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.)