Saturday, March 29, 2008

Bush's Defining Moment in Iraq?


Is this the penultimate, mother-of-all [you know what] we have been waiting for?

It is impossible to keep up with events in Iraq. Several times in the past week I have started a screed, but events in southern Iraq are dramatic and fast changing.

I just want to get in on the ground floor of this week's clusterfook which only comes to us wrapped inside the mother of all clusterfooks in history. I'll just reiterate what I have said many times in many ways in the past: Muqtada al-Sadr is part of the solution and not part of the problem of Iraq.

But there's a big assumption - da big IF - in my argument. I call it the ASAP Assumption. That's the assumption that the goal of American policy is to get Iraq back on its feet ASAP ... and extricate ourselves from Iraq ASAP ... so that we can put the whole Bush debacle behind us ASAP, and restore America's world leadership and reputation ASAP.

It's clear that other goals are in play.

Bushism has undergone a number of overlapping transmogrifications from the start. Let's forget the oscillation of reasons and rationales put forward to justify invasion and occupation. There are too many of them to discuss here. And let's confine ourselves to the big picture because the moving parts are a blur to us, mesmerized as we are by the uncivil war in the Democratic primary. Let's just remember these:
  • The unprovoked invasion of Iraq: begun 20-Mar-03 and completed Mayday 2003, as announced on that day on the Carrier Lincoln.
  • Regime change and decapitation: achieved by the capture of Saddam Hussein 15-Dec-03.
  • The on-going pacification and occupation of Iraq: this is the pretense of standing Iraq back on its feet by promising that the occupation will end as soon as the puppet government of the Green Zone can 'stand up'
  • The latest of Bush's 'defining moments' for Iraq: polarizing Iraq between pro-Iran and anti-Iran divisions ... so that it will resemble North and South Korea ... so that our bivouac can remain there for 50 to 100 years.
And the immediate mechanism for all of this is to kill Muqtada al-Sadr and smash the Mahdi Army, thus removing one of the last remaining nationalist building blocks,
essential for a unified and independent Iraq. And that's why Bush is cheer-leading it.

This is truly Bush's defining moment.

19 Moderated Comments:

Blogger Utah Savage said...

Someone should do a little research of the number of "defining moments" of this presidents excellent adventure. And don't leave Darth out, he too has had many "defining moments" to the add to list.

3/29/2008 11:28:00 AM  
Blogger Soros' Proxy said...

All we have gotten from 'Bushism' from the beginning has been conflation and confusion.
al Qaeda = terrorism = extremism = insurgent = our enemies. It started with Bush and Cheney. It continues with McCain and Lieberman where they, themselves, got confused and unintentionally interchanged them, laughably in front of an open mic and running cameras. Now, even Maliki has thrown himself into their swamp of self-delusion.

Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has taken up the cue, too: Maliki says Shiite militants worse than Al-Qaeda.

There continues to be sustained and unrelieved confusion as to who our enemies really are. Optimists attribute this confusion self-delusion; pessimists consider it the product of willful conspiracy.

What sayest thou, Vigilante?

3/29/2008 04:46:00 PM  
Blogger LTE said...

Enemies? All of our enemies in Iraq are self-afflicted. This is not a war. Where is the opposing army? Where is the front? Where are any uniformed enemy soldiers? Call it Bush's legacy, Cheney's folly or Rumsfeld's fiasco, but this is not a war. If we were to invade and occupy any other country with dead-wrong intelligence, the locals would respond the same way many Iraqis have.

3/29/2008 06:33:00 PM  
Blogger Utah Savage said...

Imagine if we were Iraq? I would join the resistance. Wouldn't you?

3/29/2008 06:41:00 PM  
Blogger GetaLife-ReadUrNews said...

Here's what I see: This idea of an offense that Malicki supposedly had pop into his head comes barely a week after Cheney's unannounced surprise visit to Baghdad. the rationale is a determination to suppress the Sadrist movement, driven in part by the electoral calendar. Those now holding power in the Maliki government—who have little in the way of mass support—fear that the Sadrists could sweep provincial elections set for October.

