01-24-04, 11:53 PM #161
Why Bush doesn't read newspapers, or, "When the news just sucks."
It struck me immediately, upon checking in at the Washington Post website that there might be good reasons for President Bush to forego newspapers and mainstream media. Some days the news must just be mind-numbing around the White House. Imagine being the poor bas-- . . . . I mean, imagine being the unfortunate person in the administration whose job it is to pay attention to mainstream news sources for the president.
So along comes the Washington Post: "The Bush administration has produced a list of possible changes for Iraq's political transition, with some U.S. and British officials acknowledging for the first time that the original plan could even be scrapped altogether if the United States is to preempt the growing clamor for elections." (Wright and Shadid)
"Five U.S. soldiers and four Iraqis were killed Saturday and dozens of people were injured in three bombings in the volatile region known as the Sunni Triangle that extends north and west of the capital." (Constable)
"Administration officials said the atmosphere in Davos was much warmer than last year, when the United States was on the brink of invading Iraq and Secretary of State Colin L. Powell was met with a barrage of complaints. But the reaction to Cheney's 58-minute appearance was tepid. The audience withheld applause during the speech and then clapped for hostile questions about the U.S. government's handling of Arab visitors and its treatment of military detainees at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba." (Allen)
"Secretary of State Colin L. Powell, who urged the United Nations to endorse a preemptive war to strip Iraq of its weapons of mass destruction, conceded yesterday that Saddam Hussein's government may have no longer had such munitions." (Slevin)
It would seem strange to some of us that the rising democratic tide in Iraq should be somehow unsatisfying to Bush; he wanted to bring democracy to Iraq and now the people are screaming for it. Sistani seemed to be a headache to the administration, but with the blow dealt by Chalabi's endorsement of the direct-election idea, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rove & Bush, Inc.--America's foremost lawless firm--cannot ignore that the democracy they wanted is coming faster than would suit their agendas. Such is irony, albeit minor. In the end, if the Iraqis get their own state out of this, reasonably elected, well, there will be that. Bush seems to trust that Americans will remember him as a pioneer of democracy in the Middle East because he invaded Iraq; he has reason to be confident, as few will remember that democracy, in the end, had to tap Mr. Bush on the shoulder and say, "Ummm ... you can't keep ignoring me."
Nonetheless, with Democratic candidates smelling blood in the water, neither democracy in Iraq nor the rising death toll among American soldiers is healthy for the Bush junta's outlook. Five soldiers dead, and while these are the costs of war, more dead that the president doesn't have time to publicly receive are just bad news for the administration.
Meanwhile, the Vice-President goes to Davos and gives a speech that cable chatterbox news tickers described as a spirited defense of Halliburton. Regardless, I would not want to have to explain to the President that, while the atmosphere was brighter this year at Davos, the delegates gave only courtesy applause to Cheney and cheered the dissent, and that nobody's really impressed ....
And Powell ... it's his turn. Many of us who found Powell one of the reasonably likable things about the Bush junta were stunned at the downright erroneous case he stated to the UN in support of the Iraqi Bush Adventure. And he knew it then, and he knows it now. It's his turn to extricate himself from all of this, because in the end we must remember to blame George W. Bush, Jr., the forty-third President of the United States.
But come on ... if you were Bush, would you want to read today's Washington Post?
One wonders if the colony might issue a Declaration sooner or later. I won't personally dwell much on the irony until the situation develops further; I'm not sure whether it deserves a wan smile or not.
Allen, Mike. "Cheney Reaches Out To Iraq War Critics." Washington Post, January 25, 2004; page A17. See http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...2004Jan24.html
Constable, Pamela. "3 Bombs Kill 5 U.S. Troops And 4 Iraqis." Washington Post, January 25, 2004; page A01. See http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...2004Jan24.html
Slevin, Peter. "Powell Voices Doubts About Iraqi Weapons." Washington Post, January 25, 2004; page A14. See http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...2004Jan24.html
Wright, Robin and Anthony Shadid. "Changes in U.S. Iraq Plan Explored." Washington Post, January 25, 2004; page A01. See http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...2004Jan24.html
02-01-04, 09:55 AM #162
Another 57 people that might still be alive if Bush had just stayed on the farm with his intellectual peers.IRBIL, Iraq - Two suicide bombers struck the offices of two rival Kurdish parties in near-simultaneous attacks Sunday as hundreds of Iraqis gathered to celebrate a Muslim holiday. At least 57 people were killed and more than 235 were wounded, officials said.
