Sunday, November 09, 2008

How Bush Lost the War in Iraq

One of the most dishonest legacies of the Bush Administration is the Iraq War - dishonest in its conception, dishonest in its execution, and dishonest in its results. This is the argument of Peter W. Galbraith's new book, Unintended Consequences.

One of the Bush Administration's most pernicious propaganda triumphs has been the baseless claim that the so-called surge has been a success. Only in Bush's world of spin does one increase troops in order to reduce them. Only in Bush's world of spin is it considered a triumph when more troops are required than when the war started. Only in Bush's echo chamber is a "surge " a continuous operation - the "surge" troops still haven't come home. The "surge" has not resulted in any troop reductions. The surge has not brought peace to rival factions.

Meanwhile, the tribal and sectarian forces within Bagdad are biding their time, fully aware that the United States, depleted by mismanagement, incompetence and a failed economy, cannot afford to continue an occupation indefinitely, even if an Obama administration were to desire it. Bush has knowingly placed the Iraqi War in a holding pattern, knowing that if his "surge" holds just long enough for him to exit the White House, any withdrawal of troops and subsequent collapse of Iraqi "stability" will be placed at the feet of Obama and the Democrats. And this is precisely the illusion that Galbraith is puncturing.

George Bush lost the war.

It is a pity that Obama did not respond more forcefully to Republican claims of success, as it will make the inevitable Republican onslaught all the more difficult to counter, but Galbraith provides the argument, ammunition and the evidence. Even conservative columnist David Brooks considers in the "smartest and most devastating" critic of President George W. Bush's Iraq policies.

"Peter Galbraith was the earliest expert to describe Iraq's breakup into religious and ethnic entities, a reality now commonly accepted.

The Iraq war was intended to make the United States more secure, bring democracy to the Middle East, intimidate Iran and Syria, help win the war on terror, consolidate American world leadership, and entrench the Republican Party for decades. Instead,

  • Bush handed Iran its greatest strategic triumph in four centuries
  • U.S. troops now fight to support an Iraqi government led by religious parties intent on creating an Iranian-style Islamic republic
  • As part of the surge, the United States created a Sunni militia led by the same Baathists the U.S. invaded Iraq to overthrow administration gave Iran and North Korea a free pass to advance their nuclear programs
  • Obsessed with Iraq's nonexistent WMD, the Bush administration gave Iran and North Korea a free pass to advance their nuclear programs
  • Turkey, a key NANATO ally long considered a model pro-Western Muslim democracy, became one of the most anti-American countries in the world
  • U.S. prestige around the world reached an all-time low

Iraq: Galbraith challenges the assertion that the surge will lead to victory. By creating a Sunni army, the surge has, in fact, contributed to Iraq's breakup and set the stage for an intensified civil war between Sunnis and Shiites. If the United States wishes to escape the Iraq quagmire, it must face up to the reality that the country has broken up and cannot be put back together.

Iran: Having helped Iran's allies take control in Baghdad, the Bush administration no longer has a viable military option to stop Iran's nuclear program. Galbraith discusses how a president more pragmatic than Bush might get Iran to freeze its nuclear program as part of a package deal to upgrade relations between two countries equally threatened by Sunni extremism.

Turkey, Syria, and Israel: A war intended to make Israel more secure, undermine Syria's Assad regime, and strengthen ties with Turkey has had the opposite result.

Nationalism: In the coming decades, other countries may follow Iraq's example in fragmenting along ethnic and religious lines. Galbraith draws on his considerable experience in Iraq and the former Yugoslavia to predict where and what the United States might do about it."

The Democrats, Republicans and Obama need to level with the American people before George Bush leaves the White House. Place responsibility for this fiasco, for the lost war, where it belongs.

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

Yet another blame-Bush-for-everything book. How exciting! PG forgot to mention Gadhafi's own confession to having disarmed his WMD program due to the U.S. led Iraqi occupation at cnn.com and dated Dec. 22, 2003. duh.

