Friday, August 03, 2007

Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld are the Great Under-Estimators

It is midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil Iraq but our long national nightmare has barely begun.

The surge in US troop numbers was designed to provide a breathing space to pursue reconciliation. This was opportunity for the government of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to win a vote of no confidence from its patrons in Washington.

US Defence Secretary Robert Gates has said he is disappointed by the lack of political progress in Iraq. The immediate cause of Gate's disappointment were recent discouraging developments, especially the withdrawal of the main Sunni Arab bloc from the government of the Green Zone.
In some ways we probably all underestimated the depth of the mistrust and how difficult it would be for these guys to come together on legislation. The kinds of legislation they're talking about will establish the framework of Iraq for the future so it's almost like our constitutional convention... And the difficulty in coming to grips with those, we may all have underestimated six or eight months ago.
No. Not even close. Gates is covering for Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld.
  • They all underestimated the resentment of the Iraqi people for being invaded without provocation after they had been bombed and embargoed for ten years (for provocation).
  • They all underestimated the gratitude rage Iraqis would feel when their command and control infrastructure was deconstructed with our smart bombs Shock and Awe.
  • They all underestimated the fear of the Iraqis that the plunder of their oil reserves was the objective of their invaders.
  • They all underestimated the cultural, political, and historical complexities of Iraqi society.
  • They all underestimated the number of troops it would take to shove democracy down the throats of a people who had never had the urge to swallow such a delicacy.
In short, Bush and Cheney themselves, along with the cowboys they rode in with, are the great under-estimators. They are building for the American people in Iraq a bridge back to the 20th century to nowhere. We are to think that Bush and Cheney, as neo-colonial occupiers of Iraq, have no confidence in Malicki? More to the point: it is the American people, after having stupidly and unaccountably elected (twice!) this imperial executive, who now feel themselves an occupied people with no confidence in their Decider.

Do my docile fellow Americans now consign themselves to being passive passengers in a runaway bus? Do they think salavation is just around the corner in a year or so when the hijackers run out of gas?

No. Again, not even close. The residues of our nightmare will last decades. This eight-year episode will turn out to be expensive enough. We should get a start on dispelling our our demons and their fantasies now.

13 Moderated Comments:

Blogger J.C. said...

"This eight-year episode will turn out to be expensive enough. We should get a start on dispelling our demons and their fantasies now."

Pretty good post Vigilante.
Problem 1. Do we know how to dispell demons and their fantasies now, or have we gone over the edge, where unreality and abstractness rule to the point of not understanding our situation and why we are in it ?
I knew, you probably knew, and many people knew that this was going to end in disaster before it started.

Yet the desire to control that oil over rode everything, and the secondary desire to 'support' Israel over rode the rational world of thought and consequence, and instead went for harsh control, and the promotion of our religious crack pot 'friends' in Israel.
This only ends one way. Horribly.

8/03/2007 07:29:00 PM  
Blogger Mariamariacuchita said...

Reallly? And all along, I thought Bush just wanted to kick some Iraqi butt.

Who knew?

8/04/2007 11:49:00 AM  
Blogger Sapo said...

Do my docile fellow Americans now consign themselves to being passive passengers in a runaway bus?

Getting there... give me some time.

8/04/2007 01:13:00 PM  
Blogger Boris said...

I see nothing wrong with Sievert. Absolutely nothing with his statement.

8/04/2007 02:10:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chimpy's blood-and-money fest will wind up spelling the end of this country as surely as it spelled the end of Iraq.

Who will the "twenty percenters" blame when the day comes?

8/04/2007 06:58:00 PM  
Blogger Bob Keller said...

vigilante, My compliments on another near brilliant essay on the failures in judgment and planning on the part of Bush, Cheney and the neo-cons. As usual your rear view mirror is crystal clear.

Now how about turning on the GPS and outlining a path forward.

Since both Clinton and now Obama have made it clear that a quick exit is impossible and a residual force of 50,000 or more must remain for at least 18 to 24 months (or longer), what are the best plans for the future of Iraq?

Are the Dems (Obama and Clinton) plans really any different than the Reps? And, if you support neither, is there a way to build consensus around an alternative plan?

the Wizard........

8/04/2007 07:48:00 PM  
Blogger Bob Keller said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

8/04/2007 07:55:00 PM  
Blogger Bob Keller said...

And I agree that Skip's comments are particularly insightful. The quest for oil stability and support of Israel do drive both political parties and push Obama and Clinton closer to the position of the Republican's 9 dwarfs (my advance apologies to all little people for equating them wih the miniature stature of the presidential candidates on the Republican side).

Skip is often correct - it becomes tough to tell one side from the other.......

8/04/2007 07:58:00 PM  
Blogger Indicted Plagiarist said...

It is a group of military experts at the American Enterprise Institute, and not Neo-Cons that Bush and Cheney are relying on to bail themselves out of their Iraqi disaster with their surge.

8/05/2007 07:24:00 AM  
Blogger Messenger said...

