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Ear to the Ground

U.S. Occupation Is Worse Than Hussein

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Posted on Nov 30, 2005

So, it is mission impossible that Bush has accomplished: A terminally inept U.S. occupation of Iraq now threatens to make the despot we overthrew look good by comparison. But don’t take my word for it; hear it from the United States’ No. 1 ally in that increasingly nightmarish land.

“[Authorities] are doing the same as [in] Saddam’s time and worse,” former interim Iraqi Prime Minister Ayad Allawi told the London Observer, of human-rights abuses by the U.S.-backed Iraqi government. “It is an appropriate comparison. People are remembering the days of Saddam. These were the precise reasons that we fought Saddam and now we are seeing the same things.” Allawi, one of Hussein’s victims, became a trusted CIA asset and later was handpicked by the United States to be the leader of the new Iraq. He now is the leading secular alternative to the Shiite theocrats expected to win the Dec. 15 election.

What Allawi is decrying is the brutal behavior of new security forces empowered by the U.S. invasion but beholden, according to most reports, to Shiite religious parties intent on controlling Iraq. To accomplish their mission, they’re using the kind of “ethnic cleansing” terror seen so recently in Rwanda and the Balkans.

“We are hearing about secret police, secret bunkers where people are being interrogated,” said Allawi. “A lot of Iraqis are being tortured or killed in the course of interrogations. We are even witnessing Shariah courts based on Islamic law that are trying people and executing them.”

Allawi was not alone in painting a grim picture this week of what our president trumpets as an emerging democracy.

“Hundreds of accounts of killings and abductions have emerged in recent weeks, most of them brought forward by Sunni civilians, who claim that their relatives have been taken away by Iraqi men in uniform without warrant or explanation,” reports the New York Times. “Shiite Muslim militia members have infiltrated Iraq’s police force and are carrying out sectarian killings under the color of law, according to documents and scores of interviews,” reports the Los Angeles Times.

Through our careless and uncaring attempts at “nation-building,” the United States has put itself in the position of providing a convenient shield for what is increasingly looking like a takeoff on the Cambodian Killing Fields—down to the continuing targeting of academics of all ethnicities by self-appointed executioners. Civil war is no longer a possibility; it is a reality.

Amazingly, in Bush’s Iraq, just as in Hussein’s, you’re either a victim or a victimizer—often both. The grim ironies of this Darwinist nightmare are everywhere. For example, while the military is defending the use of white phosphorus on the battlefield—“shake and bake” in U.S. military slang—by citing loopholes in chemical weapons restrictions, it can’t look good to the world that one of the human-rights crimes Hussein himself is charged with is—you guessed it—shelling Kurdish rebels and civilians with chemical weapons in 1991.

When presented with such consensus depictions of Iraq as it is, not as our cloistered and purposely ignorant president believes it to be, those who still defend the occupation make two main claims: This is all just the birthing pains of a democracy, and the civil war will get worse if we leave. I don’t agree with either prediction; the U.S. presence fuels both the Sunni insurgency and Shiite radicalism. The argument, however, should be moot anyway, because both the Iraqi and American publics have clearly signaled they want us to get out, starting now.

Yet, as investigative reporter Seymour Hersh reports in the current issue of the New Yorker, it is unclear what it’s going to take to convince our increasingly isolated commander in chief to change course. Bush, according to a highly placed unnamed source Hersh cites, thinks his razor-thin win in 2004 is “another manifestation of divine purpose,” and that history will judge him well.

“The president is more determined than ever to stay the course,” a former defense official told Hersh. “He doesn’t feel any pain. Bush is a believer in the adage, ‘People may suffer and die, but the Church advances.’.”

Maybe that is not the thinking that motivates Bush, but can anyone come up with a more rational explanation for his determination to stay the course that leads into the abyss? It is time we called a halt to our mindless messing in other people’s lives. As we wind down the third year of an occupation that has killed and maimed tens of thousands of Americans and Iraqis and cost U.S. taxpayers upwards of $300 billion, isn’t it time to give the Iraqis the chance to see if they can do better—on their own?

