|jazzoLOG: Alone And Angry: If Bush Were In AA|
26 comments5 Dec 2006 @ 15:14 by A member in DC @184.108.40.206 : Scary
If he is a sober member, it is pretty certain he is not attending meetings here in DC. Frequent celebs and politicians do get mentioned among members. It would be no secret if he attended meetings here. What's scary about the prospect of Bush being an AA member is that, if he is not attending meetings, his state of mind sober--especially in the position he holds--could be described as nothing less than insane.
But again, no sign of W in DC area AA. It is more likely he is truly convinced of his direct line to God. He's a zealot. It's fairly obvious.
5 Dec 2006 @ 15:58 by jazzolog : I Am Honored
and relieved to find this comment. My greatest worry and hesitation in approaching this subject is concern I'll offend or betray members of Alcoholics Anonymous. I've tried to be very careful in what I say.
5 Dec 2006 @ 19:06 by vaxen : Sure...
gotta have someone and/or something to blame for everyones' failings, eh? Bush is a programmed multiple. Now do some serious research and stop looking for love in all the wrong places! AA is a joke.
Studying the facade of things will not get you any closer to the core. Grow up and look inside yourself for all the probl;ems you see reflected ''out there.''
I apply the same ''rule'' to my own domaines. So don't think I'm lambasting you personally at all. Getting caught up in the web of deceit, such as you have done above (and elsewhere), will not solve any problems at all.
You mentioned handlers... do you know who, or what, they are?
The little men in grey fancy themselves to be rich and untouchable. Harijans all. Converting to X-tianity won't save them. They are putty in our hands. This is our world. Do you know who we are? Not a chance!
So, if you want to get anywhere in this great miasma, spread out before you, take command of your own ship... but you don't even know how to do that so why lay the blame at the feat of a simple man who is just a tool? Because you can't face your own guilt long enough to get free of it all and reclaim your own sovereignty. Sovereignty without subjects.
The house of mirrors is your own souls domain. Know who you are then you'll be done with all the fancy rhetoric, ad-hominem, and dis-grace.
You are saved by grace alone and there is nothing that you can or cannot do about it save... be who you are.
That, my friend, is more than enough.
5 Dec 2006 @ 21:19 by jazzolog : Prohibition Repealed
and effective this date in 1933. Will coincidence never cease?
Looking again at and feeling the weight of the Barrows' illustration above, I thank God for AA and the assistance it has given freely to millions of souls previously insane.
"You'll encounter many obstacles along the road to living your dreams. Some obstacles may be real, some imagined, some may be tangible, and some may be intangible. Some of those obstacles will be created by others, and some will be self-imposed. However they manifest, you will always be given the choice as to whether you give them power."
5 Dec 2006 @ 23:33 by quinty : Well, if I may add my two cents worth
to this, the issue of our president's mental stability has been around for awhile. A long time, in fact. Is he a "dry drunk?" Is he still on the hooch? (The odd bruises he sometimes displays.) Is he dyslexic? Is he crazy? A religious fanatic? A moron?
For me, at least, insanity and stupidity sometimes are difficult to tell apart. Since the behavior and outcome of stupid or insane behavior are often much alike.
Regarding Bush I've tended to lean more toward judging it's the moronic side, aggravated by some sort of nervous imbalance. A friend - an ex cop - swears to me he's a classic sociopath: always smiling, insensitive to the sufferings of others (by this time in the Vietnam War war LBJ was suffering enormously), a salesman and showman and puppet of others - Cheney, Rice, his Texas and neocon handlers.
Now, as we all know, had Bush not been the son of his illustrious father he would probably have been lucky to have risen to the position of Manager of the Shoe Department at a Sears. And that he has actually earned and accomplished nothing on his own in his life. In fact, he has always required someone powerful to sustain and protect him. That James Baker chairs the Iraq Study Group has an unsettling air of deja vu about it.