Compare American occupation of Iraq with the British occpation of Northerm Ireland, recently completed after 38 years! The differences are bi-polar.

In the first place, the orgins of foreign presence are opposite. At the time of Bush's 2003 invasion, the United States and Iraq had a dozen years of a luke-warm war: sanctions, hostile overflights and periodic bombardment. The economic sanctions took a toll on the Iraqi people. Humanitarian organizations have estimated that as many as 500,000 Iraqis died as a result of the sanctions and the Hussein regime exploited very opportunity to blame the US for Iraq’s adversity. When the US invaded, American air forces proudly unveiled their “shock and awe” campaign, designed to frighten and terrorize the Iraqi people as well cripple their command and control infrastructure. Nevertheless Bush's simplistic NeoCon ideologues expected US forces to march into Baghdad on a carpet of rose petals.

Britain didn’t invade Northern Ireland and didn’t need to fight their way onto Irish shores. Even Catholics initially welcomed British troops in the hope they would quell the violence. Catholics served tea to the soldiers and welcomed them into their homes.

North Ireland Occupation Banner was geopolitically simple because of physical, shared linguistic, historical, and cultural proximity. Human intellence was facilitated by the Brits capability to infiltrate the IRA. In Iraq, our occupation troops have to resort to local translators who have targets on their backs.

The British military was not a peacekeeping force there, standing between bloodthirsty Catholics on one side and bloodthirsty Protestants on the other, as is commonly understood. Rather, it was an occupying force determined to defeat the IRA and to quash demands for independence. In Iraq American forces are confronted with a veritable free-for-all between three major sectarians groups as well as intra-sectarian violence.

In Northern Ireland, the ultimate form of government was never a major issue. Britain attempted unsuccessfully to find a way to restore discontinued governemt to the province. In Iraq, the Americans set about convening a new Iraqi government (what took the British 30 years would be done in one year). And Bush's Neo-Consewrvative doctrine required an open, parliamentarian form of government despite the fact that Iraqis had lived under a series of dictatorships since British mapmakers created their artificial state in the 1950's.

Consider the difference in ratios of occupation forces to native population. The population of Northern Ireland is about 1.5 million; hence overall troop levels were about 1 soldier per 50 citizens. More realistically, the ratio was closer to 1:17, since the security forces were aligned primarily against the Catholic population numbering about 500,000. Despite these concentration of forces, violence continued for nearly 30 years.

To get to this ratio in Iraq (Pop. 25,000,000), American forces would have to number would range between 500,000 (1:50) and 1.6 million (1:16).

8/05/2007 08:30:00 AM  
Blogger Vigilante said...

To the Wizard:

I have been doing some thinking about redeployment from Iraq plans but can't find a block of time to put it together.

The trip out of Iraq should be managed better than the trip in. That requires more competent & less compromised leadership than that which stampeded our wounded post-911 nation into invading Iraq in the first place. If Bush and Cheney were in impeachment mode now, there would be light at the end of the long, dark tunnel that faces my fellow Americans. But we are falling behind my timeline. To answer your question, in my mind there is no "way to build consensus around an alternative plan" to put the fire out as long as we have the original pyromaniacs in charge.

The first step to getting out is to announce a date certain when re-deployment begins. The reason is clear. We have been saying that 'we will stand down when Iraqi soldiers stand up'. There's not a dime's difference between that and 'We will leave when the indigenous resistance against our occupation ends'. Between the two, there's no daylight to the Iraqi in the street. To anyone but half of the fake Government of the Green Zone (GOGZ), that means we will never leave, because no occupied people ever quits resistance.

As an American, I feel have felt occupied by Weimar Republicans since 2003. I will not STFU until Bush and Cheney are repudiated by Americans who elected them and welcomed the occupation.

Does that include you?

8/06/2007 07:19:00 AM  
Blogger Vigilante said...

I have engaged Wizard in a promising dialogue on his site in which he quotes approvingly of Ken Pollack. To bolster my argument about how compromised the current Bush-Cheney warparty is, let me also quote Pollack. He apologized for his 2002 book, The Threatening Storm: The Case for Invading Iraq, in the Jan/Feb 2004 issue of The Atlantic Magazine "Spies, Lies, and Weapons: What Went Wrong," where he said:

"When the United States confronts future challenges, the exaggerated estimates of Iraq's WMD will loom like an ugly shadow over the diplomatic discussions. Fairly or not, no foreigner trusts U.S. intelligence to get it right anymore, or trusts the Bush Administration to tell the truth."

Xactly what I've been sayin'!

8/06/2007 08:05:00 AM  
Blogger GetaLife-ReadUrNews said...

Irony is always an amazing thing. In Iraq this administration has never been concerned with anything other than WMD. It has been indifferent about weapons of individual destruction. That's why it has lost track of 14,000 small arms. Weapons of individual destruction have killed more Americans in Iraq than Osama killed on 911.

8/06/2007 08:11:00 PM  

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