One Kurdish minister said the death toll could top 100.
The attack was believed to be the deadliest since an Aug. 29 car bombing in the holy city of Najaf killed Ayatollah Mohammed Baqir al-Hakim and more than 100 others.
Whats another 50, 60, 100? Move along, people, there's nothing to read here.
Look! Walmart is having a sale!
02-14-04, 08:21 AM #163
Battle at Fallujah kills 21, frees prisoners
The Associated Press reports that guerillas have succeeded in an attack against a police station in Fallujah. 21 are reported dead, and 33 wounded. The attack is the second in a week; two days prior, gunmen struck during a visit by U.S. General Abizaid, who escaped unharmed.
Although the attackers freed 75 prisoners from the facility, police Lt. Col. Jalal Sabri said none were suspected in the effort against the Coalition occupation.
Furthermore, another disturbing note arises from the attack:One shop owner across the street from the security compound said he and his neighbors had been told by guerrillas not to open that morning because an attack was imminent . . . .
. . . . The brazen, bloody battle - on the heels of the Abizaid attack - raised questions about the preparedness of some Iraqi police and defense units to take on security duties as the U.S. administration wants. After the Thursday attack, Abizaid said of the Iraqi civil defense unit in Fallujah: "Obviously they are not fully trained. They're not ready." . . . .
. . . . In Fallujah, 35 miles west of Baghdad, no American forces could be seen in Saturday's battle. The U.S. command has said American troops could be quickly dispatched to trouble spots to help Iraqi forces as America hands over security to the Iraqis.
Lt. Col. Sabri said 17 people were killed - almost all police - along with four attackers, two of whom he said carried a Lebanese passports. He said he believed all the attackers were non-Iraqis . . . . (Fam)
17 "good guys" killed
4 insurgents killed
33 people injured (25 police)
None of the insurgents Iraqis; 2 w/Lebanese passports
"I suspect they were Arabs or Syrians or belonged to al-Qaida. They want to create instability and chaos." (Lt. Col. Jalal Sabri)
"It sounded like gibberish to me. It wasn't Arabic." (Qais Jameel, wounded police officer, on language of attackers.)
Someone somewhere may have had advance notice. That someone didn't tell anyone who did anything about it.
Sounds like a rough morning. Most disturbing to me is that some may have known the attack was coming and said nothing. This is a chilling sign, and hopefully that cold ripple is an overstatement of reality.
And it's also worth wondering how many of those murderers and thieves who weren't suspects in the insurgency might choose to offer their services against the Coalition and police.
In other news, Fam reports of anti-Coalition protests in Sulaimaniyah, 3 armed men wounded in Suwayrah; their truck was wired with a bomb. UN special envoy Lakhdar Brahimi left Iraq Friday after looking into the possibility of a national election; verdict: doubtful.
Fam, Mariam. "21 Killed, Prisoners Freed in Iraqi Raid." Associated Press, February 14, 2004. See http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...2004Feb14.html
03-17-04, 04:37 PM #164
Big Baghdad Boom
The face of terrorism: Deadly blast in Baghdad
In an act that seems far-removed from warfare and best reserved to the terrorist class, a suspected car bomb has destroyed a Baghdad hotel and nearby houses. The toll stands at 30 dead, with 50 injuries. The BBC reports that the Mount Lebanon Hotel would have been a "soft target" for terrorists, and reporter Caroline Hawley says she dove for cover at the magnitude of the blast, despite being a kilometer away.
Pfc. Heath Balick (US Army): ". . . no rocket could cause that amount of damage."
The Washington Post reports that the blast left an eight-by-ten foot hole in the street; Al-Jazeerah describes a "huge crater around 20 feet across and 10 feet deep."
A late report from the Reuters wire notes that Iraqis on the scene argued that a missile hit the building and Deputy Iraqi Interior Minister Kadhim blamed a guerilla rocket attack, though a senior Iraqi policeman told news organizations that all evidence suggests a car bomb. Additionally, Col. Ralph Paker told CNN it was most likely one-thousand pounds of plastic explosives and artillery shells mixed in.