Conclusion: this is the way vote caging is conducted in Iraqomacracy.

3/29/2008 09:37:00 PM  
Blogger Yellow Dog said...

Maliki is demanding the militia surrender their arms for purchase. When governments conduct police actions involving searches and seizures for contraband, for every successful seizure many items go undetected.

So it was that the American provincials in 1775 accumulated vast stores of arms and ammunition, and secreted them at some thirty private homes and farms in Concord. British General Gage tricked the citizens of Concord out of their arms by welshing on a deal. An anonymous patriot attacked "the perfidious, the truce-breaking Thomas Gage" in the latter's dealings with the people of Boston as follows:

"But the single breach of the capitulation with them, after they had religiously fulfilled their part, must brand your name and memory with eternal infamy. . . you remain an infamous monument of perfidy, for which even an Arab, a Wild Tartar or Savage would despise you!!!"

Let us not allow the irony to escape us.

3/29/2008 10:00:00 PM  
Blogger Boris said...

Iraq is FUBAR. Cheney has moved us from occupation to taking part in a civil war. Just when we were told we're emerging from being waste-deep in the big sand toilet, we are getting pulled back in.

3/29/2008 10:39:00 PM  
Anonymous SK said...

Five years of war with Iraq blown to bits and shards cannot be sugarcoated by the false rhetoric of a waning administration that remains bent for war at any cost.

The United States has waged this war unleashing cluster bombs, inflicting torture, institutionalizing violence against civilians in its military operations and thumbing its nose at international law. There is no nobility that can be claimed in this, there are no gains, and the destruction of one country while imperiling our own cannot be called progress.

It is possible that when President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney refer to gains, they are referring to their stealth advances toward control of Iraqi oil. Those gains dangle just off the horizon, a lure the United States is willing to follow at the price of an obliterated Iraq, a bankrupt United States and a future of occupation.

We, the people, are calling for no more; we are calling for peace.

3/30/2008 09:33:00 AM  
Blogger Vigilante said...

The puppet/paper government of the Green Zone cannot muster the requisite motivation in the guts nor boots on the ground to 'do' the Mahdi Army. Maliki is Bush's Iraqi chicken hawk who is willing to fight to the last American KIA. Our valiant American fighting men and women, during this ignoble occupation assigned to them, have become just one more militia among many in Iraq. We may be the most powerful of all the militias, and the only one with air cover. But our militia, as the occupier, has the least legitimacy of all the others.

3/30/2008 09:41:00 AM  
Blogger GetaLife-ReadUrNews said...

More on my vote-caging theory:

If Maliki had been serious about ending militia rule in Basra he should also have dealt with the militias of Fadhila and the Badr brigades. The Mehdi Army has more of a silhouette because it supports the ascendant voter bloc - the Sadrists - challenging Maliki's support in October. The USA should carefully think through the dangers of uncritically accepting Maliki's definition of who is an unlawful militiaman and who is not.

3/30/2008 11:38:00 AM  
Blogger Vigilante said...

Get-a-Life, I'm getting with your theory. This intra-Shiite un-civil war is beginning to look like a Clintons - vs - Obamas primary battle. I hope you will agree with my hyper-over simplification:

Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, our own USA's Occupier's puppet PM feels like he's the 'entitled one'. He has his party, Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq (ISCI) with its Badr Corps, woven throughout the Iraqi "police" and "army".

The ISCI has not been growing advocates like the more insurgent Muqtada al-Sadr and his Sadrists. Al Sadr appears to be able to reach out across the aisle to (some) Sunnis. He also appears to have lots of appeal to the impoverished masses.

The ISCI, as has been said, is engaging in vote caging by shutting or stalling down the Sadrists' surging before expected elections in October. That's the reason for this assault against Sadr City and Basra.