 

—Posted by Robert Scheer.

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By Maurice E Hardy, December 8, 2005 at 9:40 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Update #19 comment: U.S. military dead in Iraq, including suicides, 2,125; US military amputeed, wounded, injured, mentally ill, all now out of Iraq, 49,500; Iraqi civilians dead, 118,900. Reported by Air America, Randy Rhodes

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By Mad Scientist, December 6, 2005 at 11:03 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Mr. Scheer makes a number of valid and disturbing points.  It IS a shame that articles like this will no longer be seen in the mainstream press in this country, anywhere, again.  Our corporate media are too much under the sway of government-friendly management to perform in their traditional capacity as our nation’s concience, the one that our country seems to no longer have.

My own opinions run along the same lines.  Bush’s determination to “stay the course”, his belief in his “divine mandate” in pursuit this war against Iraq frightens me, frankly.  The man is either delusional and needs help, or is evil, and needs to be stopped.  At the same time, impeachment frightens me - all the players should be impeached, or none of them, to clean up the mess, because the line of succession to the presidency is: president (GW Bush), vice president (Dick Cheney), speaker of the house (Dennis Hastert), president pro tem of the senate (right now, Ted Stevens), secretary of state (Condi Rice), secretary of the treasury (John Snow), secretary of defense (Donald Rumsfeld), attorney general (Alberto Gonzales).

Further, there were no WMD or chemical/biological weapons to find in Iraq, and Iraq was not involved with Al Qaeda at that time; there are papers, intelligence, and evidence proving those pretexts for going to war are false.  That the only chemical weapons used in this action are the ones the US has been using on the Iraqis is sickening, given our government’s claims of having the moral high ground. Saddam Hussein was removed from office early in the military action, and is on trial right now for selected crimes in Iraq, so the people of Iraq are no longer being oppressed under his regime, but under the American Occupation.

When the Iraqi citizens want us out badly enough to take to the streets to kill our troops, and the American public is insisting it’s time bring our guys home, to remain makes no sense whatever.  However, given the number of lucrative no-bid government contracts being handed out to Haliburton, to its Brown and Root subsidiary, and to the Carlisle group (partially owned by the Bushes and the Bin Ladens) it seems as if our troops are being sacrificed so that Haliburton and the Carlisle Group can gorge at the US public trough as long as possible.

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By John Earl, December 3, 2005 at 7:46 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

In an ideal world of justice for all perhaps both George Bush and Hussein Saddam would be sharing the docket, charged with war crimes. But in the world that we know the full truth will likely never be known? As far as accountability goes I doubt that blame will ever be accurately sorted out. I keep wondering how many more innocents will perish due to bombing in Iraq. Historically bombing has seldom been an effective tool to win wars. It’s often a last ditch effort when campaigns on the ground seem intractable. Viet Nam was scarred by bombing with so many craters that it began to resemble the moon and millions were killed before the United States disengaged from that misbegotten war.

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By Tony N, December 2, 2005 at 11:23 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Joanne Riedel: “It is very disturbing that articles like this will no longer be published in the LA Times.” Absolutely.  The greater loss is to the ‘mainstream’ press in general.

Bob Scheer is right – it is time to give the Iraqis the chance to see if they can do better — on their own. . The vast majority of Iraqis want U.S. forces out of THEIR country.  If Bush’s lies about democratizing and liberating Iraq are believed by gullible people, then they and the Bush admin should accept the democratic wishes of the Iraqi people.  The U.S. presence is just adding fuel to the fire lit by Bush’s illegal invasion.  In addition, a few countries and groups like al Qaeda are probably happy to see the U.S. bogged down in Iraq for a while and encouraging Bush to stay his course—“Operation Vietnam Quagmire Part 2”. 

