Wednesday, January 10, 2007

The Speech....

Purely in terms of tone, I gave it a 7 out of 10. It was appropriately sober, had flecks of realism, and -- a notable and welcome surprise -- even left out the customary "May God bless the United States" at the end. And the substance? Look, we can go round and round about whether this will work, should work, could have worked a year ago, would work without Hollywood's treason or the French, or might work if only we'd "Get Syrious" and order those designer coffee-sipping troops of ours to get off their butts and start fighting, as Michael Ledeen's Dolchstoss-tinged argument goes here.

It's an inescapable irony that the greater the President's stridency in describing what's at stake in Iraq, the more obvious the "resource gap" becomes. If astronomers warned that a planet-killing asteroid was sure to collide with Earth next year, I don't doubt that Bush's deflection strategy would entail launching an impressive array of bottle rockets from the White House roof. (If there are any cartoonists out there, you have your next project; send it to me and I'll post it). Purely in terms of our force level and its relation to his own rhetoric, Bush has done the equivalent of sending the Capitol Hill police to take Normandy in 1944. Nothing he said tonight changed that -- on the contrary, it just became more obvious.

Since it's clear we're now in a holding pattern until Bush dumps this mess on the next administration, expect thousands more U.S. troops to be killed over the next few years and tens of thousands more wounded. Almost two years ago, at the exact same time some self-anointed experts and opiners like this one proclaimed "We're Winning", I made this post about a childhood friend of mine serving in Iraq who warned of the low troop morale and the "FUBAR clusterfuck" we were in. He was spot-on as it turned out, and an infinitely better source than those dubious "the media isn't showing the schools we've been painting" missives trumpeted by the usual suspects. He's now out of the Army, but stays in touch with friends still serving in Iraq. Recently he told me that troop morale is at rock-bottom now, lower than ever, and dejection is turning ominously into anger.

After almost four years, the burden of proof is on this war's supporters, the pollyannas, and the enablers. At this point if you're not against the war and the perpetual occupation it entails, then you are for it. And if you're against it, the only responsible course now is protest. Part of that, of course, means making it clear to your elected representatives that you're watching what they say and do, and you'll be voting accordingly.

64 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

And isn't it fascinating, after the rhetorical battles of the last three+ years, to now see him say that the failure so far has happened because there haven't been enough troops on the ground? A month ago, that was a crazy left-wing anti-administration argument made by people with Bush Derangement Syndrome. Now, uh, never mind. Forget everything we said between 2003 and last week, we're starting over.

Anyone who still trusts this president is high on toxic fumes.

1/11/2007 1:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I particularly like the way he again tries to pre-defuse the inevitable failure by reminding everyone that the enemy will continue to fight, instead of going home to their families and joining the Rotary club.

I'm starting to think that the paranoics are right: Iran is next, and soon.

1/11/2007 4:30 AM  
Anonymous goldhorder said...

Paranoics? Do you pay attention at all. Our leaders in the Democratic and Republican parties have only one concern. How to manage the unpopularity of the war. That is the only problem with Iraq. As far as they are concerned Iraq is a huge victory. Kurdistan has joined the empire and although we don't control the rest of Iraq...nobody else can as long as we stay. This is far preferable to our political elites than losing control. There will be a troop drawdown by the end of the year to relieve some of the unpopularity of the war. Our troops will retire to their bases and let the Iraqis fight it out. We will give aid to the current goverment and hope they can maintain power. Once oil starts flowing out of Kurdistan, we have a democratic president, and an Iraqi government is in power that can fight the insurgents themselves...we are going to bomb the bejesus out of Iran. This has been a classic imerial power move. Big losers, the Iraqi people and our grunts on the ground...Big winners; Our military industrial complex, our oil industry, and our federal government. How come this isn't obvious? Is John Taylor Gotto correct? Is it our Prussian education that impairs our ability to think?

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/07/30/AR2006073000546.html

1/11/2007 7:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The one thing he didn't say:

"To help improve the Iraqi economy and increase security there, I've asked Congress to cut back taxes on the top 5% of Americans."