And our militia - the one you and I are paying for - has taken sides in this spat. The USA very much has, Petreaus has decided, a dog in this fight: it's the 'entitled dog', not the 'electible dog'. So Petreaus has sent in our planes and helicopter gunships to make his point.

Others may disagree with this analogy. Nevertheless, you can thank me for pouring the coffee this morning.

3/31/2008 08:06:00 AM  
Blogger Utah Savage said...

Thank you for pouring the coffee and keeping the conversation focused and on track. What a host you are.

3/31/2008 10:24:00 AM  
Blogger Stella said...

Did you hear, Vig?

3/31/2008 02:02:00 PM  
Blogger Vigilante said...

On Monday March 24 at an American Enterprise Institute event titled “Iraq: The Way Ahead." Neocon Fred Kagan wrote that “The Civil War in Iraq is over.” Less than 24 hours later, Our occupational forces called by the fictional name, the Multi-National Force-Iraq (MNF-I) dealt itself heavily into land and air operations that involved picking winners and loser in a civil conflict between militias. Bush, the greatest accidental comedian of our times, cheer-leaded this as one more successful 'Defining moment in the history of Free Iraq.' Well I hope to God this is not a defining moment. This is exact opposite of what both Democratic contenders for the 44th POTUS have in mind for 2009. That is to say what is needed is the ending of offensive military operations in the occupation role to which Busheney have unconstitutionally assigned our gallant troops, indefinitely. The exact opposite. And this is the exact opposite of what is needed to help Iraqis work their own way out of the multifaceted dung-heap we will be leaving them. This not only increases the dependence of the Government of the Green Zone (GOGZ) on the (MNF-I), but the added deaths and damage to Iraqi bystanders increases immeasurably the hostility of the people to our continued presence.

3/31/2008 08:44:00 PM  
Blogger Utah Savage said...

Why the hell haven't we started a fucking revolution? This is the ugliest, stupidest, greedy bunch of lying motherfuckers ever to take over our government. How could this have happened not once, but twice???

3/31/2008 09:19:00 PM  
Blogger Boris said...

Jezusfuckingchrist! Where did a woman go to get a mouth like yours? You swear like a fucking stevedore. It would be unseemly were it not for the fact that you're usually right, on politics, anyway.

And BTW, that was a good suggestion you laid on at the top of this topic: making a list of Bushole's "defining moments"!

3/31/2008 10:23:00 PM  
Blogger Indicted Plagiarist said...

In the L.A. Times this story indicates the two militias, one in GOGZ uniform and one in Sadr ranks, did not want to fight each other. Both prefer to fight the Occupier:

The resilience of the Mahdi Army militia appears to have surprised Maliki, who said his offensive was meant to crush lawless elements in Basra. Top Iraqi commanders acknowledged Monday that they had been taken aback.

... an Iraqi army officer stared at a giant mural of Sadr's father, a grand ayatollah who died under the regime of Saddam Hussein and the man for whom the Baghdad district is named. And then he said, "We need 100 years to be a strong military".

... Inside Sadr City, a policeman navigated the roads, which had been booby-trapped with bombs in case the Americans tried to enter. He said the militia planted the explosives at night and detonated them by remote control. But he wasn't worried. He pointed to an area where he said a U.S. armored vehicle had burned, sending flames into a police station and market. The officer said, "When they see a police car coming, they don't detonate the explosive because they don't see police as targets."

Sheik Salman Freiji, head of the Sadr organization in east Baghdad, called on parliament to force Maliki to resign. He also warned that although the Sadrists were now observing a cease-fire, it was still legitimate to fight the Americans.

"The military operations against the occupation forces in Iraq will continue until the last soldier of the occupation leaves Iraq."

3/31/2008 10:25:00 PM  
Blogger Utah Savage said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

3/31/2008 10:59:00 PM  
Blogger Petrosexual said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

4/01/2008 08:05:00 AM  

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