Wednesday, January 10, 2007

The Bush Illusion

The Bush illusion is easy to summarize: he believes, at this late date, that he can ignore the Iraq Study Group. The illusion that a few right wing pundits and a small handful of generals have is that Bush suddenly knows what he's doing. The illusion in historical terms is that somehow the United States has unlimited military power and economic resources to keep throwing at Iraq.

Along with other bloggers, Josh Marshall of Talking Points Memo zeroes in on some of the flaws in the 'surge' arguments from the Bush side, including the point that 20,000 more troops is not going to do the job (and, in my opinion, simply extends the period needed for our military to rebuild):
While we're all talking about the president's 'surge' plan, I want to make sure everyone sees Fred Kaplan's piece in Slate yesterday. It's a good example of why the most appropriate name for what the president is planning is neither 'surge' nor even 'escalation' but rather 'punt' -- a strategically meaningless increase in troops meant to allow the president to avoid dealing with the failure of his policy and lay the ground work for getting the next president to take the blame for his epochal screw-up.


What's sad about this (and it's hard to know where to start on that count) is that a few years ago, much, much more would have been possible with more troops on the ground. Alternatively, if the president and his key advisors hadn't lied to the country about the number of troops required to stabilize and police Iraq (then-Army Chief of Staff Shinseki said 400k+, I think) we might not have pulled the trigger in the first place.

We're living in the wreckage of the president's lies. And this is just one more of them.

There are signs that even a number of Republicans are beginning to see the writing on the wall. We need to get our foreign policy under control and that means reining in the most failed president in American history (and thinking long and hard how such an incompetent administration came to be). It's going to take time to wind Iraq down, but wind down we must.

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Anonymous S.W. Anderson said...

"No weapons of mass destruction. No plan. Uncontrolled looting. Arms caches left untouched."

And let's not forget one of my personal favorites, failing to seal the country's borders — very high on the to-do list when military officers take Invasion 101. Well-established as standard operating procedure going back a century or two.

Gen. Franks or someone should've been relieved of duty and forcefully retired at one step down in rank, at least, for that gross dereliction of duty.

Of course, that would've meant Franks couldn't be counted on to heap praise on The Decider at the '04 GOP convention, so of course it wasn't going to happen.

4:38 PM  
Blogger Poechewe said...

S.W., another bizarre omission was the failure to secure Iraq's nuclear facilities. That, for me, always confirmed that WMDs was not the real issue for Bush and Cheney. At the time of our invasion, those facilities were under UN seal and, except for inspections, including weeks earlier, hadn't been touched since the time of the Gulf War. When the facility was deserted during the 2003 invasion,villagers, not knowing any better, were contaminated with nuclear waste when they emptied barrels of the liquid waste thinking the barrels were reusable. Fortunately, the really hot stuff remained under seal.

8:43 PM  
Blogger verity said...

Poechewe, I wasn't aware of that incident. What incredible incompetence. No wonder Bush and Franks have a mutual admiration society going.

8:44 PM  

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