Wednesday, January 10, 2007
have you any idea why they're lying to you, to your faces? did they tell you?:
The lies on display tonight begin from the basic premise that what Bush has proposed is in any sense new. Consider for instance the claim that this time in Baghdad there will be sufficient forces to "hold" territory. We have been told this at every stage -- most recently in the November 2005 "National Strategy for Victory" and the subsequent "Clear, Hold, Build" sales pitch by Condi Rice. This is nothing new. But it is cynical in its expectation that you won't know the difference. Bush proved tonight he will never stop lying to you, and the lies will only compound the worse it gets.

The biggest lie is this: Bush is escalating the war while claiming, again and again, that the U.S. mission is a "support" mission. An additional U.S. force of 21,500 is portrayed to us as a "change (in) our strategy to support" the Maliki government -- a force of Shiite Iraq that Bush repeatedly claims is a "unity government." It doesn't matter if Bush believes that Maliki will lend his 18 Army and national-police brigades to every Iraqi neighborhood, regardless of sect. In Operation Together Forward, Maliki proved that he won't. Indeed, that's why Bush is playing footsie with Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, a different Iran-backed Shiite cleric masquerading as a unifying figure. Everyone who has served, has friends or family who have served, or who can open a newspaper on a consistent basis knows that when the Iraqi security forces are competent, they are an instrument of sectarian repression. This will not change as long as each sect believes it has more to gain from war than through negotiation, and nothing Bush has said or can do will change that. As a result, U.S. forces are not engaging in a "support" mission -- unless "support" means only that they are the life support for the U.S.-backed political process.

Two years ago, I argued that the only hope of bringing Iraq together and saying that politics, not war, tangibly improved Iraqis' lives was to withdraw. Bush refused to do that, and the window for withdrawal to benefit Iraqis has closed. Now withdrawal will not have any positive consequences for Iraqis. But it will have less-bad consequences for the U.S. national interest, allowing us to mitigate the effects of a failed war and denying al-Qaeda the growth potential it requires by miring it, and not us, in an Iraqi civil war. Am I certain about this, Jason? No. But an assessment of the situation suggests it is the best strategy on offer for our interests, and the one most likely to yield its intended effects.

What we have as an alternative is an escalation of the war in the guise -- as Bush put it -- of bringing it to an end. In short, we must fight the war so we can cease fighting the war. These are the only two options on offer. If you care about this country, you, dear reader, must choose, and have the courage to stand with your choice -- for the 3,018 so far and the more, the many more, that Bush plans to send to their deaths for the sake of his vanity.
--Spencer Ackerman
Not to mention the flip side of the escalation, in that the President said tonight that he's willing to disrupt whatever Syrian & Iranian efforts are afoot in Iraq.

Over and over again, he mentioned that his way was the way forward to success. What he didn't do--what he and his minions have steadfastly refused to do, is define what that success is. I'd argue that we've met every condition of the 2002 AUMF, and that it's time to rescind that authorization.
Blogger Raf Noboa | 7:17 PM

I never heard Syria mentioned. I may have passed out at that time. However, Syria will run out of oil by 2010. Iraq has some oil to spare. Is it possible that the black gold could be used to entice a junior member of the AoE towards us away from Iran (also having domestic oil issues)?

These are hard to refute facts. Iran is having trouble. Can, through Iraq's troubles, a new environment emerge in the region with a newly friendly Syria, a very hard to contain and very messy Iraq, and a weakening Iran in the end assist the US after all this clusterfuck? Crazier things have happened.
Blogger Mazer Rackam | 8:22 PM

The funniest thing is the oft repeated mantra of Bush supporters that Maliki is going to move against the militias. It is as if we were in Iraq supporting Saddam Hussein and assuring everyone that he was going to move against the Ba'athists. How clear does it have to be? Maliki is WITH the militias. They are his support. This is a Shiite sectarian government. The clear and hold strategy in Baghdad will be used, as it was used this week on Haifa street, solely to further the ethnic cleansing of Baghdad. But the Sunni insurgents will continue their own strategy of reducing the infrastructure that feeds Baghdad to a bare minimum. The U.S. has achieved a rare degree of irrelevance in Iraq, compounded, of course, by the inability of the Bush people to accept reality.

How very very sick. The only good thing about the commitment of more troops is that at least this will physically prevent war against Iran.
Blogger roger | 9:32 PM