The U.S. forces have no legitimacy among most Iraqi people, except among Shiite and Kurdish groups who have been temporarily using U.S. power to destroy their enemies and/or increase their own power in Iraq. Critics such as Charles Martel fail to realize that it was really the Sunnis who first took “the law into their own hands” because they were fed up of losing out politically in Iraq and being slaughtered by the US invasion and occupation, which was made possible only by the complicity of Shiite and Kurdish leaders with the U.S. forces before the war even began. They are unwilling to accept that more Sunni and other Iraqi civilians have been killed by the U.S. military forces than by Iraqi anti-occupation resistance fighters, even when the most conservative casualty estimates are used (e.g., 37% to 9% according to the low-balling Iraq Body Count website). Now that’s madness and retrogressive – the inability to imagine and perceive the tragic catastrophic consequences due to the illegal, fraudulent, unjustified, unprovoked, deadly, costly and mass destructive US-led invasion of a defenseless sovereign country, as well as the paralysis to admit when one is wrong when the evidence is overwhelming that the course is catastrophic.

As for speculative predictions that a U.S. withdrawal will make things worse and lead to a full-scale genocide, what is known is that most past predictions about Iraq by mostly the same people who supported the Iraq invasion have turned out to be dead wrong.  No one knows exactly how things will turn out in future, although we are witnessing how things are turning out today with the U.S. presence (Bush had over 32 months to make it work).  History indicates that things will most likely stabilize eventually – as was the experience of most colonized countries after the occupying power had withdrawn and minimized interfering from the sidelines.  What remains for the U.S. to do is to make a sincere apology to the Iraqi people and pay massive reparations for interfering in Iraq’s affairs since the 1950s.
http://www.truthout.org/docs_2005/112905F.shtml

Scheer summed it up:  “So, it is mission impossible that Bush has accomplished: A terminally inept U.S. occupation of Iraq now threatens to make the despot we overthrew look good by comparison.”  Estimates indicate that Iraqis have been killed at a far higher rate in Bush’s Iraq since March 2003 than anytime in Saddam’s Iraq between 1992 and March 2003 (when he was no longer a U.S. ally). In addition, the U.S. invasion has left mass destruction and lingering after effects from depleted uranium weapons, cluster bombs, torture and psychological trauma.  Saddam Hussein, as despotic as he was, can now claim to have done to the Shiites and Kurds only what the U.S. has been doing to the Sunnis for similar reasons and using similar or worse methods – putting down resistance (in some cases foreign inspired) to central rule.  Saddam may also be able to argue that his regime kept a lid on the kind of ethnic cleansing terror that the Shiites and possibly the Kurds may be perpetrating against the Sunnis. Bush is even making Saddam look good in comparison to his questionable leadership qualities.

Ayad Allawi’s comments about Bush’s Iraq are corroborated by numerous reports. These reports have, until recently, been drowned out by the amplification of ‘official’ reporting on incidents perpetrated by the mostly Sunni-based insurgents.
http://www.truthout.org/docs_2005/120105B.shtml

There are questions whether the U.S. has been training Iraqi death squads to fight the Sunni insurgency.  After all, Bush has John Negroponte directing the intelligence services.
http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=05/12/01/1526201
http://www.commondreams.org/headlines05/0109-06.htm
http://www.commondreams.org/views04/1201-30.htm

What Allawi said appears to be valid.  However, this messenger Allawi is like the pot calling the kettle black.

-  In the early 1990s, Allawi was leading an exile group which conducted terrorist acts inside Iraq, while receiving support from the CIA and MI-6.  “Dr. Allawi’s group, the Iraqi National Accord, used car bombs and other explosive devices… Ex-CIA officer Robert Baer, recalled that a bombing during that period “blew up a school bus; schoolchildren were killed…The Iraqi government at the time claimed that the bombs, including one it said exploded in a movie theater, resulted in many civilian casualties.” 
http://www.commondreams.org/headlines04/0609-02.htm