PG claims no 21st century WMD in Saddam-run Iraq when a webpage (also at google and called "Saddam's WMD: Discovery and denial":) shows otherwise, as does the book "Shadow Warriors" by Kenneth Timmerman, "On the Hunt" by Col. David Hunt, and "Disinformation" by Richard Miniter.

Many people simply cannot handle the whole truth and need a constant souce of biased information to feed their appetite for hatred of Bush.

Aaron said...

Yes, many people cannot handle *your* distorted version of the "truth", including Colin Powell and a host of military generals.

There's nobody left on your side but kool-aid drinking talk radio cult members. Smell the coffee.

Colin-oscopy said...

So I mention 3 books, all NY Times bestsellers, but Aaron concludes they are simply "my" distorted version of the truth. Ok fine.
That's pretty thin, even for you.

Colon Powell is quite irrelevant and turned on his own party as soon as it appeared that Obama might win. How noble!
A few black journalists
(Sowell and Steele) are referring him as an 'Uncle Tom' type trying anything to get on the O-train and stay in the limelight.
Your "host of generals" are just a bunch of retired and forgotten lifers who sit by the phone waiting for CNN to call.

Aaron also writes: "many people cannot handle *your* distorted version of the truth."

I did not say "my" truth, I said the "whole" truth, as in 'both sides of the story.' But then, as with all genuine "koolaid drinkers"
(look up the actual definition)
there is only one side of the story, and all other perspectives are "distorted." So profound!
You two are really priceless:-)

Aaron said...

Lol, now Colin Powell is not credible because he voted for Obama. Let me guess.... you think it was just because Obama is black right? Powell is not a man of integrity. I see.

And I suppose after your war bluster, you still support putting Palin right next to the presidency- a person who hadn't thought 5 minutes about foreign policy until her first tutorial a couple of months ago. Gee, how congruent.

Still talking about WMDs... Oh.My.Gaaawwwwd. Give it up already.

I guess there does have to be special T.V. and radio stations for people like you. To me they are comedic misinfotainment. To you it is "the news".

Here's a question, and it isn't a trick question- what have conservatives been *correct* about since 9/11?

* They made fun of people who cared about green energy all day long every day on talk radio... until it hit their pocket books. Then they pretended the idea was all their own.

* They continue to make excuses for a war now considered almost unanimously to have been a mistake. The debate is over except for the most insane reaches of talk radio.

* They made fun of people who wanted to reform healthcare, but are now trying to find a way to run on healthcare in the next election. They want to actually win, so now they are trying to care about what people actually want.

*They (ie... Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, Limbaugh etc...) were standing firm that the economy was strong right up to the day it started to collapse. Only with sheer lip biting did Beck finally admit that the government should step in. I suspect that president Rushbo would have tanked the world economy if his policies were implemented.

* After years and years of exaggerating democratic policies as "socialism", it finaly turned out that right wing policies of deregulation led to some of the most socialistic actions taken by this country in its history.

I suspect you will say "the surge worked" or some shit like that. Never mind the entire war sold on fraudulent claims. Even if it weren't, everyone can now say that spreading democracy in the middle east with guns and bombs is a fools errand. And you are the one who stood behind the idea all the way, calling yourself a "neocon" proudly. Do you still call yourself a "neocon"? What changed? I haven't seen you call yourself that in a long time.

Does it bother you that Osama is sending emails from Pakistan?

nothing-neo said...

Does it bother you that Osama is sending emails from Pakistan?

Ooooooo! wer'e all just scared to death! Oh my! What if he even makes a VIDEO?!?! Not to worry with a fierce warrior like Obama at the helm. He'll just threaten to bomb Pakistan again an that should scare them back to their caves. Either that or he'll threaten them with some community organizing. I bet the jihadists are really afraid of him, especially since Obama said America has 57 states. Ironically, there are 57 Muslim states in the world. No Freudian slip there, huh?