Does President Bush suffer over the pain, discord, and misery he has brought to the world? LBJ lasted only a few more years after he resigned from public life, a broken man. Does Bush display any such introspective recognition of his failures? Does he grasp the depth of his deceit and dishonesty? Is he simply in complete denial? Can he ever admit to himself what he has done?
For he continues to smile. No matter what he says, what the topic is, he offers the same delivery and smile. And as the body count increases in Iraq he still leaps on stage, selling his war, smiling, loving it. The perfect salesman. Posturing and lying yet again. Is this because he is a moron? A dry drunk? Imbalanced? A man so deeply shallow that he can not even begin to grasp the full reality surrounding him? Can he step away from his former drinking, his powerful protective family, and face the impact of what he brought the world?
These questions are enormously important, not because what happens to George W. Bush particularly matters, but because of their significance to the world. To the American people. We not only have the exploding quagmire in Iraq but global warming, a crisis in energy and healthcare, and other enormous societal problems which have gone neglected throughout George Bush’s presidency. Problems he doesn’t even appear to have recognized.
And now, today, his new Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates, tells us we are losing the war in Iraq. In complete and direct contradiction to his boss. How weird!
Also - Eric Foner, the great Columbia historian, has also put Bush at the bottom of the list, if by some chance that news passed by you.
6 Dec 2006 @ 03:29 by vaxen : Dear man...
it is not his war! Look deeper. Please don't get stranded in the under brush. The bush there is just too deep and retards a good scan of the overall topography. Onward, then, to Teheran...
Iraq was made by the British. Do you know why? The next move has been centuries in the planning its' execution is not far away. Rather think/thing on this Faberge:
No one who goes to the killing fields of Iraq comes back whole. The DU will get them... every one. Oh, you might not see the effects for another 10 or so years but you will see the effects. cf. Operation Desert Storm.
As far as the WMD are concerned? They're undersea in silent running subs donated by our cousins in Russia who also know the plan. Make sure that you are safe when the strike comes. It will come. Of that there can be no doubt.
If you think that the Democrats are going to change things... then read between the lines. Again, I reiderate...
Make sure that you are safe. Plenty of drinking water on hand, food for awhile, a plan and that plans' backup and a backup to that backup.
We're at war and nobody cares? Gotta get those gifts for the kiddies. Gotta repeat the age old lie. Santa Claus is anything but who they say he is. In Jolly Old England Saint Nick is an epithet for the Devil. You know, Old Duval.
Oh, they're just programmed that way. Do you know the knocks and knells? It isn't the CEO that you should be watching and the Vice lord was a lineman before taking the plunge.
The inner workings of the big clock are secret and only those who know can tell you exactly what time it is. The gears aren't made of bronze anymore. And space is a place beyond the stars.
Christmas? Surely you jest? Let East be West. Let North be South. In Amenti (Amen-Ti) will your soul be weighed in the balance then judged. You be the judge?
On Har Tabor there is a monestary. The mountain is called 'the mount of transfiguration (trance-figuration?).' The Amenita Muscaria grows all over that mountain. But that is not where the Mashiach trance-mogrifies his soul.
From the lower soul of the astral regions to that yechida that's found on high... a river flows. It flows for you. Crystal clear the water, bitter to the taste, yet...
When that Son rises there is healing in its' wings. So let all those messengers (Malachiim) proclaim this Jubilee and let all the captive souls be free!
For today is the day of your own salvation (Tshuva=Return) to the way within all ways. Even the political...
6 Dec 2006 @ 03:32 by vaxen : PS:
DU you re-cognize the Rune on the cloth in the back-ground? ;)
Who exactl;y was it that held Moshes' arms up during that famous battle?
Re-member Langue De Oc?
Remember Jaques De Molay and our Templars?
What did that camel bring to Nuremberg?