-  There is also a news report that Allawi, shortly before he took office, personally shot and killed several Iraqi suspects held prisoner at a Baghdad police station: “a man who claimed to have witnessed the executions. He described how Allawi had been taken to seven suspects, who were made to stand against a wall in a courtyard of the police station, their faces covered. After being told of their alleged crimes by a police official, Allawi had asked for a pistol, and then shot each prisoner in the head. Afterward, the witness said, Allawi had declared to those present, “This is how we must deal with the terrorists.” The witness said that he approved of Allawi’s act, adding that, in any case, the terrorists were better off dead, for they had been tortured for days… a well-known former (Jordanian) government minister told me that an American official had confirmed that the killings took place, saying to him, “What a mess we’re in—we got rid of one son of a bitch only to get another.”
http://www.newyorker.com/fact/content/?050124fa_fact1

-  Allawi’s exile group also made false claims about the Saddam regimes’ WMD capabilities before the 2003 invasion, e.g., that Iraq could fire WMDs within 45 minutes and the Jalil Habbush al-Tikriti memo.

Why did Ayad Allawi (Iraq’s former interim prime minister who is a U.S. puppet) make these comments now? Was he simply bringing world attention to what’s broken in Iraq? Was it to undermine the credibility of the current Iraqi government?  Was it to position himself as a viable alternative if the Ibrahim Jaafari’s government falls?  If so,  is the U.S. quietly supporting Allawi for a future leadership run and possibly facilitating the recent revelations of what the Shiite militias have been doing?

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By russ, December 2, 2005 at 9:07 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Ahhh geez, the seditious swine at whine again!

Do you people ever consider going after the facts?

Of course not since facts would undercut your collective rant…

How about a CLUE for the clueless?

Here’s another CLUE for the proudly clueless…

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By Dick Platkin, December 2, 2005 at 1:32 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Ethnic cleansing was the pretext for the Clinton era saturation bombing of Yugoslavia.  If US government policy were now consistent, based on Bob’s assessment of the current Iraqi government’s ethnic repression against the Sunnis, we would expect the US military to engage in some shock and awe against its own Shiite proteges.

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By jim p, December 1, 2005 at 9:49 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Our discussions of what to do in Iraq are distorted because we accept the myth that “Military Might Is Always Determinative.” The issue of how long we stay is out of our hands. Our very ability to conquer in 2003 depended on the non-resistance of the Shi’a, and their calculation that it’s better to have Sunni & Americans kill each other until they have sufficient claim to assert genuine Sovereignty.

In this context, Juan Cole’s report that a close associate of Sistani said that after the December elections, a fatwah to non-violently expel the “coalition” will be issued. Nobody else has featured or followed up on this report, but certainly Sistani is itching to say “Bye Satanic USA, Hello Brother Iran.”

Picture 15 million Shi’a covering every road into Iraq—there are only 4 or 5 available to us—and saying “You can go out, but you can’t go in.” Doesn’t matter how mighty and massive our military is if they don’t get food and ammo. If you’re Bush, what do you do? Strafe the women, children, and old men on the roads? Of course, he’d want to….

So the real debate on Iraq is “Which is better: do we leave now at our own choosing? or after more expense and suffering, when we are kicked out later?”

Better for us to focus on the Republitics’ much more successful, war on the people, the constitution, and the traditions of the United States. Our involvement in Iraq will settle itself much sooner than anyone expects.

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By M Henri Day, December 1, 2005 at 1:40 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Signature «Grumpy Old Man» seems to believe that «the left» has «made a conscious option in favor of some of the foulest characters on earth».  In what way are Bush and his minions (and, let it be noted, their predecessors in office) less foul ? Torture here - torture there. White phosphorus here - white phosphorus there. Killing journalists here - killing journalists there. Who was it that devised the idea of supporting Islamicist organisations as a counterweight to nationalists, both in Arab countries and in Iraq ? What government was it that funded and aided a certain Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan (admittedly with a great deal of help from Zia al Haq and the ISI, but that particular partnership hardly can be said to constitute mitigating circumstances !). Alas, the difference between the way in which the two sides conduct war is minimal, and has more to do with the enormous preponderance of firepower on the one side than with any moral distinctions which can be made between them. Let us remember that Iraq did not invade the United States, while the United States most certainly invaded Iraq. The judgement at Nürnberg put it well : «To initiate a war of aggression, therefore, is not only an international crime; it is the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole». What the left in the United States is attempting to do, some parts more consciously than others, is to turn that country from the path of Empire, on which it has wandered for well over a century, and bring it back to that of the Republic. Let us hope, for the sake of all mankind, that they succeed, for otherwise the future looks dim indeed….