Neo-con? Mois? Naw, just a plain old boring conservative. And in as much as you wish to rant, America is still a center right country.
It will be really cool to watch how many of Obama's bullshit promises he'll back out of before Jan.20. Read'em and weep, lefties.

Aaron said...

I'll take that reply as a yes- clearly it DOES bother you immensely that bin Laden is still directing operatives. It will bother you even more when Obama's strategy leads to his death or capture- maybe even with little effort once Pakistan cooperates due to our non-cowboy diplomacy.

You once proudly called yourself a neocon. Not any more. What changed? What, you no longer think that democracy can be spread in an Islamic civilization? Pray tell howEVER did you finally come to THAT conclusion?

I suppose the jihadist movement will find it harder to recruit after we leave Iraq and Bush is gone. What a pity for the neocons (thats you chump), what will they do now without a perpetual enemy to scare the crap (and the votes) out of people?

Aaron said...

And.... you forgot to answer the question. What have Konservatives been right about in recent years?

The K is intentional, because your brand of cnservatism is counterfeit.

upinVermont said...

Miniter's Prediction:

First, and as usual, you play the all or nothing card - which is typical of right-wing radio punditry.

Whether or not the book is a "blame-Bush-for-everything" book is irrelevant - but it sure makes an air head like you feel better when you can call it that. The only relevant question is whether he's right. Based on the evidence, he is.

The article at Google ends:

"Ultimately though, I believe the specifics of the “slam dunk” on Saddam’s WMD will largely be proven true thanks to the hard work of men like Santorum and Hoekstra and of course, with thanks to our courageous men and women fighting in the War on Terror. July 5, 2006."

It's two years later, and the specifics of the "slam dunk" have not been proven true, even in small measure, let alone "largely".

The article, by the way, was posted on "The American Thinker", which Wikipedia describes as following:

"The American Thinker is a daily conservative website dealing with American politics, national security, economics, diplomacy, culture, and military strategy.[1] The articles published are often mentioned on The Rush Limbaugh Show..."

This is hardly an unbiased source. But that is neither here nor there. Unlike yourself, I recognize that truth isn't liberal or conservative. What does the evidence tell us? The evidence tells us that 2 years later the article is still wrong.

As for the other authors you mention, one need only look at the evidence. Is Iraq the secular Democracy Bush wanted it to be? No. Is the country stable? No. Are the Sunnis and Shias forming a coalition government? No. They are arming themselves for the inevitable withdrawal of US forces.

//Many people simply cannot handle the whole truth and need a constant souce of biased information//

As usual, you implicate yourself with your blather. The article your referenced was not from a neutral media outlet, but from a right wing blog. The only person who can't handle the truth is you. The only person who can't rely on unbiased information is you.

Kenneth Timmerman. "Kenneth R. Timmerman (born November 4, 1953- ) is a journalist, political writer, and conservative Republican activist who in 2000 was a candidate for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senator from Maryland. Timmerman is executive director of the Foundation for Democracy in Iran, an organization that works to support democratic movements in Iran. "

Hard to consider a Republican activist as "unbiased". Setting aside the fact that many of Timmermna's assertions were proven wrong by subsequent news reports, the fact that you make such an assinine statement about "biased" sources illustrates what a dolt you are.

The same goes for Hunt and Miniter, whose predictions concerning the Iraq war have proven wrong. Only Galbraith accurately predicted the current state of the war.

//So I mention 3 books, all NY Times bestsellers//

You are such a dolt. Whether or not a book is on the NY bestsellers list has nothing to do with its accuracy and truthfulness. According to your logic, Dianetics must be second only to the Bible.

puddle_stomper said...

"Let me guess.... you think it was just because Obama is black right?"

Guess again, genius, Obama is not black, he's half & half. So is Powell. So what. This is pathetic.