An American military official has reportedly stated that there are no western casualties in this hotel, which the BBC describes as mainly used by Iraqis and other Arabs. The Washington Post reports that Europeans and Americans were staying at the Mount Lebanon.
The live TV update
I digress here and refer to the broadcasts of CNN and MSNBC.
Do not channel surf during these occasions. On CNN, a reporter described the scene as we watched recovery work taking place; she was looking at the wreckage of a house, at part of a ceiling fan, bits of furniture, and, poignantly, a cane. The report continued, then CNN went to commercial. I flipped over to MSNBC, where James Hattori reported from the same site. A studio anchor asked there was anyone left to find; I winced in anticipation of the repeat of CNN's report, that a dead child may remain to be found in the wreckage. But Hattori spoke of the removal of an elderly man. I guess I know whose cane it was.
Channel surfing can be bad for one's state of mind.
Additionally, I now correct the above; while "most" of the victims are Iraqi or Arab, two telecom workers from Britain, reportedly in the employ of an Egyptian cellular firm, are unaccounted for.
The face of terror
The way I see it, when you go to war, you go to war. But this is absurd. This was simply not called for. A soft-target, agit-prop slap in the face running up to the anniversary of the invasion is exactly the sorry excuse for warfare we can expect from any number of desperate organizations bent on frightening communities into chaos. But I reflected, upon listening to an Iraqi calmly explain to CNN that many Iraqis think every bomb is an American bomb, that this kind of terrorism actually has a chance of achieving certain success:
The idea was, in part, to "take the fight to them." War is fine, but Not In My Backyard. (Well ... the obvious counterpoint comes to mind.)
What was that, Mr. President? "Bring 'em on?" (Are you happy, Mr. President?)
Whether conspiratorial or merely a blame game, Iraqis might just bear a few more concerns than Americans with the idea that, well, the Coalition did invite this. Welcome to Iraq. Someone came. Someone saw. Someone brought it on and blew up a hotel and some houses. And they were invited to do so.
This was not an act of resistance. This was not in-bounds according to any sense of warfare. This, we can pretty much agree, is the face of terrorism.
There is the difference between the terrorism of warfare in general and the terrorism that destroyed the Mount Lebanon Hotel in Baghdad. But it is important for me to take a moment to reiterate the potential efficacy of this brand of atrocity. Whoever packed a vehicle with explosives and delivered it to its destination and caused its detonation is responsible for this terrorism.
But this terrorism occurred in Baghdad because the United States in particular, and the Coalition by default--as the Spanish outrage reminds--has asked that it should.
IGC spokesman Hamid el-Kafai blamed the attack on al-Qaeda, and called for international help to defeat the "enemies of humanity." And how many of those enemies of humanity have come to Iraq to play because they were invited by Bush-league bravado? This is a question that will play delicately among Iraqis, and with General Abizaid acknowledging what seems obvious--that we can expect an increase in violence as the June 30 deadline approaches for the transition of Iraqi governing authority--the United States and its allies need to bear in mind that many Iraqis have already indicted them as guilty parties in the destruction.
The Iraqis know who the bad guys are. And they also know that many of the bad guys are there strictly because of the U.S. invasion. Iraqis are happy to be liberated; they just hope to live to enjoy it.
How quick are the survey firms over there? Do we have any numbers yet? (Okay, such humor is perhaps distasteful at a time like this.)
Actually, you know what? I can't keep up with the information at this point. Get the latest from whatever news source you use. I've said my two cents beyond that.
Al-Jazeerah. "30 Killed, 50 Injured in Huge Blast at Mount Lebanon Hotel in Baghdad." March 17, 2004. See http://www.aljazeerah.info/18%20n/30...%20Baghdad.htm
BBC. "Blast rips through Baghdad hotel." March 17, 2004. See http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/3521200.stm
Reuters UK. "Baghdad hotel blast kills 25." March 17, 2004. See http://www.reuters.co.uk/newsPackage...7§ion=news
Washington Post. "Bomb Blast Destroys Central Baghdad Hotel." March 17, 2004. See http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...2004Mar17.html
(Note: Gotta love those Al-Jazeerah links.)
Last edited by Tiassa; 03-17-04 at 04:40 PM. Reason: First it was syntax, then it was taste in general.
