"National security adviser Stephen J. Hadley told reporters traveling to Estonia with President Bush: "Obviously, everyone would agree things are not proceeding well enough or fast enough." Washington must find ways to "adapt," he added.
Events over the past week, including the deadliest attacks since the war began in March 2003, have created a new sense of diplomatic urgency about finding a viable strategy to contain Iraq’s violence and limit spillover damage across the region. The White House again resisted assertions that Iraq is now in a civil war, but that stance is increasingly hard to defend, according to analysts, diplomats and even some U.S. officials in private." Ricks and Wright
Anyone who listened to the president’s speech in Riga today knows that this is all nonsense. He has no intention to change his policy in Iraq. His policy has been and continues to be the creation of an essentially Western country in Iraq governed on a unitary basis by an administration elected on the basis of one person, one vote. He expects that "victory" there and in his other areas of activity, Lebanon, Syria, etc. will result in a wave of revolutionary change across the Islamic World which will "drain the swamp" in which the "extremists" grow. He was taught this vision by neocon "dervishes" who are still pursuing the memory of Europe transformed by the French Revolution. The French Revolution renewed in the Muslim World remains the goal. We are already seeing the result of the "freedom agenda" in Iraq. There, Liberty has become license to kill and give over to rapine all those who "threaten" the ability of one’s own group to maximize its position.
Bush is "having you on," folks, "having you on…"
…revolutionary change across the Islamic World which will “drain the swamp” in which the “extremists” grow
If this is their claim then they are either:
How can you claim to be trying to get rid of extremism when your every step seems planned to perfection to create those very same extremists. I enjoin all firefighters to now practice the Bush/Cheney/Blair/Rice methodology, put away their hoses, and only carry fuel as a method of putting out fires.
we just have to work around him in ending this war.
^ journey of a thousand miles begins with one step
Atrios says Bush is “shockingly stupid, somewhat delusional, and very messianic person who has downloaded large doses of extreme wingnuttery deep into his brain stem.”
Col. Lang says:
Anyone who listened to the president’s speech in Riga today knows that
Col. What is your take on the AdministrationSince this present plans for Iran?
Since this group essentially never admits a mistake or ‘goof’ is ther any possiblity that under the cover of his standard line that some sort of shift is being worked out?
Are there any significant chances that the Iraq mess can be brought under reasonable control and stability in the near term [ 3-5 ] years? Or is Gen. Odom correct that the longer we stay the more we create problems and should therefore leave or go to the edges or ‘just over the horizon’?
Ah yes, how well I recall from my history books that Germany (or was it England?) invaded France in 1789, toppled their government, guillotined the French ruling class and established a nice shiny democracy for the citizens of France. Why yes, I think the Germans (or was it the British?) even installed their own German-sympathizing (or was it British sympathizing?) government to give them a little jump-start.
And all those nice German soldiers, well — surely we can all understand that they had to kill a few hundred thousand French citizens to help the poor, backwards French people in the march towards democracy.
Yes, Iraq is *just like* the French Revolution.
I’m guessing these are people who didn’t do too well on the “analogies” section of their SATs.
while the wdc-centric chatterbunnies casually dismiss any talk of impeachment, i would suggest that if events in iraq play out to my pessimistic view, resulting in mass u.s. casualties, dim son will be fortunate if that’s all the comeuppance he experiences..
astonishing failure of leadership on all fronts.
The situation is abounding in ironies. First, Bush introduces “democracy” into Iraq, i.e., by recognizing hundreds of political parties. if that was such a good idea, then, why, pray tell, does America–with 10x the population–have only two major political parties? Answer: An Iraq atomized is an Iraq allegedly easier to control. (Well, that was the theory…) Second, Bush re-christens the dictators, Mubarek and Saudi King Abdullah, the “moderates.” I wonder how many Iranian women in the Iranian parliament would consider Saudi Arabia–the country that denies women driver’s licenses–a “moderate” state? I know Mubarek is in his 25th year of a “state of emergency” so I guess a “moderate” like him understands the unitary theory of the Executive. Finally, Bush’s Arab Tony Blair, Jordan’s King Abdullah, might be a more serious person if his primary achievement wasn’t marrrying the most beautiful woman in the ME. My message to all these “moderates”: hold a real election, then you can lecture the Iranians.
Perhaps he thinks he is “having us on” but the tide has turned he will soon have no choice. This is the most dangerous time of his Presidency.
He can for a while ignore all of the advice, the entreaties from his own party and, I would bet, the military behind closed doors.
But soon, he will need to take affirmative action and there will be no one to do his bidding, no Congressional Majority to approve his spending requirements, too few troops to increase presence in Baghdad, a badly strained Army without a mission, and he will have established himself as irrelevant.
That’s dangerous, and I would bet that he takes action, which could be even more awful, to save his legacy. Staying the course will not do that.
Are these guys really crazy enough to believe that the French Revolution “model” could work without a Napoleon? And how exactly does a great democratic tide rolling through the Arab world bring about a comprehensive peace settlement for Israel without Israeli territorial concessions, particularly in Al-Quds?
