After reading Zakaria’s Last Chance I’m more convinced than ever that the Bush administration is burying its head in the sand and hoping for the best (or least worse).
It’s wierd how wrongly the CPA is getting their political analysis of the power mongers in Iraq. Instead of getting allies they are clearly becoming isolated. More and more Iraqi politicians want to appear anti-american. Even Sistani, a moderate, isn’t given due consideration in a country bereft of moderates.
This part irks me more: “In the CPA’s own polling, Chalabi has the highest negative ratings of any public figure in Iraq. And yet he continues to get plum positions and generous funding (for intelligence!) from the U.S. government.”
The money and power that Chalabi still gets from Rumsfeld is incredible. This guy and his organization have so convinced the Bush Gang of the need to invade Iraq that they won’t drop him even when it means losing more US soldiers. Clearly Bush is defending anything but US interests… Oil, Chalabi and Saudi interests come first. The US govt. has been duped and used… and continues to be used.
So is Bush's "Staying the Course" really the way to go ? Can changing the course do any good still ? Or is it too late to try anything else ? I doubt the UN can salvage much... even if Sistani heavily backs them up.
I don’t know what the possibilities are. I do feel comfortable saying that we should have more pros and fewer political apointees doing the planning over there. Scrapping the State Dept Future of Iraq project and preventing some of the key planners from the project from getting on board to help appears to’ve been a grade A ideologically motivated fuck up. I’m for realism over idealism when so many lives are on the line.
What “course” are we being asked to stay? Bush has been taking steps - stumbling, half-hearted, forced ones, but steps - toward the UN turnover that many of us had been advocating ever since the invasion and occupation became fact. That is hardly what he had in mind when defining this “course” for us; it’s been the Kerry platform for some time now.
I’d be content to stick with this new direction, but somebody in charge of it who combines basic competence and dedication to it.
Don’t count on it. The UN will drag their feet on any plan until Bush is gone. None too subtley too, so everyone gets the message that they’ll play ball but not with “Preventative defenders” in general and the current US administration in particular.
Considering hot there is evidence of corruption in the UN-run Oil for Food program, I’d say that we should not overestimate their physical usefulness and universal goodness. Despite some allegations of favoritism and such in the American system, we are not doing too bad in the cleanliness department.
GWB is always a dollar short and a day late. What might have worked some months ago is not enough today. Now they have decided to hire the baathists which they fired months ago but it is not enough. Too little, too late. No matter who wins in November I fully expect the USA to continue this insane policy. I just cannot see Bush or Kerry taking the risk of appearing to be “soft on terrorism” so America will blindly continue to sink in the pit while proclaiming it cannot turn around now.
I also expect the Iraqis to continue to fight as long as they have the means because it is the natural thing to fight the invaders of your country. So I expect this to be a very bloody war which will cost many more lives than it has already cost and I expect the only way the USA would leave would be after some serious losses of American lives which turned the American people against the war.
At this point I just do not see the American government or the American people ready for any compromise. It will be victory or defeat.
I agree that the UN will probably delay. They got bloodied already there. No way they can get enough troops to provide security, and no way US troops would be under the UN, so why get involved in a quagmire? Bush’s disdain of the UN certainly isn’t helping.
The only way out is for Kerry to be elected, rebuild the alliance, get real UN involvement, and start turning over security to Moslem UN troops. It might turn out that Iraq is becomes a more or less moderate Islamic state, but that might be the best we can hope for at the moment.
BTW, I’m not sure this was ever about oil - the numbers don’t work out. With all the revelations. has oil ever come up? It seems more Cheney’s, Wolfie’s and Rummy’s Iraq fetish. It seems Bush the elder, and Powell, were much smarter after GW I than I gave them credit for. Too bad Dad couldn’t have whupped some sense into his boy.
I wouldn't be so rosy about it... did you mention Haliburton ? What about overcharging ? Contracts dealt out to campaign contributors ?
At least the UN has legitimacy... something Bush managed to avoid.
Once more the typical black and white view will result in more animosity. Supporting Sharon always and no matter what certainly didn’t seem smart stuff.
" Arab hostility to Iraq war and Bush’s support of Sharon raises doubts about broader democratic reforms in region."
"Brusqueness from moderate Arabs
Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, who met with Bush in Texas earlier this month, told the French newspaper Le Monde that “there exists today a hatred [of America] never equaled in the region.” And Jordan’s King Abdullah, already in the US, abruptly cancelled a scheduled visit to the White House last week."
"Losing credibility as a mediator
The immediate result is a blow to Mideast reforms, both because would-be promoters from outside are discredited, and because internal reforms, increasingly associated with the West, are suspect. “Bush will probably never again be seen by the Arabs as a credible mediator of peace, having so fully identified with the Sharon position…”
Anyone still thinks Bush is a uniter ? Doing a good job of calming down Arabs ?
While I detest the way the reconstruction is being handled, I honestly am not too concerned about this. I feel that corruption is just going to have to be a fact of life when working there. I feel we need MORE spending there (and to Iraqis, not foreign firms working in the place), and simply must resign ourselves to it for the time being.
That is among the most assine and ill-informed ‘stories’ that I have read. The author doesn’t seem to have a clue about American MOUT abilities. And Iranian forces ‘driving across the border’ to attack the Americans? Fuck, we may as well worry about the impending Canadian invasion. Pathetic.
Brutus is likely correct, that isn’t the way things are going to get much worse. The scenario outlined in said story is conjectural and entirely unlikely. Things are getting worse in another manner altogether. Things are going to Hell in a perfectly ordinary hand-basket, along the well traveled road of good intentions. There is no need to confuse the issue, the dismal state of things does not require fanciful conjectures.
We are grateful to friend Brutus for this clarification.