03-17-04, 06:50 PM #165
Tiassa, you've got it all wrong. Rumsfeld will pop out any time now to
explain to you how this is just another sign of how we are succeeding!
03-18-04, 01:11 AM #166
US holds out on Halliburton payment
There's trouble a-brewin' at Camp Crony as the US Army changes the deal in the wake of ongoing criminal investigations into Halliburton subsidiary KBR's alleged overcharging of the Pentagon for Iraq-related operations.
The BBC reports that the Army will withhold 15% of its payments to Halliburton for services rendered in Iraq until auditing of expenses is complete.The Pentagon is to withhold 15% of the payments it owes controversial firm Halliburton for the company's supply of meals to US troops in Iraq.
A Pentagon spokeswoman said the 15% - some $300m (ฃ165m) - will not be paid until auditors have established the actual final cost of the food.
It comes as US criminal investigations continue into whether Halliburton has overcharged the Pentagon for the meals. (BBC)Halliburton Co., the world's largest oilfield-services provider, said the U.S. Army opted to pay all of past invoices for logistics work in Iraq rather than withhold part of the money during audits of the bills.
Halliburton's Kellogg Brown & Root unit believes such withholding shouldn't be required under its $9.4 billion Army logistics contract and is "working through" the issue with the government, the Houston-based company said in a statement.
Starting April 1, the Army will impose the 15 percent withholding on new Halliburton billings, as normally required during its auditing process, said Lieutenant Colonel Rose-Ann Lynch, a Pentagon spokeswoman. The move might mean holding back up to $300 million over the next six months, she said.
Halliburton has spent more than $1.2 billion in Iraq for which it hasn't yet been reimbursed, Kellogg Brown & Root Chief Executive Randy Harl said in the statement. Any amount that the government withholds from Halliburton will be withheld from subcontractors, the company said.
BBC News. "US to withhold Halliburton bills." March 17, 2004. See http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/3521690.stm
Bloomberg. " Halliburton Says Army Won't Withhold From Past Bills (Update2)." March 17, 2004. See http://quote.bloomberg.com/apps/news...top_world_news
Last edited by Tiassa; 03-18-04 at 01:11 AM. Reason: Tags.
03-18-04, 02:55 PM #167
Update: Baghdad blast, explosion in Basra; mortars near the border; al-Zarawhi surrounded in Pakistan
News from the BBC:
Once in a while I wonder if something's an editorial issue. But no, as I look around, it seems that the death toll from the Mount Lebanon Hotel bombing has been revised downward, and dramatically. With the death toll running as high as thirty yesterday, the number has dropped to seven--six Iraqis and one British--with forty-five injured.
This is one of a few occasions in which death tolls from hits against Coalition authority and Iraqi people have been revised downward in the aftermath; the bankroll firefight in which Coalition (US) troops were accused of firing indiscriminately into the city, stands out in my mind, as well.
On the one hand, I have a problem with the idea that these witnesses the news media find are so gravely wrong. One Iraqi said he saw, "many, many people killed," around the Mount Lebanon Hotel. He said he saw dead children. To the other, I think of a scud-stud reporter for the BBC in Liberia turning his back to the camera and heaving into the street after he came upon the sight of what looked like the first dozen or so bodies stacked up outside the US Embassy as a desperate appeal in Monrovia. Seeing seven dead people, I suppose, could certainly scar one into thinking they had seen "many, many" bodies littering the street.
Nonetheless, a downward revision is a positive thing. One cannot let their annoyance at the Bush administration--which has proven itself both unreliable and corrupting of the flow of information--minimize the loss of seven human lives to a 450-pound car bomb.
Additionally, a car bomb in Basra has killed four people, though one of the dead may be the bomber. The BBC has few details.
Mortar attacks near the Syrian border have claimed the lives of three American soldiers.
An attack against a television station in Baquba has claimed thee civilian lives.
Meanwhile, in South Waziristan
A measure of good news may come from Pakistan, where President Musharraf has announced his troops have surrounded Ayman al-Zarawhi, believed to be al-Qaeda's number-two man in Egypt. The government has ordered residents in and around the South Waziristan village of Wana to move away from the area and seek shelter in the mosques. There are reports of minor combat occurring; the BBC reports that "thousands of troops" with helicopter support have come under fire from militants.
al Zarawhi has ties to the terrorist group Islamic Jihad, and is described as the "architect" of al-Qaeda's ideology, and also is believed to be Osama bin Laden's "spiritual advisor." Fifteen Pakistanis and twenty-four militants are reported dead in "fierce clashes" taking place in the region earlier this week.
