Wednesday, November 29, 2006

George's Same Old Song And Dance

If politics was more like show business, George Bush's 15 minutes of fame would be long past and we would have already added him to the scrapheap of history that includes the likes of Kato Kaelin, Jennifer Wilbanks and the guys who gave us the Macarena. Sadly, it is not.

A mere three weeks after Republicans took a drubbing in mid-term elections, which most agree was a scathing repudiation of the President's Iraq policy, Mr. Bush is back on his old message. In spite of mounting evidence suggesting that Iraq is fragmenting into a religious civil war, the President was recently quoted as saying, "There's a lot of sectarian violence taking place, fomented in my opinion because of the attacks by al Qaeda, causing people to seek reprisal."

al Qaeda...Where have I heard that tune before?

Mr. Bush fails to understand that violence in Iraq is not the work of terrorists. Just like tensions between Christianity and Islam are over a thousand years old, so are the tensions between Shiites and the Sunnis. They go back to the death of the prophet Mohammed and largely have to do with who has authority on religious matters within the Islamic faith. Any student of history knows that when conflict arises around religion, the body count quickly mounts. But then Mr. Bush by his own admission is not exactly known for his scholarly ways. Perhaps he should read a little more. Suggested topics are the crusades, Northern Ireland and the formation of the modern state of Israel.

But Nero keeps fiddling while Rome burns.

The President went on to say that, "There's one thing I'm not going to do, I'm not going to pull our troops off the battlefield before the mission is complete." The Iraq war is currently the fourth longest war in US history and, after Vietnam, the one that is most likely to end up in failure. Violence is spinning out of control, we’re approaching 3,000 dead military personnel and the President is back to digging in his heels. It is imperative that the incoming Congress not allow him to do so.

Tomorrow, Mr. Bush prepares to meet with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, to discuss the situation and ways to curb the violence. Once again, he has come too late to the party. Key members of al-Maliki's coalition government have suspended their participation in parliament and could withdraw their support altogether. A US memo has reached the press that questions Mr. al-Maliki;s ability to manage the escalating violence, and 2,700 U.S. troops are poised to move into Baghdad in an attempt to secure it.

Can the collapse of the Iraqi government be far behind? And if so, what then?


Blogger RoseCovered Glasses said...

I would like to supplement this article with some information:

I am a 2 tour Vietnam Veteran who recently retired after 36 years of working in the Defense Industrial Complex on many of the weapons systems being used by our forces as we speak.

If you are interested in a view of the inside of the Pentagon procurement process from Vietnam to Iraq please check the posting at my blog entitled, “Odyssey of Armements”

The Pentagon is a giant,incredibly complex establishment,budgeted in excess of $500B per year. The Rumsfelds, the Adminisitrations and the Congressmen come and go but the real machinery of policy and procurement keeps grinding away, presenting the politicos who arrive with detail and alternatives slanted to perpetuate itself.

How can any newcomer, be he a President, a Congressman or even the Sec. Def. to be - Mr. Gates- understand such complexity, particulary if heretofore he has not had the clearance to get the full details?

Answer- he can’t. Therefor he accepts the alternatives provided by the career establishment that never goes away and he hopes he makes the right choices. Or he is influenced by a lobbyist or two representing companies in his district or special interest groups.

From a practical standpoint, policy and war decisions are made far below the levels of the talking heads who take the heat or the credit for the results.

This situation is unfortunate but it is ablsolute fact. Take it from one who has been to war and worked in the establishment.

This giant policy making and war machine will eventually come apart and have to be put back together to operate smaller, leaner and on less fuel. But that won’t happen unitil it hits a brick wall at high speed.

We will then have to run a Volkswagon instead of a Caddy and get along somehow. We better start practicing now and get off our high horse. Our golden aura in the world is beginning to dull from arrogance.

8:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Isn't one definition of insanity continuing to make the same errors repeatedly, yet expecting different results?

11:40 PM  

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