1/11/2007 8:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

CR, admittedly, 20k troops does not seem to be enough to improve Iraqi security. Would you rather leave altogether then put 20k more on the ground? That call is not ours to make, and there seem to be only two viewpoints available for not politicos to support: withdraw or George W. Bush's plan. I was against this war from the start, but now that we are there, I believe leaving would be a catastrophic mistake. That said, the only realistic chance for success is increased troop levels.

1/11/2007 8:35 AM  
Anonymous Thomas Daulton said...

I got a good laugh out of your "bottle-rockets" analogy, TCR, and it'd make a great cartoon. However, to do justice to the allegory, it'd have to be a bit more like this... a short ('Fiore'-style) filmstrip at the least:

1) Scientists announce that a planet-killing asteroid is on course to impact the Earth.

2) Dick Cheney and Condolezza Rice go on the talk-show circuit to educate Americans about the threat posed by the Moon. Sure, we're worried about that asteroid, but the rogue asteroid could do far more damage to us if supplied and enabled by a hostile rogue planetoid, such as the Moon. The Moon's gravity could accelerate that asteroid right smack into the U.S. of A. without leaving any "fingerprints". After all, 9/11 changed everything, and we don't want the smoking gun to be a pile of green cheese. The press is full of pictures showing how similar is the crater-pocked face of the moon versus the crater-pocked asteroid. Anyway, the Moon makes a much more convenient target for us to reach. Destroying the Moon will "send a message" to all the asteroids in the Solar System.

3) Halliburton wins a no-bid contract to develop a space vehicle to deliver a massive load of bombs to the moon. After receiving ten times the entire NASA yearly budget for research, they then obtain another exorbitant no-bid contract to produce a vehicle which turns out to be a mockup of the NASA Space Shuttle, only made of paper-mache, with an enormous bundle of bottle rockets for propulsion. Experienced, retired NASA scientists protest that this vehicle design is a load of crap, but the NASA P.R. office places a gag order over current personnel, and Congressional investigations into the scandal are killed for fear of looking unpatriotic. The press portrays the NASA scientists as having a personal grudge against Don Rumsfeld.

4) The Air Force straps two Titan-class booster rockets to the Halliburton paper shuttle at the last minute. Disintegrating along the way, the vehicle somehow reaches the Moon. As the NASA scientists had warned, the bombs do not destroy the planetoid, but instead blow off a massive cloud of large and small debris which, mixed with our own explosives which fell off the disintegrating Halliburton shuttle, will orbit the Earth and rain down bit by bit, for some reason only upon US foreign holdings, Israel, and England, (with occasional strikes in Spain and Egypt) for the next 50-100 years. The cloud of debris is too diffuse to be dealt with by any single remedial measure. The asteroid is still on course to impact the Earth.

5) Bush campaigns for re-election based on his decisive strategy against the Moon. Democrats' plans to deal with the asteroid using a _real_ spaceship are derided by the media and the Administration as "too science-y and smartypants. Look, we're in a fight to the death here, would you rather have the class bully defending you, or the science-fair four-eyes math whiz?" Americans pick the bully by a narrow margin, although this is debatable since the vote count is blatantly sabotaged by the F-students in math who were appointed to count the Ohio vote.

6) Two years go by and the Administration can't so much as field another paper-mache airplane. The American people blink a little dust and duckfat from their eyes, and decide to fire... not the leader, but the legislators whom the leader stumped for on the campaign trail.

7) President Bush begins personally stockpiling 20,000 more bottle rockets.

8) To be continued... ?

1/11/2007 11:51 AM  
Blogger tregen said...

the only cartoon strip that really nails it on the head. Warning: bad language.

http://www.mnftiu.cc/mnftiu.cc/war.html

1/11/2007 1:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

bottle rockets!

1/11/2007 1:20 PM  
Anonymous mary said...

7 out of 10? Wow. Not sure what you mean by "tone," but . . . you seem to be sipping Koolaid. Tone aside, the important thing is that there's no coherence in the "plan." We're going to give Maliki one last chance, and if he doesn't shape up . . . we're going to stay forever because we can't leave because if we do leave Bush will "lose." And people other than Bush are going to pay for this incoherence.