Not all the news from the colonies is bad; and in light of recent weapons-technology issues, Musharraf would certainly enjoy the elevated prestige that would come with bagging al Zarawhi.
BBC News. "Iraq violence claims more lives." March 18, 2004. See http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/3523764.stm
BBC News. "Troops ring 'top al-Qaeda figure'." March 18, 2004. See http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/3525000.stm
03-18-04, 07:18 PM #168
Well ...Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski says his country was misled about the alleged threat from Iraqi weapons of mass destruction.
However he also defended the decision to go to war in Iraq and said he had no plans to withdraw Polish soldiers . . . .
. . . . "Of course I feel a certain discomfort that we were misled about weapons of mass destruction," Mr Kwasniewski told journalists on Thursday . . . .
. . . . "Iraq today, without Saddam Hussein, is a much better place than Iraq with Saddam Hussein," the Polish president said . . . .
. . . . Mr Kwasniewski did not say why he had chosen to make his comments now . . . .
. . . . Some polls suggest public support for Poland's role in Iraq has declined to 35%. (BBC)
It's not exactly a ringing endorsement--not the cover blurb Bush might hope for--but the minor concession to honesty makes it a genuine one.
BBC News. "Poland was 'misled' over Iraq WMD." March 18, 2004. See http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/3525356.stm
03-18-04, 07:26 PM #169
Re: Baghdad Blast
Tiassa: "Nonetheless, a downward revision is a positive thing."
Fewer deaths are certainly a positive thing, But: Manipulating civilian death tolls is not. In a country where the occupying power forbids medical establishments from tallying civilian deaths, and where freedom of press does not exist, scepticism over how these statistics are handled by occupation forces and their Iraqi collaborators is warranted.
03-18-04, 07:44 PM #170
Mumbling and musing
Agreed. I just am so repulsed by the notion of--and I tread cautiously here--"wishing more people were dead" in order to find vindication in my opposition to this war that I prefer to demonstratively slink away whenever I come near it.
Part of it may come from the idea that seven or twenty-seven, or twenty-seven hundred forty-nine is just not a difference I like to make unless it's absolutely necessary. It's all too many. Had I my druthers, I'd hope the administration is being truthful; the alternative seems to be that four times that many are dead, and ....
Something like that.
I mean ... we all know .... In the meantime, I have this faith in humanity--I don't think the modern age can keep that kind of secret. Someday we'll hear something closer to accurate numbers. And to some of us the magnitude will be shocking in and of itself, but we won't be surprised.
The only real curiosity on that count is how long it will take. Depending on the mess Bush leaves Kerry, the GOP could press to haul that information into the open by the end of Kerry's first term in an attempt to unseat him in the wake of a difficult Iraqi operation.
(Just a side consideration: I wonder how significant people will find it if Kerry hasn't managed to fully extricate the US from the Iraqi mess by the end of his first term. People make much of the slightest whiff of irony.)
Last edited by Tiassa; 03-18-04 at 07:45 PM. Reason: Minor typographical issue.
03-18-04, 08:56 PM #171
Sadly, from what I have learned about Kerry, his maneuverability and vision for defusing the very ominous situation in the mideast is very small. His campaign website indicates how boxed-in his thinking and platform are.
"John Kerry believes that history and our own best interests demand that the United States maintain a steady policy of friendship and support for Israel. As the only true democracy in the Middle East, Israel is our most important ally, and a critical partner in the quest for peace and security in this troubled region."
"Winning the peace in Iraq is critical to us because its going to have a profound impact on the war on terrorism... We literally cannot allow ourselves to fail."
We must drain the swamps of terrorists, he said, but you dont have a prayer of doing so if you leave the sources to gather and flow again.
Absent any coherent exit strategy, Kerry substitutes "internationalising" our quagmires, and we can already surmise that this will be unsuccessful. Kerry may find himself the engineer of a runaway train, without a clue as to how to slow it, much less turn it around.