Rio Do Mar
6 Dec 2006 @ 10:54 by jazzolog : Picture Of Foner Hearing Bush Iran Plans
Apparently Sy Hersch was describing the invasion plans as Eric Foner listened. The photo and description are courtesy of a delightful blog just now in my attention. http://majikthise.typepad.com/majikthise_/
Paul's reference to the historian's article probably harks to Dana's posting of it online yesterday afternoon. However, it was one of the 5 in the Washington Post that I mentioned up there. Here's the actual link to just Professor Foner's opinion piece~~~
and a little glitz to brighten the discussion!
Sorry Vax, and surprisesurprise! I didn't know the answers to any of your typically riveting questions (I believe the camel's name was Sid though)...and haven't the time right now to Google through the briers of your consciousness, briers growing at NCN challengingly close to my underbrush.
6 Dec 2006 @ 16:09 by vaxen : That's ok...
I'm sure the Bish handlers are more than happy that people are so blind as to employ endless non-think in typical Iron Heel fasion. You are all towing the line so very well. Your war will breed handsome profits for the oh so invested and what can you do about it? Nothing...
When the ''troops'' wake up, if they ever do, to the fact that they are being systematically murdered and sacrificed for a goal they can neither perceive nor adequately understand... they'll begin to frag their mikro-managing administrator officers -- then, and only then, will the walking dead come home. Home?
Saint Shaul was marvelously/mercilessly erudite in dying to that fleshly man that his hope might flower in the eternal life of the spiritual man. Broken records get thrown away. Black Ops has no need of auditor flunkies... it's all pure profit.
6 Dec 2006 @ 16:18 by jazzolog : Hey Vax, Cheer Up
You've got Nicola Raye commenting over at your place. She always leads a merry meditation. Meanwhile we'll be busy beating the bushes to scrape enough money together to have any social services remaining at all in our towns and cities. Much work to do!
6 Dec 2006 @ 17:18 by vaxen : Thanks...
jazzolog. It isn't the bushes we've got to beat, would it were so simple. I am placing this article, by William Lind, here for your perusal so if you think it is too long please redact to suit your taste but it is important enough since you've a view of the inner cities not common to the great unwashed masses of this our fair republic:
by William S. Lind
Last week, one of my students, a Marine captain, asked whether I had heard a news report about an "IED-like device" supposedly found near Cincinnati, and if I thought we would soon start seeing IEDs here in the U.S. I replied that I had not heard the news story, but as to whether we would see IEDs here at home, the answer is yes.
One of the things U.S. troops are learning in Iraq is how people with little training and few resources can fight a state. Most American troops will see this within the framework of counterinsurgency. But a minority will apply their new-found knowledge in a very different way. After they return to the U.S. and leave the military, they will take what they learned in Iraq back to the inner cities, to the ethnic groups, gangs, and other alternate loyalties they left when they joined the service. There, they will put their new knowledge to work, in wars with each other and wars against the American state. It will not be long before we see police squad cars getting hit with IEDs and other techniques employed by Iraqi insurgents, right here in the streets of American cities.
I know this thought – not to speak of the reality when it happens – will be shocking to some readers. To anyone who really understands Fourth Generation war, it should not be. Fourth Generation war does not merely work on the will of a state’s political leaders, as some theorists have said. It does something far more powerful. It pulls an opposing state apart at the moral level.
We saw this phenomenon in the effect the defeat in Afghanistan had on the Soviet Union. Just as that defeat led to the disintegration of the USSR, so defeat in the current Afghan war will bring the disintegration of NATO. We are seeing 4GW pull Israel apart today, to the point where a leaden blanket of Kulturpessimismus now oppresses that country.
We will see the same thing here, powerfully I think, as a result of our defeat in Iraq. It will manifest itself in many ways, and one of those ways will be the progression of inner-city and gang crime into something close to warfare, including war against the state.
Police will not be surprised by this prediction. I have talked with cops about Fourth Generation war, and they "get it" much better than do American soldiers and Marines. Many have told me that they already recognize elements of war in what they are encountering, especially in inner cities. Cops have been killed while just sitting in their cruisers, because they represent the authority of the state. How big a step is it for those cruisers to get hit with IEDs instead of pistol shots?