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By Marian Zulko, December 1, 2005 at 10:02 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I greatly appreciate the comments by he writers.
It gives me hope that the Amerian people will wake up to the Bush propaganda. It is unbelievable that a great country like America ends up with a delusional president who gets his anwers from God. The signers of our constitution
intelligent men were mostly agnostic. Did Bush ever read the constitution and what the signers stood for.
            Marian   Dec l, 2005

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By charles martel, December 1, 2005 at 7:57 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Wake up and smell the coffee!  Did you really think that after 30 months of Sunni terrorists blowing up civilians in Iraq, the Shiites and the Kurds wouldn’t finally get fed up and start fighting back? 

It was inevitable!

To be surprised that there are Shiite death squads in Iraq are killing former Saddam’s henchmen is like being surprised that there is gambling going on at Rick’s café in Casablanca.

You can read more about my take on Robert Scheer’s article at this post: http://charles-martel.blogspot.com/2005/12/scheer-madness.html

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By Maurice E Hardy, December 1, 2005 at 7:37 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The most important effort this publication can next undertake, regarding this subject (Iraq; then and now), is an indepth analysis of how many Iraqis have been killed since this current US-lead war began. No media oulet has had the courage to research and publish an estimate of Iraqis killed in this war. Will you?

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By Edward D. Padgett Jr., December 1, 2005 at 1:06 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

After reading about the propaganda being bought from US troops for publication in newspapers in Iraq. Makes me wonder how many stories in our local newspapers are fabrications?

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By Grumpy Old Man, November 30, 2005 at 10:10 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I can understand questioning the original decision to go to war, and many decisions made in the conduct of the war.

Many on the left, however, appear to support actively those who are fighting us and the Iraqi government. That means Zarqawi and the Ba’ath. 

Because I don’t think everyone on the left is stupid, it seems they have made a conscious option in favor of some of the foulest characters on earth.  That’s not mistaken, it’s contemptible.

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By loriglory, November 30, 2005 at 9:27 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Bush is just a pawn/puppet in this entire scheme to bring the US down. He’s an untreated alcoholic with illusions of grandeur, typical to the disease. He’s just dry, not really sober. I speak with authority, a former addiction counselor.

Cheney/Rumsfeld etal tell him to “heel” and he does.

He looks close to a mental breakdown of some type. I think the poll #‘s are getting to him. Such disapproval is disaster for an untreated addict.

Who knows, maybe they’ve got him on some drugs to keep him propped up for the next 3 years. JMHO

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By R. Wilson, November 30, 2005 at 8:48 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I wonder if the idea that it is important to keep the war going, is just a face saving device. How can people delude themselves that continuing the extreme, depraved violence that the US is responsible for, including the violence of the ‘insurgents’ which did not exist until we invaded, can possibly accomplish anything decent.It becomes more obvious every day that the same people who lied to us about going to war are still lieing to us about how the war is going and why we are staying….the media gabbers spend hours looking serious while asking idiotic questions of each other about how the administration people were fooled by bad intelligence into attacking Iraq…because the media thinks we are at least as stupid as the Govt thinks we are.

