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Saturday, November 04, 2006

Bush Loses War in Iraq

This is a headline that could have been in newspapers every day since we first invaded Iraq. I have always been of the opinion that any war in Iraq would be un-winnable unless we were willing to overwhelm and completely disarm the nation. We all know today that Iraq is a nation of 25 million inhabitants deeply divided along religious and ethnic lines, something the neo-con architects of the war did not seem to take into consideration. The war would be over in a matter of months, we would be greeted as liberators, the reconstruction would pay for itself through oil revenues, and Iraq would quickly morph into a bulwark against terrorism and a beachhead of democracy in the region. Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, and wrong. Did Bush lose the war from the very beginning?

Or perhaps Bush lost the war when he stood by and allowed the looters to destroy the infrastructure of the Iraq government? Remember Rumsfeld’s asinine statement about how free people are free to loot? We didn’t allow free people to loot the oil ministry; that’s just a little too free for a freedom lover like Uncle Donald?

I think that you get the idea. I am already tired of this rhetorical device because Bush has made far too many mistakes in the prosecution of this war for me to give each one a paragraph. I have been watching the President make the round of campaign stops before the election. At each speaking opportunity, Bush claims that the Democrats do not have a plan in Iraq, that the Democrats’ only plan is to “cut and run.”

I have read just about everything that I can get my hands on concerning the war in Iraq and if Bush has any kind of plan he is keeping it super-duper top secret. The only plan that I can see is that he will stay in Iraq long enough to get past these elections and then make some sort of half-assed excuse to withdraw. Our troops do not have the overwhelming numbers that would be required to defeat the insurgents and stop the internecine fighting that is spiraling out of control.

Bush claims that if the Democrats regain power their plan will be to take our troops out of Iraq, which will lead to civil war and chaos. This may be true but how would anyone be able to tell the difference? A classified briefing prepared two weeks ago by the United States Central Command portrays Iraq as edging toward chaos, in a chart that the military is using as a barometer of civil conflict. October was 4th deadliest month so far for U.S. soldiers. I don’t know what your definition of “improvement” is but the 4th deadliest month in 3 ½ years is not mine.

I think that what is really tearing this country apart is the fanatical loyalty shown to Bush by his base. If the Bushies were able to display the slightest degree of critical thinking they would have challenged many of the President’s decisions concerning the war; the biggest one was the refusal to fire the Secretary of Defense after the initial round of miserable failures in Iraq. This blind loyalty was never more in evidence than immediately after 9/11. There weren’t too many people losing money in the far right pundit industry. It got so bad that even a complete ass hat like Dennis Miller got a conservative talk show.

But when neo-con tools like Christopher Hitchens and Andrew Sullivan, pro-war cheerleaders and former Bush groupies, finally begin to speak out against the President, there may be some cracks in the wall. As the old saying goes, even the most cowardly hound will chase a fleeing rabbit. The rabbit isn’t running away just yet but it seems to be getting its feet in the right direction. Of course, Fox News will continue to stand by the White House on the war, even if that means going against the top generals who are calling for Rumsfeld to resign. Ratings are dropping for other right-wing mouthpieces and it may be time for a lot of them to soften their views and question Bush if they want to salvage their careers.

The fact is that Bush enjoys almost complete control of the country and has been able to prosecute this war any way he has seen fit. He must take responsibility for the utter failure of his Iraq policy. The current talking point in neo-con circles is that the blame for our failure can be placed on the dissenters, as if this country is unable to win a war unless we have 100% consensus. This is a democracy; we will not have a full consensus on anything. It is not the Iraqi insurgency that is in its final throes, as Vice President Cheney pointed out some time ago, but I hope that the end is in sight of America’s willingness to be lead much further down a path of endless war and occupation.

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