The Bush administration, as usual, has it exactly backwards. The danger is not that the "terrorists" we are fighting in Iraq will come here if we pull out there. Rather, American involvement in 4GW in Iraq will create "terrorism" here from among the people we have sent to fight the war there. Well educated in the ways of successful insurgency, they will come home embittered by a lost war, by friends dead and crippled for life to no purpose. Thanks to America’s de-industrialization, they will return to no jobs, or lousy "service" jobs at minimum wage. Angry, frustrated and futureless, some of them will find new identities and loyalties in gangs and criminal enterprises, where they can put their new talents to work.
It will, of course, be only a small minority of returning troops who will go this route. But something else they will have learned from the Iraqi insurgents, along with how to make and deploy IEDs, is that it takes very few people to create and sustain an insurgency.
The boomerang effect is a central element of Fourth Generation war. When a state involves itself in 4GW over there, it lays a basis for 4GW at home. That is true even if it wins over there, and all the more true if it loses, as states usually do. The toxic fallout from America’s 4GW defeats in Iraq and Afghanistan will be far greater than most people expect, and it will fall most heavily on America’s police.
December 6, 2006
William Lind [send him mail firstname.lastname@example.org ] is an analyst based in Washington, DC.
Copyright © 2006 William S. Lind
6 Dec 2006 @ 20:26 by vaxen : PS:
Have you seen what your Gestapo has done to Jose Padilla? You could be next. Or Dana, or your child...
No amount of Ad-Hominem attacks will prevent that from happening. "Only you can prevent forest fires." --- Smokey the Bear
"Let no man think we can deny civil liberty to others and retain it for ourselves. When zealous agents of the Government arrest suspected "radicals" without warrant, hold them without prompt trial, deny them access to counsel and admission of bail....we have shorn the Bill of Rights of its sanctity..." -- Robert M. Lafollette, Sr. (1855-1925) U.S. Senator - Source: The Progressive, March 1920
"Whenever justice is uncertain and police spying and terror are at work, human beings fall into isolation, which, of course, is the aim and purpose of the dictator state, since it is based on the greatest possible accumulation of depotentiated social units." -- Carl Gustav Jung - (1875-1961) Source: The Undiscovered Self, 1957
"Why nationalize industry when you can nationalize the people?": -- Adolf Hitler - (1889-1945) Source: quoted in Robert N. Proctor, The Nazi War on Cancer (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1999), p. 74.
"Individuals have international duties which transcend the national obligations of obedience…therefore [individual citizens] have the duty to violate domestic laws to prevent crimes against peace and humanity from occurring." : Nuremberg War Crime Tribunal, 1950
"Some explanations of a crime are not explanations: they’re part of the crime.": Olavo de Cavarlho
"And so long as they were at war, their power was preserved, but when they had attained empire they fell, for of the arts of peace they knew nothing, and had never engaged in any employment higher than war." Aristotle, Politics
"It would be some time before I fully realized that the United States sees little need for diplomacy. Power is enough. Only the weak rely on diplomacy ... The Roman Empire had no need for diplomacy. Nor does the United States." : Boutros Boutros-Ghali
FSP Website: http://www.freestateproject.org Liberty in our Lifetime
7 Dec 2006 @ 12:43 by jazzolog : "My" Gestapo
Yeah, I just put up an entry that includes Scheer's article. But Vax, how come it's "my" Gestapo? Don't you reside somewhere inside the United States? Do you pay rent or trade services to some commune or whatever-it-is for your humble abode? Does that community pay any taxes or is it a "religious" outfit? How do you come off in nearly every comment as being removed and somehow not responsible---even if you're not a citizen? Are you not mixing the sweat of your labor and resistance with this nation's soil like the rest of us?
7 Dec 2006 @ 14:02 by rayon : All's a healthy here
it would appear, at least to know a serious situation is better than not to know it is upon us, the papers are talking of meltdown missing Greenspan because his successor is not viewed as being able to pull off certain short termism fiscal stunts.
7 Dec 2006 @ 16:41 by vaxen : I guess...
that attitude of mine comes from being so dis-associated from the mass of humanity over many years in many climes. Perhaps it was a bit of a slight, I often interject a hook that I might guage the metal of that hooks responder, but it wasn't really personal. Business never is. ;)
Perhaps that is one problem that, somewhere in time will ultimately be addressed by this trance-national. In this world yet not of it.
Tweaking my own mind doesn't connote a lack of response-ability. I'm a rapid responder yet... I feel connected only to the vast corpus which goes by the overall collective term of 'human kind' rather than to any legal fiction state or nation.
Meltdown, would it were, of the Federal Reserve and all its attendent lackeys is my dream come true. The dark mother wends her ways through the halls of Men-ti and laughs the laugh of infinite delight. Maya is stage craft.
I attend gruppe function only to examine the inner alters which are bio-electrically drawn unto me for they are mirrors, only, of my inner mind and thus stated enable me to see exactly who I am in an infinite, seeming, sea of plurality.
Thanks jazzolog for being you. Your students must love you...
7 Dec 2006 @ 17:14 by quinty : Vax -
I found your remarks insulting too. Somehow it appears there is a lack of connect there. Do you grasp how sharp the end of your "hook" can be? You understand what empathy is, don't you?
We are a complicated and funny species alright. And our views of the world surrounding us vary very greatly, from dark to bright.
Those who see things darkly may suppose others are as vile as they perceive themselves to be. And then there are those who mean well and acknowledge that if they themselves mean well then others must too. Even if perhaps wrong. Those filled with self hatred may believe others deserve the same hatred. The same loathing. And have no qualms about throwing out a "hook" no matter how much damage it does. I'm not saying that this is true about you. I don't know. But your remarks come close at times to be terribly condescending and insulting. So I just thought I would point this out to you. You may consider this untoward. But then I recieved your barb. And that has given me a right to speak.
You are not the only one, Vax, inhabiting some space on our world. Nor have you been gifted with a special grasp of the truth. Disagree all you wish. I really don't mind being corrected when I'm wrong. But please don't call me a dunce and expect me to respect that as serious criticism.
It's tough for all of us, believe me. And as a rule it's never a good idea to lash out. That often denotes fear. Which, in my opinion, is one of the root causes for all the suffering we inflict upon each other in the world.
You may not agree. Fine. Have a good day (I hope.)
8 Dec 2006 @ 02:31 by vaxen : Thanks...
Quinty. I do appreciate. very much, any constructive criticism. Especially when offered by you, jazzolog, some other people here at NCN -- whom I have come to respect over the many years that I've been here.
I don't see where I called you a dunce, though, but if you felt that I did than I must ask you to accept an apology from me. I was trained to destroy minds and sometimes I forget that there are real people here with real feelings and that they do get hurt by me. I can no longer just look the other way and call it ''collateral damage'' as I once did. So, in that respect, I am growing.
Jazzolog has called me here and there and now you, others have too, so I hope that my normal response has been tamed, if even a bit, by my appreciation of what you (pl.) are and are doing for us all in this chaos we are softly treading our varied ways through.
Hope you'll accept my apology, not as a sign of weakness, but as heartfelt concern. Doesn't mean I won't overstep my bounds and tramp on toes, once in awhile, but through interchange of ideas I too may just mellow out towards a real and positive end that we can all appreciate.
But to call a Republic a Democracy when it isn't? Not that you did... will always bring forth a bit of stealth from the fire within. I do respect you all sincerely, though, but have you ever really been on the floor of Congress and seen what goes on there between people? Or had to chair a meeting of execs over issues? Or had to command a company of men?
As I mentioned, above, a hook (perhaps a poor choice of words) enables me to see deeper into a mans metal especially when the man doesn't bite or...
Well, thanks man for being honest. There really are computers that can do all that...
"When a leader allows himself to break the rules of humanity, it is the duty of every citizen to break the leader's rules." --- Franz Jagerstatter.
8 Dec 2006 @ 19:12 by Quinty @220.127.116.11 : Well, Vax
your apology couldn't be more gracious. Nor should anyone see it as an expression of weakness.
"..... in this chaos we are softly treading our varied ways through."
Very well said.
8 Dec 2006 @ 23:39 by vaxen : Thanks...
Quinty. Thanks a lot. Luv you and hope all is well in your neck of this very strange forest.
I think my eigen functions are a bit blown out so Adios Amigo. I'm so happy you understand.
9 Dec 2006 @ 16:07 by koravya : Obiter Dictum
Having read through all of this this morning,
I'd just like to say that I think you guys are all great.
I'm in here looking for stuff for my own thoughtful development
of understanding, and for stuff that I can share with the students in my Globalization class. I've got a great group this quarter, 13 students who
want to know... they really want to know. Everything in here, the facts,
the opinions, and the mutual considerations, are all right on.
Much appreciation to your respective realities.
9 Dec 2006 @ 16:46 by Quinty @18.104.22.168 : Why hell
Vax and I throw barbs at each other and it turns out to be a love fest.
Anyway of importing this into the Middle East?
10 Dec 2006 @ 03:06 by jazzolog : Time To Turn The 'Puter Over To Spouse
for the late night's browsing about The Queen, which AMAZING movie we just saw. Thanks for the comments on and from all sides. But for now, after a long day, I shall retire to my great pile of pillows with the last thought in mind of Quinty and Vax celebrating love festivals (watch out for the machete, Paul)...watching them weave and dance around the fire, as I drop into the blackness...
20 Dec 2006 @ 11:07 by jazzolog : I Need A Meeting!
Boy, does Georgie ever! Here we've had these midterm elections, in which as clear a mandate as ever could be heard proclaimed Clean up the money-grubbing corruption! and Get our soldiers home! So far the Democratic leadership replies Pelosi: Impeachment is off the table and Reid: Let's give Bush more soldiers to send over there.
We have to understand if Bush never went to AA, his denial mechanism is unexamined and raging fullblast...especially in the face of a family confrontation like the Iraq Study Group. Speaking of faces, look at Georgie's these days. Where is that cheerleader We can WinWinWin? Where's that fratboy impudence? He's gaunt...like Scrooge: Up the stairs Scrooge went, not caring a button for the darkness; darkness is cheap and Scrooge liked it.
Every newspaper has the headline screaming across the top this morning: Bush Wants More Troops! The flames of civil war Saddam and Papa Bush warned us about are raging through Baghdad, the people scream and vote for Peace, and so Bush wants kerosene and vodka for the fire.
Two superb articles the past couple days on this. Eugene Robinson's column in yesterday's Washington Post is titled A "Surge" In Wasted Sacrifice http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/12/18/AR2006121800945.html . Joe Galloway has been the military correspondent supreme in America since Viet Nam, and wrote of Desperation In The White House last Sunday http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/news/opinion/16250266.htm .
20 Dec 2006 @ 11:44 by jazzolog : Wasted Sacrifice
A 'Surge' in Wasted Sacrifice
By Eugene Robinson
Tuesday, December 19, 2006; A29
Here's an idea: Let's send MORE U.S. troops to Iraq. The generals say it's way too late to even think about resurrecting Colin Powell's "overwhelming force" doctrine, so let's send over a modest "surge" in troop strength that has almost no chance of making any difference -- except in the casualty count. Oh, and let's not give these soldiers and Marines any sort of well-defined mission. Let's just send them out into the bloody chaos of Baghdad and the deadly badlands of Anbar province with orders not to come back until they "get the job done."
I don't know about you, but that strikes me as a terrible idea, arguably the worst imaginable "way forward" in Iraq. So of course this seems to be where George W. Bush is headed.
Don't assign any real significance to the fact that the president has decided to wait until the new year before announcing his next step in Iraq, because if history is any guide, all of this photo-op "consultation" he's doing is just for show -- to convince us, or maybe to convince himself, that he has an open mind. The Decider doesn't have the capacity for indecision.
Through Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, he has ruled out direct talks with Iran and Syria to try to enlist their cooperation in quelling Iraq's sectarian civil war. Through his own remarks, he has ruled out a firm timetable for a U.S. withdrawal. He has declared himself open to any and all advice, but he rules out any course of action that in his estimation will "lead to defeat."
So much for the Iraq Study Group. So much for the will of the voters. As Dick Cheney helpfully spelled out just before the election, "full speed ahead."
At least the Decider is consistent. From the start his administration's approach to this botched war has been to sort through all the tactical alternatives and pick the most counterproductive -- send too few troops, disband the Iraqi army, stand by while looters destroy critical infrastructure and the social order, allow sectarian militias to fill the power vacuum, make reconstruction an afterthought, and put know-nothings in charge of it.
There are more than 140,000 U.S. troops in Iraq, and it's unclear what they are supposed to be accomplishing. It should be obvious that to establish security in all of Iraq and disarm the sectarian militias -- to conduct a proper occupation, in other words -- would require a massive infusion of boots on the ground. The Pentagon says that finding even an additional 20,000 to 30,000 troops to send would be a stretch, and officials warn (perhaps a little melodramatically) of the danger that the demands of Bush's war "will break" the U.S. Army.
I find it hard to believe that even this addle-brained administration is capable of breaking the Army. The generals could find 30,000 more troops to send, and I'll bet they could even find an extra 50,000 if they had to. But why?
Whom would they fight? Would they ally themselves with those elusive "mainstream" Sunnis, or maybe those publicity-shy "moderate" Shiites? Would they capture and hold territory, or would they continue the practice of staying for a while, turning the job over to Iraqi forces and then watching as the militias move back in? If an extra 20,000 troops were sent to Baghdad tomorrow, could they realistically be expected to establish order in a sprawling megacity where some two dozen armed militias control the streets? Since we would be providing 20,000 new targets for snipers and roadside bombs, how many do we calculate will die?
It is unconscionable to think about dispatching more young men and women to Iraq without the realistic expectation that their presence will make a difference in a war that is no longer in our control. Here in Washington, proponents of a troop "surge" speak of giving the whole Iraq adventure one last try. But they sound as if they're more concerned about projecting an image of American resolve than anything else. Does anyone think a symbolic troop increase is going to have the likes of Moqtada al-Sadr or Mahmoud Ahmadinejad tossing and turning through sleepless nights?
Doubling the number of American troops in Iraq would be wrong -- we need to get out, now, before we set the whole Middle East on fire -- but at least a surge of that scale would have a purpose. The modest increase now on the table would be purposeless and wrong. What could be more immoral than sacrificing American blood and treasure to save face in a lost war?
20 Dec 2006 @ 11:50 by jazzolog : Desperation
Posted on Sun, Dec. 17, 2006
Desperation in the White House
BY JOSEPH L. GALLOWAY
The power brokers in Washington spent the week carefully arranging fig leaves and tasteful screens to cover the emperor's nakedness while he was busy pretending to listen hard to everyone with an opinion about Iraq while hearing nothing.
Sometime early in the new year, President Bush will go on national television to tell a disgruntled American public what he has decided should be done to salvage ''victory'' from the jaws of certain defeat in the war he started.
The word on the street, or in the Pentagon rings, is that he'll choose to beef up U.S. forces on the ground in Iraq by 20,000 to 30,000 troops by various sleight-of-hand maneuvers -- extending the combat tours of soldiers and Marines who are nearing an end to their second or third year in hell and accelerating the shipment of others into that hell -- and send them into the bloody streets of Baghdad.
These additional troops are expected to restore order and calm the bombers and murderers when 9,000 Americans already in the sprawling capital couldn't. They're expected to do this even when Bush's favorite (for now) Iraqi politician, Prime Minister Nouri Kamel al-Maliki, refuses to allow them to act against his primary benefactor, the anti-American cleric Moqtada al Sadr and his Shiite Muslim Mahdi Army militiamen who kill both Americans and Sunni Arabs.
This hardly amounts to a ''new way forward'' unless that definition includes a new path deeper into the quicksand of a tribal and religious civil war where whatever Bush eventually decides is already inadequate and immaterial.
The military commanders on the ground -- from Gen. John Abizaid, the head of the U.S. Central Command, to his generals in Iraq -- have said flatly that more American troops aren't the answer and aren't wanted. For them, it's obvious that only a political decision -- an Iraqi political decision -- has even the possibility of producing an acceptable outcome.
The White House hopes that its much-trumpeted reshuffling of a failed strategy and flawed tactics will buy time for their bad luck to change miraculously. That this time will be bought and paid for with the lives and futures of our soldiers and Marines -- and their families -- apparently means little to these wise men who've never heard a shot fired in anger.
This president has made it painfully obvious that he has no intention of listening to anyone who doesn't believe that he's going to win in Iraq. He'll march stubbornly onward without any real change of course until high noon on January 20, 2009, when his successor will inherit both the hard decision to pull out of Iraq and the back bills for his reckless, feckless misadventure.
The midterm election that handed control of Congress to the Democrats can be ignored. His own approval rating in the polls, now at an all-time low of 27 percent -- likewise means little or nothing.
Only Bush's definition of reality carries any weight with him and therein lies the tragedy -- both his and ours.
James Baker was sent to Washington by the original George Bush, No. 41, to salvage something out of the mess that his son, Bush No. 43, has made of his presidency and the world. The Baker commission labored mightily and produced, if little else, some truth: That the situation in Iraq is dire and rapidly growing worse.
It's also clear, however, that Bush the son is paying no more than lip service to the Baker report. He doesn't want Dad's help, and the idea that he once again needs to be rescued from the consequences of his mistakes -- as he had to be so often back in Texas -- can only have hardened his resolve to stay the course.
This is akin to a drowning man who pushes away a life preserver just before he sinks for the last time. Can nothing save this man from himself -- from the voices that only he hears telling him that he, like George Washington and Abraham Lincoln and Harry Truman, will have his reputation and his place in American history restored and burnished long after his death?
What will happen to that impossible dream in the coming year if the congressional Democrats begin to do their job, issuing subpoenas and holding oversight hearings into the looting of billions from the national treasury by defense contractors and other fat-cat donors to the GOP?
What will happen if everything that President Bush does to string things along in Iraq fails, as has everything else he has done there so far, and the Iraqis ask, order or drive us out of their country?
Did you notice that at every stop on the president's information-gathering tour this week, there was a very familiar face looming over his shoulder?
It can be argued that Bush understood little about war and peace and diplomacy and honesty in government. Vice President Cheney understood all of it, and he bears much of the responsibility for what's gone on in Washington and in Iraq for the last six years. Keep a sharp eye on him. Desperate men do desperate things.
Joseph L. Galloway is former senior military correspondent for Knight Ridder Newspapers.
© 2006 MiamiHerald.com and wire service sources
20 Dec 2006 @ 21:59 by quinty : What Bush is doing
is so... so....so Bush.
Could anything be dumber? One thing about the conduct of this war which constantly reminds me of the Vietnam War is how any half bright or well informed high school kid seems to understand what's going on better than the "best and brightest" (did I say that about Bush's gang? Ignore it.) in Washington. Even though their apolgists sometime say: “Well, do you know as much as the president?” Uh, duh.
Do you have to be a Grant or a Lee to understand that adding 20 or 30 thousand troops to the conflagration will do nothing probably but add to the death toll, both American and Arabic?
And Richard, I do wish Bush would stop smiling. It has become a nervous tick with me. Whatever he talks about it's always the same stentorian delivery. Laura we need to change a lightbulb. We start bombing tomorrow. it doesn't matter to him. As an actor he has one persona, one line and delivery.
I must admit I didn't finish reading the above. (Got carried away.) Let me go back to it.
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