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Bush's New Iraq Plan
Shoot-out in the Wild Wild Middle East. But who will cut the brush?
Okay, let's recap five years of blunders. In 2001, Islamic terrorists blew up the World Trade Center, culminating years of both building religious fanaticism in the Middle East and anti-American sentiment world wide. For one moment the world paused, felt bad for us, and even offered to help us deal with terrorist organization that perpetrated the act, Al "Trained by the CIA" Qaeda. ...But then Bush declared a "crusade" and shit generally went down hill from there, fast for a wide variety of reasons mostly coming from the Administrations in ability to connect with this thing I like to call "reality".
Well, to be fair, the Afghanistan campaign started off good on many levels, but it ultimately served to show all the problems with the Administration's concept of waging war. Yes, we carried off a good shock and awe campaign, but that's the one thing no one can question our army being good at. It's what the generals masturbate to every night. "Yeah, we SHOCKED YOU. MMMM YEAH." Regardless, we even managed to set up a intern government that wasn't immediately blown-up/internationally derided as a joke and start to carry out a decent sweep campaign to try and collect what the initial attacks had scattered to the breeze, you know, an enemy that was real, and had really done something to us. (Imagine, a war in which we had a real casus belli!) But starting here Bush established the problems that would dodge the rest of what I can only assume was his grand plan for Middle East Ohio-ification. He ignores real enemies in the area (Pakistan?) instead trying to write them off as allies. The government institutes democracy poorly, and makes horrible PR moves that damage their respect in the people's eyes. And most importantly, Bush loses his patience and goes off to do something else, leaving Afghanistan, effectively, alone.
Of course, on many levels, Afghanistan wasn't the real problem or, more aptly, the only problem. So expanding a campaign to try and counteract radical Islamic groups would logically sprawl beyond one dusty corner of the sub-continent. But luckily Bush dodged real problem states like Saudi Arabia (17 hijackers country of origin plus the source of most Sunni radical groups' money) and went for his real problem when he decided to change focus. That is, he chose the country his daddy couldn't finish, Iraq. Along the way, as we all remember, Bush managed to burn every bit of pro-American credit we had gotten when the Towers went down, and then some, making us go from "Mildly Hated" to "Get More Planes". He burned it because, as we also all know, the evidence for war in Iraq was faked, since, as we have all forgot, the war was originally over weapons of mass destruction, not free government or whatever the hell is the current objective. Body count I would guess. Since then it's been a dismal series of failures that have slowly awakened even the most deformed, backwoods, Republican of voters to the fact that we have lost this war, for many of the reasons we lost Vietnam. Good things our current leaders all dodged that war, or maybe none of this would have ever happened.
As I noted, the problems that started to show up in our occupying of Afghanistan carried over to Iraq, and then some. It almost goes without saying that our biggest problem is that we don't understand a very simple concept that I will now type in large, bold font:
THEY DON'T WANT AMERICAN DEMOCRACY FOR FUCK'S SAKE.
Yes, yes, we have problems with counter-intelligence, our army is poorly trained in occupying, there's a huge culture gap, and they're the not so accidental (or false) impression that we are Christian invaders in Islamic land, but that's all second stage to the major fact the administration, and the American people, don't seem to get. This glosses over the Iraq's Invasion myriad of errors, from early fuck-ups like disbanding Saddam's army to recent fuck-ups like lynching Saddam, but they're not the core problem. The core problem is THEY DON'T WANT THE GOVERNMENT WE ARE GIVING THEM. Maybe the Kurds do, but they want it in a nation only filled with Kurds. Maybe the Sunni do, but they want it only in a nation filled with Sunnis. And the Shiites? They want Mini-Iran, which means they're the only people getting what they want in this deal. Well, and a civil war, but hey, doesn't everybody want one of their own?
At this point Iraq has reached a...well, kind of ditch. It's not a point since there's no well defined action going on in Iraq, no one peak memorable moment that has galvanized the war in Americans' minds as lost, just an endless bloodshed between the ethnic groups in the country and against the American Army/the Iraq "Wind-Up" Army. That's it. Iraq already is a civil war (has been for about a year) and now can count an entirely defunct central government that can't control the capital city as its list of new problems. Oh, and the power's still off. For all this, and more, Bush stands to go down next to Andrew Johnson in terms of presidential rankings. It's honestly only a matter of time. Staying the course has finally failed even in Bush's tiny mind because even he decided it was time to speak to the nation about the situation in Iraq. However instead of doing the logical thing, and hoping history would kinda-sorta forgive him, by just straight withdrawing and admitting defeat, Bush came up with a far more...well...Bushy speech. In fact, it not only keeps America in Iraq, it might -somehow- make Iraq worse. And what lead Bush to think this wonderful plan up? Well I'll try to conjure the answer while reviewing the wonderful details of the speech.
Bush's Game Plan
Basically, Bush suspects one of two things:
Neither of these are even possible, but Bush's speech clearly outlines that he still believes victory to be hidden beneath the Tigris. As was widely publicized before Bush even began his shaky ramble, Bush's master plan is a "Troup Surge", a burst of 20k troops to clear Baghdad of violence in an attempt to regain control of Iraq. It's blatantly obvious that this concept will fail for a variety of reasons, which I outlined in my prediction at the end of this article. See, since we all knew he was going to decide to go with "THE SURGE" before the speech, there's no sense talking about the surge when analyzing the speech. Shit, he doesn't even spend a ton of time explaining how it will work. I mean explaining is for communists and faggots, since it involves facts, so it's better for Bush to just throw the idea out there and let it fend for itself. The people have grown to expect Bush to never explain how his plans will work, since that takes away the Right's magical delusion that they may work. Sure, he lays out the numbers of men he plans to throw into the blender, but he avoids touching on any real connection between quelling violence and, say, stopping 60% of the population from being religious nutjobs who want a government that emulates Iran, which happens to be the real impediment to his vision of victory.
