to share oil revenues among all Iraqis …”, that’s a cruel joke. The war profiteers and private Pentagon contractors are sapping (nay, stealing) the country’s wealth.

    War, as General Smedley Butler noted so well, is a racket.

    The Bush administration had no business in illegally invading Iraq in 2003, causing the deaths of three quarters of a million Iraqis and whose presence is fueling sectarian violence, and it has no business there now. JMO (from the start of this farce) and the opinion of a growing number of people …

    –Ann

    peoplesgeography

    January 11, 2007 at 4:24 pm

  10. Hi, Doug. I have to agree with Jack. There have been several ‘strategies’ applied to Iraq, unfortunately they are too poll-driven and Media-centric to be really effective.

    I suspect that ICPS is on to something with the escalation being about Iran, it is a good way to reinforce our position before we begin the Blackfive Exit Strategy.

    I keep thinking of how the NYT and the rest of the MSM would react if something like D-Day were to happen today.

    And QB, I would not put too much faith in anything that the NYT prints as “news”. Generally, I look at whatever they say and believe the opposite. If Maliki really wanted US troops out of Iraq, all he has to do is call the CNN office and tell them. He would get a prime-time special all his own to derail President Bush. Complete with custom graphics and his own soundtrack (soon to be available on i-Tunes!).

    Shoulung

    January 11, 2007 at 5:14 pm

  11. Oops, the link didn’t work. The Blackfive Exit Strategy here: http://www.blackfive.net/main/2004/11/exit_strategy_f.html

    Shoulung

    January 11, 2007 at 5:16 pm

  12. Jack your huge comments are very well alive.

    Shoulung if you read other CNN correspondents reports they are very much alien with what John Burns of New York Times said.

    I don’t know where is my favorite CNN correspondent Michael Ware these days. I really am missing his honest true reporting without any political spin.

    Quran Bible

    January 11, 2007 at 5:44 pm

  13. If you’re going to die. Dying for a weak man’s vanity seems like the least appealing option. Auto-erotic asphixiation has rather more dignity. Which not good.

    Brave men are dying for no reason that means anything except to Likud and Big Oil, because you have an insane monkey pretending he’s President.

    caractacus

    January 11, 2007 at 5:58 pm

  14. The USA has announced it will take action against any country that tries to destabilize Iraq. My first question, is how would they be able to tell?

    lol — to the point that other people in the room are looking to see what’s so funny.

    Jack:
    President Bush’s new plan also comes with an ultimatum, to wit, “America’s commitment is not open-ended. If the Iraqi government does not follow through on its promises, it will lose the support of the American people.”

    You swallowed that bait hook, line, and sinker.

    At least part of the purpose of Bush’s speech last night was to put the blame on other people. The Iraqi government isn’t up to dealing with this level of insurgency! American troops can’t handle it, so why should an ill-trained, poorly equipped rag tag Iraqi army find it do-able?

    No, this rhetoric is purely for the consumption of the American public. When the situation deteriorates further, as it will, Bush will say “Those unreliable Iraqis didn’t hold up their end” and bring the troops home.

    He already blamed them for his own past mistakes: they interfered with a strategy that might otherwise have succeeded in Iraq.

    You’ve got to think critically, man, and not accept political rhetoric at face value!

    Stephen

    January 11, 2007 at 6:50 pm

  15. Doug, the blog is kickin’, man!

    Most excellent posting!

    -Jack

    bereans

    January 11, 2007 at 7:12 pm

  16. P.S. Just a note to all, the post above was not my article but a friend of mine’s. I thought it food for thought and topically appropriate for Doug’s post. Another perspective…

    -j

    bereans

    January 11, 2007 at 7:13 pm

  17. Well, I certainly hope Bush’s Iraq plan works, it would certainly be nice to see some peace and stability in that fractured land. Sadly I think that at best it it’s too little, too late. At worse, I agree, Bush is setting up Maliki and the Democrats to take the blame if Iraq doesn’t stabilize.

    I don’t know what “international pacifism” is so I suspect I’m not a proponent. I advocate non-interventionism as much as possible, war should be a last resort, not the first.

    I have mixed feelings about the picture I used for this post, it was meant satirically. Bush is not a stupid man, and I do believe he is trying to do what is best for the country. I just think he’s out of his depth.

    I am most definitely aware that the USA has enemies, it has always been such and always will be, welcome to Earth. And it is incumbent on every American to do what they can to protect their country. Which is why I am writing this blog, to try and convince my fellow Americans that the GWOT is pouring gasoline on a fire, it’s a really bad idea.

    Thanks again for all the thoughtful comments and links, apologies to anyone I have offended. —Doug

    unitedcats

    January 11, 2007 at 10:15 pm

  18. Doug, have always found your posts in good taste–never offensive. That is the reason I come here!

    Have a great weekend!

    -Jack

    bereans

    January 12, 2007 at 5:13 am

  19. Interesting take by Bill O’Reilly:

    http://www.billoreilly.com/newslettercolumn?pid=20790

    bereans

    January 12, 2007 at 6:14 am

  20. Very informative post! Thank you for this! I loved the part about Ceasar and the british isles…

    What are you gonna post about when Bush is out of office?? :P

    krispydixie

    January 14, 2007 at 12:03 am

  21. President Ahmadinejad’s views are summarized on this website: ahmadinejadquotes.blogspot.com

    Al

    February 18, 2007 at 6:01 am


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: