Is Bush’s Iraq deabacle in its last throes? Well if you define last throes the way that the Bush defined the “last throes of the insurgency” – the answer is YUP! It seems that Mr. Bush has learned a thing or two from the insurgency in Iraq about last throes. Last throes in fact last for years and are responsible for untold carnage and unlike the human body these “last throes” never end! But like those in the human body they inevitably lead to death.
True Mr. Bush’s cowboy “Bring ‘em on!” rhetoric has been slapped down- all you have to do is look at that pathetic speech he gave at the library in the White House where he did his best to avoid words like victory and winning. As Frank Rich wrote in the New York Times on Sunday- Bush went from being the slick and confident snake oil salesman Professor Henry Hill in “The Music Man” to the pathetic Willie Loman in “Death of a Salesman. But don’t forget Willie Loman still attempted some bravado- how ever self delusional that may have been. Same is true of the current President.
But behind that pathetic speech was a dangerous bravado that, like the “last throes” of the insurgency is ratcheting up the death and destruction in Iraq – not leading to its end. The New York Times in an editorial the day after Mr. Bush’s speech said:
“Mr. Bush did announce his plan for 20,000 more troops, and the White House trumpeted a $1 billion contribution to reconstruction efforts. Congress will debate these as if they are the real issues. But they are not. Talk of a “surge” ignores the other 132,000 American troops trapped by a failed strategy.
We have argued that the United States has a moral obligation to stay in Iraq as long as there is a chance to mitigate the damage that a quick withdrawal might cause. We have called for an effort to secure Baghdad, but as part of the sort of comprehensive political solution utterly lacking in Mr. Bush’s speech. This war has reached the point that merely prolonging it could make a bad ending even worse. Without a real plan to bring it to a close, there is no point in talking about jobs programs and military offensives. There is nothing ahead but even greater disaster in Iraq.”
And Mr. Bush is saber rattling with Iran. What can he and the neo-con nincompoops possibly be thinking? Is this an administration on crack? For more than two years after Saddam Hussein’s fall, the war in Iraq was about chasing down insurgents and Al Qaeda in Iraq. Last year it expanded to tamping down sectarian warfare. But over the past three weeks, in two sets of raids and newly revealed orders issued by President George W. Bush, a third front has opened — against Iran.
Bush vowed that US forces would “seek out and destroy” any networks funneling weapons or fighters from Syria or Iran into Iraq, and said he had ordered another US aircraft carrier strike group to the region. A senior military official said US planned to keep two aircraft carrier battle groups in the Gulf for months – the first such deployment since the first year of the Iraq war. The Pentagon also announced that an air defense battalion equipped with Patriot missile defense systems will go to the region.
For now, administration officials say, that effort has a limited goal: preventing Iranians from aiding in attacks on American and Iraqi forces inside Iraq. But in recent interviews and public statements, senior members of the Bush administration have made clear that their real agenda goes significantly further, toward a goal of containing Iran’s ability to exploit America’s troubles and realizing its dream of re- emerging as the greatest power in the Middle East.
In an interview in her office Friday, before she left on her latest Mideast trip, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice described what she called an “evolving” administration strategy to confront “destabilizing behavior” by Iran across the region. Bush’s national security adviser, Stephen Hadley, went further Sunday, when he said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that the United States was resisting an Iranian effort “to basically establish hegemony” throughout the region.
All that sabre rattling mixed with the administration’s attempts to play down the consequences combined with justification rhetoric is a confluence that seems eerily similar to what was being done just before we invaded Iraq.
Mr. Bush is not contrite- even if he said mistakes were made – he did not admit the biggest mistake of all- the invasion of Iraq. Now he is risking more troops and potentially creating a regional catastrophe by bringing Iran into the mess (does that remind anyone of President Nixon and Cambodia?). This seems odd to me since Mr. Bush says that if we withdraw one of the negative ramifications could be that the entire region blows up. I guess its okay for him to actively blow up the region than to leave the area to its own devices and let it happen organically if at all.
Well- I guess when Mr. Cheney, Mr. Rumsfeld, Ms. Rice and Mr. Bush all said the insurgency was in its last throes- they were neither deluded nor lying. They just redefined what “last throes” is and our new policy is an example of just what that new definition is. Move over Mr. Orwell… Mr. Bush has entered the room!