Look, I'm seriously beginning to lose my curiosity in your bottomless hatred and obsession with the "blame America first" liberal ideology you two blindly espouse.

Nothing I will ever say here will be considered, nevermind accepted, and it is beginning to remind me of the adage: "Never try to teach a pig to sing; you will only waste your time and annoy the pig."

Nothing you or anyone else can say will make me believe that you are 100% correct on all points and I am 100% wrong on same. Such outrageous arrogance is completely absurd, and you need to consider it. After all, aren't you the one who blasted "Expelled" two weeks before it was even released? That's so deep! So you can criticize a movie w/o even seeing it, huh? But you also criticized ME for "being the kind of guy who searches the internet for information which bolsters what I want to believe." If you don't do that, and you didn't see the movie, then you must be very psychic, right? Whatever.

The only thing really interesting in politics to me right now is watching Obama fail miserably as he tries to back pedal on all the campaign promises he clearly cannot keep, and how the liberal hate mongers will try to blame Bush for the man-child's failure.

So I saw an incredible image of a galaxy the other night and it put all this crap in perspective.

My current interests are:
1. how our solar system's orbital fluctuations on the galactic plane affect earth changes

2. the M-theory's 'membranes' which caused the big bang, and where those membranes came from.

Believe it or not, I'm sad to say the unabashed hatred you two regularly express here is becoming quite repugnant, more so than the "mere sight of Sarah Palin" seems to disgust you. Your hate used to fascinate me; even please me because it was proof of your shallowness and folly

As much as you hate Rush Limbaugh, at least HE makes me laugh. But whenever I read here, all I feel is frustration and perhaps pity. I can't recall ever laughing about anything you two have ever talked about. It's really not about being a "victim," it's simply my observation and opinion.

Life is really too short for this. You guys really need to lighten up and maybe focus on a little of the "comedy" you advertise here}:-

"A walk through the ocean of most souls will barely get your ankles wet." anonymous

upinVermont said...

From The New York Times.

"An unscientific poll of 109 professional historians this year found that 61 percent rated President Bush as the worst president in American history."

So... 61 percent of historians rate Bush as the worst President ever, but when me or Aaron criticize Bush, the *Dolt* says it's because we hate him and hate America. I guess 61 percent of historians also Hate Bush and Hate America.

"A new American Research Group poll found that just 19% of Americans approve of the way George W. Bush is handling his job as president and 76% disapprove. When it comes to Bush's handling of the economy, 17% approve and 78% disapprove."

http://politicalwire.com/archives/2008/09/22/bush_approval_falls_to_19.html

81% of Americans(!) disapprove of Bush, but when me and Aaron disapprove of Bush, the *Dolt* calls us "blame America First" liberals. I guess that makes 81% of Americans "Blame America First" liberals. I guess 81% of Americans hate America and hate Bush.

Only the *Dolt* loves America.

According to polls reported *by conservatives* Rush Limbaugh has a 66% percent disapproval rating among Americans. But when me & Aaron criticize Rush, the *Dolt* says we *hate* Rush Limbaugh. So, according to the *Dolt*, 66% of Americans *hate* Rush.

Only the *Dolt* really loves America; or, would that be, just *certain* Americans, *not* the 61% of historians who consider Bush the worst President ever; not the 81%(!) who disapprove of the way Bush is handling his job; *not* the 66% of *Americans* who disapprove of Rush Limbaugh. No... the *Dolt* doesn't consider these Americans real Americans. Those 81% of Americans are the "Blame America First Liberals". Those 81% of Americans are socialists, atheists, liberal "hate mongers"... etc...

Only the *Dolt* really loves Americans...

...*real* Americans.