And speaking of tone, all this fingerwagging talk about how the Iraqis have to take responsibility for their own future because Americans are losing patience with them is maddening, given how royally we've screwed things up.

1/11/2007 3:04 PM  
Anonymous kilfarsnar said...

Umm, yeah. It's kinda like someone breaking into your house, urinating on your couch and saying, "You know you really should clean this place up!"

1/11/2007 3:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And speaking of tone, all this fingerwagging talk about how the Iraqis have to take responsibility for their own future because Americans are losing patience with them is maddening, given how royally we've screwed things up.

Now be fair. I, for one, would like to see Maliki walk to the edge of the Green Zone and shout "Hey! You out there! Knock it off!" into greater Baghdad. He could even borrow a page from some of our own "serious" leaders, and yell "Cut the bullshit!" into the neighborhoods adjacent to the Green Zone.
-- sglover

1/11/2007 3:54 PM  
Blogger copy editor said...

Dejection into anger. That is ominous.

1/11/2007 4:43 PM  
Anonymous goldhorder said...

I know you want to ignore me but I insist Iraq is a huge success story. Maybe things didn't all come out peaches and cream like they hoped (but this part of it was lies they believed themselves to justify their rampant greed). Really I read it for the articles.
http://www.playboy.com/magazine/features/lockheed/
Richard Cummings on the revolving door and the Iraq success. I know you don't want to believe it...but it isn't hidden. It is all right out in the open. Cummings isn't the only one who has brought this us. The Documentary "Why we fight" covers this and how Cheney himself became a mulit-millionaire through the revolving door process. Would you launch a war where you or your family would not be at risk and you could make tens of millions of dollars? I've never been in that position myself but I can't say I wouldn't start believing in spreading democracy by force...I mean come on. Tens of millions? That is an awfully strong incentive to become self delusional.

1/11/2007 6:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did anybody really think that Bush would comprehend the reality of Iraq and come up with a new policy that made sense?

1/11/2007 7:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Might I recomment "Did the President Declare "Secret War" Against Syria and Iran?" from Steve Clemons @ www.thewashingtonnote.com

judyo

1/11/2007 7:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

http://www.thewashingtonnote.com/archives/001869.php

1/11/2007 7:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article16121.htm

1/11/2007 7:36 PM  
Anonymous Mr. Hedley Bowes said...

"declare them persona non grata and expel them from the country..."

Could it happen here?

1/11/2007 8:04 PM  
Blogger Murdoc said...

Since it's clear we're now in a holding pattern until Bush dumps this mess on the next administration, expect thousands more U.S. troops to be killed over the next few years and tens of thousands more wounded.

Could we be a bit more specific? How many thousands in how many years?

2,000 more dead in the next two years? 5,000 more dead in the next five years? Just so we know what you're saying.

1/11/2007 8:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

goldhorder, the boys in this game dont play for millions...not even billions...and for more than just $...have to try to get hedley in office fast...the nuts look like their going to go for it all...

1/12/2007 6:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If Bush's plan only included a surge of private contractors, he'd at least get the support of the Republicans.

Number 1 problem with Bush's augmentation: No one gets rich off of it.

1/12/2007 6:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

http://www.wsws.org/articles/2007/jan2007/draf-j12.shtml

1/12/2007 11:49 AM  
Anonymous goldhorder said...

It is about the money and it is not about the money. Money...as far as government money and tax flows are concerned...is an indication of who controls policy. Of who has the reigns of power. The struggle for control and power is an important one...especially concerning world conflicts. Bush and Cheney are but tools in that power struggle. Our politcal elites have abandoned the interests of the American public at large. We are nothing but a well controlled source of power for them. They have the American population under their bootheel and that is where we will stay, public school education has made any real reform in the US impossible. What our leaders are really interested in is expanding US power globally. Their success in expanding that power globally realies on controlling the resource rich lands of the world through military force. Politicians who do well in expanding our elites' power are rewarded like Cheney who did not become a multi-millionaire until he did the revolving door thing. Cheney is a tool for the Rockefellers', Morgans' and other elites' dream of a one world government controlled by the US.
Rothbard's essay Wall Street, Banks, and American Foreign Policy highlight the real power behind our politicians. We have embarked on a Napoleonic crusade of world domination. Ross Perot tried to warn us about this...he was probably our last best hope. He did not trust our politicians managing a global economy through the IMF and World Bank. He understood that our politicians would no longer have any need to serve the American public. That our military would become involved in endless conflicts and the debt and decline of manufacturing would eventually collapse the American economy. That is why his family was threatened and he had to back out...later to re-enter after agreeing not to stray outside an agreed upon platform. Democracy in the US is probably the biggest lie in the world today.