All things considered only real positive shocker of the speech was when Bush admitted, "Where mistakes have been made, the responsibility rests with me". But he didn't mean it. If he did, he wouldn't fire generals like they were Arby's night shift employees. He knows it's their fault they can carry out his perfectly clear and insane orders. In fact, if Bush spoke one sentence that made it seem like he understood the problem, he spent the rest of the speech trying to make sure everyone didn't notice it. For starters he played the 9/11-Al Qaeda card like there was no tomorrow. He used all the classic, stupid, claims like, "Fighting them over there so we don't fight them over here." What Bush seems to miss is that if we hadn't invaded Iraq in the first place, it wouldn't be the terrorist den it is today. Further, if we withdraw, it's not like Delta gives every Sunni in Iraq one way tickets to America. Chances are good (very good) that all those Sunni radicals will just...go kill Shiite radicals over on the next block. Like they do right now, because it's a civil war.
Of course, that is un-imaginable to Bush. The sad thing is that his obsession with Sunni terrorism/Sunni threat (real or imagined) is so great that he still manages to gloss over the real danger to Iraq's government, if it is to be anything other than a theocracy, and the true rising power of the Middle East, the Shiites. It's like if in 1938 Chamberlain didn't even know the Nazis existed, and instead was worrying about the dangers of the Spanish fascists. Sure clearing Sadr City, a major nest of Shiite power, is on the to do list, but that doesn't mean anything. It's just a source of bodies as far as he is concerned, not much more. Sure he mentions Syria and Iran in the context of running weapons into Iraq, but he doesn't understand that those guns aren't going to Al Qaeda operatives. They're going to the real power, the Shiite militias that rule the Southern half of the country. More over, when Bush talks about Iraq becoming a terrorist empire of some insane sort, he mentions it as if Al Qaeda would be it's kings and lords. Really? You really think the 30% Sunni minority with a little foreign intervention of the nearly phantom sort are the ones who are going to win this? Bush's level of delusion about who stands to gain and lose from our war in Iraq is massive. The winners of this war are Iran, period. No matter the outcome. I guess his father giving weapons to Iran wasn't enough, now we have to sell countries out to them. That's the only logic I can see in this mess.
The other huge point of concern in the speech is what Bush hints to in terms of rules of engagement. Such a great quote, "And there were too many restrictions on the troops we did have" was. That scared me. Any time you make hints towards "too many restrictions" I figure the next step is shooting medics and trying justify shit like Haditha. Or bombing nearby countries. Maybe he's going to take a cue from the war Iraq is nothing like, Vietnam, and start trying to relocate villages to break the people's will. I mean, that is the next step right? Outright concentration camps are practically the only thing that could get Bush his desired stability, but there's whole problem with it being a massive war crime, a travesty against mankind, and kind of running contrary to that whole bringing freedom and democracy bit.
On a last note about Bush's speech, I will leave by noting that Bush still has no sense of irony/humor. His pen-ultimate statement to the American people is that this war will take more sacrifice than ever, last longer, and have a victory that is less impressive than expected. His quote, "Victory will not look like the ones our fathers and grandfathers achieved. There will be no surrender ceremony on the deck of a battleship" summarizes the lack of irony well. No, there will be no surrender on a battleship. There was a victory parade on an aircraft carrier, but I guess that was just a dry run practice.
There were two rebuttals of note from the other side of the political spectrum, one the official Democratic Party message, and one from Alabama's nightmare, Obama. Of the two, only one was really what I would consider "passable" and it was the later. The official response mainly failed in that, despite everyone knowing Bush has gone so far down the rabbit hole that he can't see the way back out, they didn't really call him out in terms of "fuck you we aren't paying for it". Of course that's because the Democratic Party isn't ready to break it to Kentucky that there is no such thing as "victory" left in Iraq, but who the fuck cares? This isn't the Emperor's New Clothes, some party has to point out that this military adventure is hopelessly lost, and it isn't going to be the Republicans. Instead the Democrats managed to bumble around enough that if this surge were to work (statistical chance: 1/1000000000000) they would still be able to claim something somehow that it was all their idea. But I'm fucking sick of them hedging their bets for shit that doesn't have any real odds. Obama's response on the other hand was a little, and frankly as much as we can expect from a future presidential candidate, in line with reality. He at least mentioned such astonishing concepts as "timetable" and "withdrawal" which the official response was hard pressed to squeeze out. Overall, though, it's a sad but true fact that Bush is going to get away with this, and easily too.
The best thing un-said in Bush's speech is any mention of Afghanistan, which might make sense since nowadays Afghanistan has gone from 'the backwater place everyone forgot' that I outlined at the beginning of the article to the 'deadly backwater place everyone forgot'. It's sad, in that it was a country that we had both justification to invade and a sliver of a chance to succeed in any definition of the term, versus Iraq where we had neither. And now, thanks to the Bush administration's general ability to have their attention held for 6 months, it has fallen into disrepair and a state of war from which only, once again, can the religious fundamentals emerge victorious. If it wasn't for Afghanistan being such a small and generally insignificant country, Afghanistan, not Iraq, would really be the biggest travesty of his administration. Instead it will be relegated to a footnote in history that looks something like this:
That's it. Thanks to Bush's biggest international fuck-up being of such epic proportions, his second biggest will get written off as a nothing. A nation that has gone from religious shithole, to drug-growing shithole, and (soon) back to religious shithole gets no notice because two doors down the US has started the Middle East's biggest civil war. Whoops.
So to end, let's see my prediction of what is about to happen in Iraq:
...Okay, now let's see how it plays out. Duck.