Aaron said...

it always boggles the shit out of my mind how those who appreciate savage and limbaugh can accuse anyone else of being full of hate. I recognize this as one of their common tactics. Limbaugh constantly talks about how the democratic party thrives on hate, then spends three hours a day trying his best to unit konservatives under the banner of anger and hatred. This Is basically all he does all day long. Savage obviously is even more infatuated with rage and hatred. Me, I don't have hatred, disgust yes. My feeling is best described as the frustration one feels when people he knows have joined a cult and who continuosly try to convert him by making fun of everything he believes including the very science and reason that is used to discern truth from fiction. In the case of the konservatives, they belittle the scientific method itself, belittle education itself, and have launched an all out assault on real journalism. They whine that the media should seek balance ahead of truth in order to accommodate konservative cult members. A perfect example is mccains radically negative lie filled campaign. The truth seeking media outlets were more negative to McCain because he deserved it. He fucking lied outright and played significantly more dirty than obama by everyones lights. So it was about 60/40 McCain negative reporting in every media outlet except... Faux news, who supported McCain by being by reports 50/50 split. They seemed to be quite proud of this stat. McCain lies more and plays dirtier but faux reporting splits it right down the middle.

Of course the obvious problem for you konservatives, and the obvious reason you guys despise the scientific method, education, and journalism, is because the truth always seems to get in the way of you ideological beliefs.

What have konservatives been right about in recent years? I have now asked three times an await your answer. Is it really that hard to come up with something substantial? It is for me, I can't think of anything.

Aaron said...

I typed that all from my ipod, and couldn't proof read it, thus all the typos.

Anonymous said...

there are no polls needed to clearly see the hatred and outrageous arrogance expressed regularly on this blog. Polls regarding what most people think are useless to victims of a car wreck, so why discuss them? Polls are for the American Idol/cult of personality types and mean little more than an indication of how many people are confused and so very easily manipulated by the media.

upinVermont said...

//there are no polls needed to clearly see the hatred and outrageous arrogance expressed regularly on this blog.//


Not to be hateful and arrogant but... can you help me out? I'm just not seeing it. I *do* try. I mean, I work hard at the arrogance and hate, but I don't think I'm quite there yet...

//Polls regarding what most people think are useless to victims of a car wreck, so why discuss them? //

Your grammar is a car wreck - verbs, nouns, clauses strewn across the road. I think some of them may be close to death. (No polling was involved in this conclusion.)

Aaron said...

I notice that people like you, Mike, and the con-men showbiz radio entertainers you emulate, have a great habit of accusing others of attributes they themselves are far more prone to display. It goes back to the ancient political tactic- make your enemy's strengths into weaknesses. And to accuse your enemies of the things you are most guilty of yourself.

- They spend hours on end blaming people for having knowledge, knowing about the world, having greater curiosity, taking pride in high levels of education. These are qualities most people struggle to attain. try all their lives to get the opportunity to go after. But they are badges of dishonor to political conservatives nowadays. Once again, attacking the strengths of your opponent and turning them into apparent weaknesses. And making knownothingness look like a strength. "you can trust me, I don't know nothin'. I'm just a real honest person".

The funny thing is, the political strategists who sit around polished oak tables making these memes up don't even believe them themselves. They just know that chumps like you will.

Now that this Karl Rove style strategy isn't working anymore there will be another meme built up, possibly even contradictory to the old one, yet the same people will line up in a row ready to solute whatever is hoisted up the flagpole like robots.

The conservatives before the falwell era were often very intellectual. Buckley was as pridefully arrogant of his intellectual talent as anyone I've ever witnessed. Somehow a propaganda marketing program was launched that successfully associated that with liberalism.

Part of the classic conservative description was a desire to keep religion separate from politics. Then they realized they could get more votes if they spread their legs to southern evangelicals. Thats when the anti-intellectualism crept in. Thats where you got the cigar smoking, pimping, hate-o-holic prescription drug addict bullies and truth twisters on radio sucking up to religionists for their cultural conservatism without displaying the *slightest* desire to work on their own spiritual demeanor. There is certainly a special place in hell for these people.