1/12/2007 12:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

TCR said: "if you're not against the war and the perpetual occupation it entails, then you are for it."

Isn't that kind of like that statement that people have been beating Bush up for years - i.e. "either you're with us or you are with the terrorists."

1/12/2007 3:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

goldy, have faith in the american people, they will come through in the end...in a way systems/game theory cannot pick up...

1/12/2007 7:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=viewArticle&code=20060222&articleId=2032

1/12/2007 8:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

http://www.kuna.net.kw/home/Story.aspx?Language=en&DSNO=941583

1/13/2007 10:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"As one of the last steps before a strike, we’ll see USAF tankers moved to unusual places, like Bulgaria. These will be used to refuel the US-based B-2 bombers on their strike missions into Iran. When that happens, we’ll only be days away from a strike..."

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=viewArticle&code=GAR20070116&articleId=4483

1/16/2007 9:21 AM  
Blogger Giordano said...

As some sort of psy-op, I see on tv pictures of 'patriot' missiles.
Are these the same as those of 15years ago?
Meanwhile Russia has been developing close (20k)& medium range (200k?) intercept missiles. At least the close range ones are about to go on-line in Iran.
The 1991 patriots were 100% failures, in that their 'successes' just bumped scuds off track. Since scuds were essentially unguided that made little difference. Towards the end of GWI Iraq was sending scuds loaded with concrete. The KE did the damage. The biggest casuality figure was a hit on a USA troop base, which rumour says may have been a falling patriot anyway.

1/18/2007 11:43 PM  
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1/20/2007 1:09 PM  
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1/23/2007 10:52 AM  
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http://www.antiwar.com/lobe/?articleid=10426

http://www.itszone.co.uk/zone0/viewtopic.php?t=67225

1/30/2007 11:30 PM  
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http://www.chinapost.com.tw/news/archives/international/2007117/100225.htm

http://washingtontimes.com/world/20070131-102348-3981r.htm

2/01/2007 1:40 AM  
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http://indexresearch.blogspot.com/2007/01/iran-war-resource-info.html#200

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http://www.turkishweekly.net/news.php?id=42382

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http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/1270038.stm

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http://www.warandpeace.ru/en/hots/view/8042/

2/05/2007 9:48 PM  
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http://jta.org/page_view_breaking_story.asp?intid=6809

2/06/2007 11:08 AM  
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http://www.upi.com/SecurityTerrorism/view.php?StoryID=20070206-043029-9323r

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http://www.jurnalo.com/jurnalo/storyPage.do?story_id=16176

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http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2007/02/09/asia/AS-GEN-Koreas-US-Industrial-Complex.php

2/09/2007 10:54 AM  
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http://news.independent.co.uk/world/politics/article2261526.ece

2/12/2007 3:29 AM  
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http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20070213/ts_nm/iraq_security_measures_dc_3

2/14/2007 4:57 AM  
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http://www.gulf-daily-news.com/Story.asp?Article=170089&Sn=WORL&IssueID=29331

2/15/2007 2:55 AM  
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http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/11457519/

2/15/2007 5:37 PM  
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http://en.rian.ru/russia/20070219/60957640.html

2/21/2007 12:07 AM  
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http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/faith/article1403702.ece

2/21/2007 5:41 AM  
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http://www.upi.com/SecurityTerrorism/view.php?StoryID=20070221-100238-7697r

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http://www.businessday.co.za/articles/world.aspx?ID=BD4A392377

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http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=viewArticle&code=20070304&articleId=4993

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