03-18-04, 09:25 PM #172
How depressing it is to hear that. With Americans approval of Bush is still what I consider extremely high, any opposition has to tread too carefully for any chance at winning. There really is no hope. We, You will get the government and the consequences we, you deserve.
03-18-04, 09:39 PM #173
It is very sad. The Bush administration encouraged the USA's ugliest misconceptions and fears of the world outside, and set disasters in motion that will persist for many years. Because the American majority has yet to confront its illusions about the world, and America's place in it, any significant alternative in leadership is uncomfortable, and hence unelectable. I am hoping that my countrymen will request new leadership, if not because they have a miracle-working alternative, at least to repudiate the reckless zealots who have set the world on a very dangerous course.
03-19-04, 06:29 PM #174
It looks like anti-Iraq contagen is started to spread outside of Spain in some pretty ominous ways:
SEOUL, South Korea (CNN) -- South Korea has canceled plans to send 3,000 troops to the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk due to security concerns, and is working with the United States to decide on a more suitable location for its troops to be deployed.
The statement said the United States and South Korea "share the view" of selecting a new region for the South Korean troops to be deployed.
The 3,000 troops were to be deployed in early April. About 600 South Korean troops are already in Iraq.
When the additional troops arrive, South Korea will have the third largest contingent of troops in Iraq, behind the United States and Britain.
Also some good news for Bush, a silver lining story:
WARSAW, Poland -- Poland's president is reported to have told U.S. President George W. Bush his country's troops will stay in Iraq "as long as needed ... plus one day longer."
Aleksander Kwasniewski made the promise in a phone call by Bush, a day after saying he was "misled" about the threat of Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction and that Polish troops could leave Iraq months earlier than envisaged.
03-20-04, 11:40 PM #175
Some say this has been a media war.
So what happens when you lose the media?
Iraqi Journalists Rebuke Powell Over Killings
BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraqi journalists gave Secretary of State Colin Powell a hostile reception in Baghdad on Friday (19th), walking out of his news conference in protest at the killing of two of their colleagues by U.S. troops.
And to update Tiassas post.
100 detained in 'al-Qaeda' siege
A senior al-Qaeda figure is reported to be among those cornered.
But Pakistani officials have dismissed speculation that it is Osama Bin Laden's deputy, Ayman al-Zawahri, regarded as the brains behind al-Qaeda.
The commander of the Pakistani operation, Gen Saftar Hussein, said intercepted telephone conversations suggested the principal target was an Uzbek or Chechen militant commander, who might have fled the area.
He said a bullet-proof vehicle, flanked by two cars, had raced through a line of troops on Tuesday, and its whereabouts was now unknown.
No luck there then.
I hear Colin Powell has been sent to cosy up to the Pakistanis, much to India's annoyance. Strange how a country that openly admits its head Nuke researcher has sold designs to Iran NK et al can suddenly become a family favourite. It's as if catching OBL is the only thing that matters.
Colin Powell says Washington will elevate its military ties with Pakistan, making it a major ally outside of Nato.
Election year I guess
Last edited by DeeCee; 03-20-04 at 11:57 PM. Reason: late night typo's
03-21-04, 12:27 AM #176
Not that I intend to be oppositional, cantankerous, or otherwise. Rather, it strikes me:Originally Posted by Hypewaders
The widespread use of the phrase exit strategy seems to be a case of anti-identification. We only talk about it in its absence. Otherwise, an exit strategy is not an independent thing in and of itself.
So just as a random note to those who recall the Orwell (1984) references in the wake of 9/11, the USA-PATRIOT Act, and the declaration of a War on Terror--all of which tended toward the idea of perpetual warfare:
Exit Strategy is only an issue of discussion in its absence; otherwise it is an essential part of your warfare strategy.
Now, I'm obviously not a military historian, professional soldier, or otherwise qualified to make a full-blown technical judgment about certain aspects of war, but I feel very confident in saying that war plans usually involve delivering troops, executing a mission, and returning the troops home at some point, at the very least.
The lack of an exit strategy is perhaps a persuasive suggestion of "perpetual warfare," but I think more telling--perhaps, even, a subtle clincher--is that we have to discuss a phrase like exit strategy in the first place.
The idea of the exit strategy existing independently of the warfare plan itself is essential to a perpetual war.
