Wednesday, December 06, 2006

"The Way Forward: A New Approach"?

The Iraq Study Group Says:
The Situation In Iraq Is Grave And Deteriorating . . . A Risk Of A ‘Slide Toward Chaos which Could Trigger The Collapse Of Iraq's Government And A Humanitarian Catastrophe. . . . The Global Standing Of The United States Could Be Diminished.

The wheels of the Bush-Cheney unilateral and unidimensional runaway train in the Middle East have come off. In 142 pages, this report reports bi-partisan certification that NeoConservative policies have been fundamentally flawed:
The United States cannot achieve its goals in the Middle East unless it deals with the Israeli — Arab conflict and regional instability. . . . Talks should include Israel, Lebanon and Palestinian leaders who recognize Israel's right to exist.
Does the ISG Report strike any sparks illuminating glimpses of truth?
Our report makes clear that the Iraqi government and people also must act to achieve a stable and hopeful future . . . . The most important questions about Iraq's future are now responsibility of Iraqis.
Yes. This is an understatement. Iraq is in free-fall; a free-for-all civil war worse than
Lebanon's in 1975-1989. The 'Ballotocracy' installed by Rumsfeld has no writ in Iraq or even in Baghdad; it does not extend beyond the Green Zone. At this point there is no secure land corridor between Baghdad and the Baghdad 'International' Airport. Maliki is a bureaucrat who has to be virtually handcuffed to his bodyguards (are they mercenaries or Peshmergers?) every time he ventures out in the open. Civil war is raging and it will rage for some time, regardless of American presence.

Another truth: practically all Iraqis agree on this:
Yet the United States must not make open-ended commitments to keep large numbers of troops deployed in Iraq.
The Iraqis are convinced that Bush's un-provoked, unnecessary, largely unilateral invasion and unplanned occupation of Iraq (UULUIUOI) is ultimately designed to capture their oil. And that
the ulterior purpose our armed presence was to make their oil, our oil. And the tangible proof of this is the permanent Gibraltar-like fortress which we have been constructing since we landed. Bush and Cheney's policy has never contradicted this fear.

The ISG Report adrift in unreality. I think this is a symptom of the members of the Group struggling with the issue as to how much truth the American people can take at this moment in time without being shocked and awed by the true dimensions of this foreign policy disaster into which their own complacence - largely - has delivered them.

The ISG report says:
All options have not been exhausted. It is still possible to pursue different policies that could give Iraq an opportunity for a better future . . . . The primary mission of U.S. forces should evolve to one of supporting the Iraqi army . . . . . It's clear Iraqi government will need U.S. assistance for some time to come, especially in carrying out new security responsibilities.
All options are exhausted. The future of Iraq is now in the hands of the Iraqis. It cannot be resolved by the Iranians, Syrians, Americans, British, or the United Nations. Withdrawal must be placed on the table.

It is a prevarication on the part of the Group to say combat troops will be withdrawn and only troops supporting and training Iraqi troops will remain. There are no Iraqi troops. There are only Iraqis in uniform because, in the Iraqi economy, there are no jobs out of uniform that pay above subsistence. Furthermore, this charade is no change from the standing White House pretenses. This is the status quo: in order to have troops training Iraqis, you have to provide for their security. And, it is widely held that we don't have enough boots on the ground to do that now.

You want the truth? Here is the truth:
What we recommend demands a tremendous amount of political will and cooperation between the executive and legislative branches of the US government. . . . Success depends on the unity of the American people in a time of political polarisation. . . . Foreign policy is doomed to failure - as is any action in Iraq - if not supported by broad sustained consensus. The aim of report is to move our country towards such a consensus.
Bush and Cheney will not accept the findings of the Iraq Study Group. They will not change their position on the West Bank in Palestine. Because of that, they will not 'engage' with Syria about the Golan Heights or with Iran about nuclear weapons. Because of their rigidity there will be no consensus between the American people and the White House on Middle Eastern policy.

It serves no use to procrastinate and prevaricate any further by trying to cover up the gross incompetence of our government with the fig-leaf of a white paper 'Report' full of contradictions.

Following robust oversight by the next Congress, the President and Vice-President should be impeached for high crimes and misdemeanors. Or they should resign.

Bush Has Said He Won't Be the President Who Pulls the Troops Out

Will my fellow Americans accept this?

On March 21st 2006 Bush said at a press conference that the issue of removing troops from the country ''will be decided by future presidents."

Is this the message my fellow Americans wished to communicate when they voted on 7 November?

Bush's un-provoked, unnecessary, largely unilateral invasion and unplanned occupation of Iraq (UULUIUOI) has already cost future generations $350 billions. Including the money already approved, the cost of the total military spending for Iraq and Afghanistan could come close to $200 billion in 2007. About $120 billion was spent in the 2006 budget year, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

The evidence is accumulating that the figure the White House sends to Capitol Hill will not be limited to dollars critically needed for troops and war-fighting.

In an interview with Truthdig’s Joshua Scheer, Dennis Kucinich says November 7th meant "NO". In part, this is what he said:
What we have here is a situation that is totally out of control. Not only does the administration feel unrestrained in [its] spending, but they also apparently feel unrestrained by the mandate which the American people gave the Democrats on November 7th. The Democrats in Congress have a moral obligation to take a new direction with respect to Iraq, and that direction is out. The administration is borrowing money to fund this war. This administration has not shown any willingness to suffer any kind of oversight on the spending, but the ultimate oversight is when the bill is up for passage.

War spending generates a forward momentum—the more you spend, the more you are going to spend in the future. And so regardless of what anyone in the Pentagon is saying, Congress has the obligation here to cut off funds, and that’s what I’m calling for. We have to stop this! We have to stop this war and we have to stop the potential expansion of the war and we have to stop this administration from getting another $130 billion to promote war anywhere [it] please[s].

Whether it’s $130 billion or $30 billion, we are going to have to put an end to the funding of this Iraq war. That’s the only way it’s going to end. There is no other way. This is up to Congress now. This is not about George Bush anymore. The president has already made clear his intentions: He’s going to keep the troops there until the end of his term and it does not matter what that Iraq study group says.

Congress has a specific directive here from the American people as a result of the November 7th election, so the spring will tell the story of the next two years. It will tell if the Democrats are going to rescue the nation from a deepening war in Iraq, or whether we are going to permit the administration to carry the war through the end of [Bush’s] term.... You can’t simultaneously say you oppose the war and vote for the funding, and you can’t maintain [that] this is for the troops in the field when the money is there now to bring the troops home. So the moment of truth is fast approaching.

The money’s there to bring the troops home and that money is continued in the so-called bridge fund that was passed September 30th, 2006. We have the money to bring the troops home. The idea that the troops will be stranded is false and is being spread by people who want to keep the war and the war spending going.

Congress has to recognize that the American people took a stand in November. What could be more profound than changing the entire Congress, the House and the Senate, over the issue of the war? Is there anybody out there who could argue that the American people asked for more money for Iraq? That the American people asked for more troops for Iraq? Did the American people ask to prolong or intensify the war in Iraq? None of those things are true. What the American people want is to get out of Iraq. The test is going to be on this bill. The vote on this bill is going to be the moment of truth.
I agree with Congressman Kucinich. This was an elective war that Bush and Cheney ordered for the American people. Current and future generations will have to pay too much for it. It should be ended before the Presidential elections of 2008.

Bush and Cheney ordered the meal. They should be made to eat their war, before they are excused from the table.