It blows me away that a guy like Bush could rise to power and be voted in TWICE.. (forgetting for a moment the numerous debates surrounding the voting process etc etc) – It just seems to me (an admitted neophyte) that Bush doesn’t command the same brain power as some of the US’s other presidents – Truman, JFK, Eisenhower, Lincoln, etc etc. This guy is truly a moron – of the most dangerous kind!
The history of the French revolution as a supposed model for transforming the Middle East today should give pause.
The French revolutionary forces were militarily contained in the wars between 1793 and 1803. It was only under Napoleon, who centralized authority in the executive branch as Emperor, that the now-Imperial armies swept victoriously through Central Europe. In 1806, Prussia – the former powerhouse under Frederick I – was crushed in a “shock and awe” campaign that put French bayonets for the first time as far east as Warsaw.
From 1806 to 1812, the many minor states of Germany and a prostrate Prussia were under French domination, with varying degrees of enthusiasm. However, this period also saw the rise of a new German nationalism. When Napoleon was defeated in Russia in 1812, the spectacle of his failure ignited “wars of liberation” in Germany in 1813-1814 that brought the many feuding German regions together in a shared desire to throw out the French occupier.
A defeated Prussia renewed itself, phoenix-like, by adopting many aspects of “popular war”, raising irregular troops and conscript armies motivated by a new sense of patriotism. The Prussian victories as part of the anti-French coalition cemented a new era of leadership from Berlin. Under Bismarck, the process would be completed in 1871 with another victory over France.
So one aspect of the attempt by Napoleon to carry out reform of Europe was to spur a counter-reaction and a new nationalism in Germany, leading eventually to the world wars of the 20th century.
It could be that Bush, by his “shock and awe” campaign to upend an existing corrupt order, unleashes countervailing forces in the Middle East of a nature quite different from what the Neocons promised.
Why is it that when Colonel Lang writes a post, there is usually nothing to add?
Not that I don’t try. But there’s just nothing to add to what he has written.
I could swear a little at the opportunistic plutocrat ru(i)ning our country, but what good would it do?
“There is one thing I’m not going to do. I am not going to pull our troops off the battlefield before the mission is complete,” Bush said in a keynote speech at the University of Latvia just before a summit of the NATO defence alliance.
Bush vows to keep forces in Iraq
There you have it. The Decider has decided. So much for the Jim Baker pony.
the United States wants Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Egypt to work to drive a wedge between the Iraqi prime minister, Nuri Kamal al-Maliki, and the anti-American Shiite cleric Moktada al-Sadr, whose Mahdi Army has been behind many of the Shiite reprisal attacks in Iraq, a senior administration official said. That would require getting the predominantly Sunni Arab nations to work to get moderate Sunni Iraqis to support Mr. Maliki, a Shiite. That would theoretically give Mr. Maliki the political strength necessary to take on Mr. Sadr’s Shiite militias.
Bush asking Arab friends for Iraq help
Like this is going to work out. Maliki’s convoy got stoned by the Shia in Sadr City a few days ago. Now, he is supposed to turn on the Mahdi militia with what – Badr brigades or Mahdi militia personnel in Iraqi army uniforms??
It’s almost like he’s still in campaign mode – like no one told him it’s time to stop the campaign rhetoric.
I no longer believe anything he says means anything – even to himself. Remember, a week before he fired Rummy, he said Rummy would stay for two more years.
Whatever he says this week has no bearing on what he will say or do next week.
We, the citizens of the U.S., are in free fall. There’s no way to tell how we’re going to land. But it’s probably not going to be pretty.
To Semper Fubar: the analogies section of the SAT is the one that has been eliminated….god help us all.
Bush needs a course in semantics, as do many journalists and commentators and pundits. He keeps using very vague words like “complete the mission”; “cut and run”; “stand down when they stand up”; all of which has no referent in the real world. Semantics has been completely ignored lately and a study of it would help clarify the emotion-ridden language being uttered. Even “war on terror” is a meaningless phrase; it’s like “war on laziness” or as one astute writer said about World War II, could we have a “war on kamikazi pilots”?
The people who are going to Iraq are genuine heroes and we should be proud of their determination to fight for our safety. Unfortunately, the job they are being asked to do is not what they have been trained for. They are trained to fight in wars, and what is being asked of them in Iraq is to help build a nation, to quell an insurgency, to mediate a civil war. It is a mistake to ask our Armed Forces, which have won the Afghanistani War and the Iraqi War for us, to serve as peace-keepers and mediators of the aftermath. This means that “more troops” is meaningless. This message is not one the current Administration wants to hear, because it shows just how short-sighted they have been. Fighting an insurgency is not what conventional armed forces are trained for or equipped to do; just as the Israeli Army, a darned good army, after their difficulties in Lebanon with Hezbolla, has learned. Good military people know this but, curiously, haven’t been very vocal about it. The Armed Forces are not properly trained or structured to build nations, install democracy, fight insurgencies, intervene in civil wars or even fight guerillas. That’s fact. To change their mission, or to re-train them and re-structure them, will take time and could weaken their primary mission. Not something we want to play around with, is it?