It is much harder to discuss the merits of an exit strategy when an exit strategy is taken for granted to be part of the war plan itself. The only way the Bush administration makes any real sense is on an impressively abstract scale; in which case, Karl Rove is perhaps the most brilliant sinister genius in decades.
Remember, we're not just fighting to get the guys who bombed the World Trade Center. We're not just fighting to sack Iraq. Dubya, with his PNAC policy, is laying the foundations for the future of perpetual warfare. Not only is he conducting and commanding the opening rounds of the New Terror, but also is framing the discussion for future generations who will not learn to think of a war with no end in sight as an aberration.
The impact of the "exit strategy" discussion will be felt and heard in about twenty years at the latest. You'll see radically-different priorities among voters who consider the ongoing perpetual war a given, and not some strange beast invented for the most arcane of follies.
Just some random thoughts. I think it's time to remove "exit strategy" from the lexicon and instead of saying that Bush lacks an exit strategy we ought to just say what it really means: Bush, Rumsfeld, and his military planners have either botched what should have been a neat little war or else have laid another stone upon which our New American Beast slouches toward Bethlehem.
We're doing Palpatine a favor by entertaining the failure to devise an "exit strategy." Did any of us believe that this was going to be a war with classic objectives? Hardly. We were told to expect something different. The failure to account for the return of deployed troops, to prepare for the end of the war, may well be intentional--this surprises few. But when we stop and think about what it means, it seems rather more significant than the new conservative PC ("exit strategy") would consider.
Bush did not plan for this war to end. I don't think he really expected it to, whether he got four years or eight.
Welcome to the New American Century.
03-21-04, 12:42 AM #177
Or for those with short attention spans..
"Empires don't have exit stategies"
03-21-04, 02:12 AM #178
EVERYONE HAS A RIGHT TO WALK AROUND NAKED IF THEY WISH , THEY ARE JUST ESCORTING THOSE GUYS SO THAT THEY COULD EXERCISE THEIR RIGHT TO WALKR AROUND NAKEd
03-21-04, 09:55 AM #179
A US empire, and the corresponding perpetual war in the Mideast, will inevitably produce too many fresh graves, and too many amputee and deranged veterans walking around the streets of the USA to remain politically defensible. Support is already beginning to unravel now, and it is unlikely that Americans will stomach what the British did on the last attempt, when they lost 30,000 troops in Iraq. I agree that "exit strategy" is a ridiculous term, in that the neoconservatives had no coherent occupation strategy, much less exit strategy. But exit they will.
Every person who is informed and politically active to end the war is part of the real exit strategy. As for government planning, the inevitable US departure from the corpse of Iraq will involve less strategy than tactics, as in covering fire for evacuation, until some Saigonesque scene is recorded as the last GI boot boards the last military transport out of Baghdad.
03-21-04, 04:42 PM #180
You are assuming that the US will stay democratic in the long run. The way I see it the more and more the neo-cons stay in power, the fascist it will get. The relentless fear emanating from the mouths and actions of this administration speak of holocausts and genocide against the American ppl. If you notice there are country songs about American soldiers and how brave they are. Sadly this bit of propaganda belies the truth. The less and less rights you as a citizen have so that notion of "political accountability" simply dissipates into the far off land of history. Is this the freedom that those soldiers are fighting for? I want to read the new book from Richard Perle and his college Mr. David Frum who wrote that axis of evil speech (can you believe he is Canadian!). It becomes fairly obviously to the observer that you as a citizen of the US are becoming more and more like a citizen of the USSR. Sure I would lambasted by conservatives who just don't want to hear it, but it's sadly true. Already you have men in power in Washington who like the communists of the 30's want, to change the world, and will stop at nothing (neo-consevativism did stem out of Trotskyism). We the proletariat class are ignorant we don't know what is best for us, and those heathens you invade know less. For it is the political reality of today that you live in an America more isolated then ever, in a country that makes up allies, and when allies drop like flies they are considered enemies. According to Perle France is an enemy of the US! The same country that secured American victory in her war of independence and in return had guaranteed her own downfall. It was America who saved France in WWII. These two greatest of allies fighting for the same things have now grown further apart, into creating a new bi-polar world. It is America's unfortunate reality that she is for as long as the PNAC gangs stays around, will be doomed into a dictatorship of power.
Last edited by Undecided; 03-21-04 at 04:54 PM.