Saturday, July 29, 2006

What Bush Thinks He Needs the Most


The news from Iraq is not good.

The Malicki government's writ extends only to the limits of the Green Zone, from which there are even rumors of an impending coup d'etat, presumably from contesting Shiite groups.

In the Red Zones, the news is bleaker. The number of trained Iraqi soldiers and police grew from an estimated 168,670 in June 2005 to some 264,600 this June. Yet Baghdad's morgue is receiving nearly twice as many dead Iraqis each day as it did last year.

Iraq's government said today that at least 162,000 people have fled their homes over the past five months in an effort to escape the sectarian violence that has swept the country.

U.S. KIA's have reached 2,574. Four U.S. marines were killed in combat actions in Iraq's volatile Anbar province in the last 24 hours. American military fatalities are down only slightly in July compared with the highs of the last three months.

Quiet rumors of an upwards spike in troop our deployments to 135,000 (again!) alternate daily with official denials of the same.

The lack of a dramatic down trend in American deployments in Iraq spells doom and gloom to Republican candidates. Many are eschewing identification with the White House. Some in the red states are even running as Democrats. Approval ratings of Republican leadership in Congress keeps company with the White House's ratings, in the cellar.

What Karl Rove wants are distractions.

How about the American Idols? How about extreme weather news? How about news of crimes of extreme cruelty?

Speaking of crime scenes, how about another war of extreme cruelty? Yes, that's it: a two-front war for Israel. Death and destruction on TV! (And not in Iraq!) Takes Iraq right off the front pages.

Bushies didn't start it of course, but the Neocons are definitely interested in seeing it run its course. Another proxy war against international terrorism. As Phyllis Bennis (Common Dreams) put it,
. . . this new war was set in motion by the example presented in Washington’s Iraq-centered efforts at militarized regional transformation in the guise of “democratization".
Works well domestically, too, because it covers Americans 30%-70% approval for our Iraqi occupation with a fresh and positive preoccupation with Israel's "right of self-defense". Bennis, again:
There is no question that overall, the escalation of the regional crisis to include all-out war in Lebanon and Gaza will make some work of the peace movement more difficult. It will be harder to call for bringing home all the troops from Iraq now, while the media propaganda focuses on “Israel under attack.” This is certainly true in terms of influencing congress or other policymakers, where the focus on Israel is escalating the existing Democratic Party leaders’ embrace of the Iraq war. And at a moment when key Republicans appear to be distancing themselves from the Bush administration’s war strategy, if not from the war itself, the new crisis is giving Republicans an opportunity to welcome the Bush administration’s position, while competing with Democrats over who can be stronger supporters of Israel. The unanimous Senate vote and the near-unanimous House votes supporting Israel’s war unequivocally and enthusiastically give some indication of that.
So now it's the U.S., the U.K. and the I.D.F. against terrorism of global reach. Bush, with Rove at his side, benefits from multiple proxy wars against terror eclipsing his un-provoked, unnecessary, largely unilateral invasion and unplanned occupation of Iraq (UULUIUOI).