Wednesday, September 14, 2005

A Litany of Failure

In our shock at hearing George Bush grudgingly accept, qualified, responsibility for some small part of any federal government failure at some point in time during the hurricane Katrina disaster, we might forget that George Bush and his crew are also completely responsible for the United State's on-going disaster in Iraq.

In a thorough and detailed review of the Bush Administrations war on terror in Sunday's New York Times Magazine, Mark Danner provides a critique that is as devastating to the Bush Administration as Katrina was to
New Orleans.

And, unlike the aftermath of Katrina, the Bush Administration has no plan and few options regarding the damage caused by its failed intervention in the
Middle East.

"Americans confront a stark choice: whether to go on indefinitely fighting a politically self-destructive counterinsurgency war that keeps the jihadists increasingly well supplied with volunteers or to withdraw from a post-Saddam Hussein Iraq that remains chaotic and unstable and beset with civil strife and thereby hand Al Qaeda and its allies a major victory in the war on terror's "central front."

Danner's piece outlines the failures in judgment and lack of understanding of the nature of Islamic extremism and the Middle East that, when combined, with the Cold War mentality of the leading neocons surrounding Bush, led our country to this no win situation in Iraq.

"Washington policy and defense cultures still seek out cold-war models," as members of the Defense Science Board, a Defense Department task force commissioned to examine the war on terror, observed in a report last year. "With the surprise announcement of a new struggle, the U.S. government reflexively inclined toward cold-war-style responses to the new threat, without a thought or a care as to whether these were the best responses to a very different strategic situation."

The collision of this Cold War mentality with the desire to do grandiose empire building on a shoe string budget led the United States in a position of weakness that threatens our interests in the entire region.

"If political authority comes from achieving a monopoly on legitimate violence, then the Americans, from those early days when they sat in their tanks and watched over the wholesale looting of public institutions, never did achieve political authority in Iraq. They fussed over liberalizing the economy and writing constitutions and achieving democracy in the Middle East when in fact there was really only one question in Iraq, emerging again and again in each successive political struggle, most recently in the disastrously managed writing of the constitution: how to shape a new political dispensation in which the age-old majority Shia can take control from the minority Sunni and do it in a way that minimized violence and insecurity - do it in a way, that is, that the Sunnis would be willing to accept, however reluctantly, without resorting to armed resistance."

The failures of the Bush Administration in Iraq will doom our children to live in a world of more, not less terror. The failure of the Bush Administration to make war on terrorists and instead turn their attention to a weak and impotent Iraq AND THEN FAIL IN IRAQ makes our world far less safe and secure.

"In launching a war on
Iraq that we have been unable to win, we have done the one thing a leader is supposed never to do: issue a command that is not followed. A withdrawal from Iraq, rapid or slow, with the Islamists still holding the field, will signal, as bin Laden anticipated, a failure of American will. Those who will view such a withdrawal as the critical first step in a broader retreat from the Middle East will surely be encouraged to go on the attack. That is, after all, what you do when your enemy retreats. In this new world, where what is necessary to go on the attack is not armies or training or even technology but desire and political will, we have ensured, by the way we have fought this forever war, that it is precisely these qualities our enemies have in large and growing supply."

Stay the course.... Pull out today.... We can't win. And, it was Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and crew who not only let this happen, they organized (if you can use that word) this disaster.

Worst President ever. Most dangerous Administration ever. Impeach Bush and Cheney.