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By Darryll Holguin, November 30, 2005 at 4:14 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It is a disgrace that a majority of American’s want to keep continuing down this same trodden path in support of our inept president and his administration in their constant bid for this supposed war on terror.  It brings me to the point that the enduring census regarding this president and his staff in this all too purposeless infiltration, seems to be a bit wary during this particular “re-building” excursion.  It is usually said that a nation cannot just start anew, retreat or pull out and for cliché purposes, “stop this horse when it is in mid-stride.”  My rebuttal to this wavering horse analogy and to my disheartening acceptance of this president and his ever so prevalent persistence is that, whereas one may not deem it sensible to stop the horse mid-stride, the common and more justifiable approach should be to stop the horse if it is clearly evident he is running the wrong race.

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By Wintermute, November 30, 2005 at 2:46 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

On the one hand, I have hopes for the fabled American impatience with a war that drags on, but on the other hand, I see US troops all over “creation,” there to maintain one standoff or another: Korea, Kosovo….

I favor the Vietnam model over the Korean one, but there’s that oil….

I’d like to see Mr. Scheer examine these models and their implications for his next article.

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By M Henri Day, November 30, 2005 at 1:56 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

If Mr Bush truly believes that God has been giving him instructions as to the proper course of conduct in Iraq, that would probably, as Ms Valent indicates, make him certifiable in most countries here in Europe (perhaps he could share a room with the Pope). However, given the latitude prevailing cultural beliefs are allowed in DSM-IV, it seems to me questionable that these delusions would meet the requirements for certification in the United States. Besides, Mr Bush’s lawyers could certainly make a strong case that he frequently speaks to Richard Butler Cheney - and gets answers as well !...

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By Chuck Telford, November 30, 2005 at 12:53 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

If another country or army invaded and occupied my country I would be doing the same things the insurgents in Iraq are doing, everything I could do to throw them out.

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By Jeffrey M Moskin, November 30, 2005 at 10:07 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The Bush Agenda in Iraq was to CONTROL Iraq’s oil - not to pump it. This entire sad adventure was to INCREASE the price of crude so that the FED could print more dollars to pay for it. Dollar Hegemony is the way to World Domination in BushWorld. Just follow the money:

a) Halliburton only makes money when oil sells for more than drilling costs. They have more work than they can handle in “stripper” wells in Texas and Oklahoma.

b) our GOOD and LOYAL friends, the Saudis (Bush’s extended “family”), make more money to finance their totally corrupt society, and to fund the Wahabbi Madrassas in other Arab countries that will provide tomorrow’s terrorists. The excess comes back to American markets. That’s why we have a rising stock market an cheap mortgages in a time of massive layoffs and a failing economy. A game of financial musical chairs.

c) Putin is happy. He’s selling as much oil as the Saudis. Don’t forget, he’s got 60 years of mismanagement to make up for. They need bucks in a big way.

d) eventually, after making the good college try for democracy in Iraq, Bush will give it up as hopeless, but leave a small armed force to guard the oil wells from Iraqi “insurgents”. In other words, yes it’s all about oil, but not about pumping it. It’s about keeping it from being pumped.

Saddam Hussein, President Khatami, and Hugo Chavez have one thing in common - - they all agreed to accept the Euro as payment for oil. Saddam was taken out; the other two are in the cross-hairs. BushCo cannot let anyone break the monopoly of Dollar Hegemony.

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By Mary MacDougall, November 30, 2005 at 9:55 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Great to see this site Robert Scheer…..who knew that after “With Enough Shovels” we would now hear it all over again with mini-nukes, bunker busters, and ‘shelf-life’.  Thanks for staying awake and still kicking.

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By Anthony, November 30, 2005 at 9:00 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Now that our Military is transformed by using Contractors to provide basic services, it is hard to know for sure if “staying the course” really means “Keeping the checks rolling in”.

The biggest dupe in history, the American people are being fleeced under our eyes in the name of the war on terror.

Halliburton is responsible for feeding, housing and supplying our troops. It is perfectly clear they must fight for the status-quo and continue these large contracts.

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By Joanne Riedel, November 30, 2005 at 8:51 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It is very disturbing that articles like this will no longer be published in the LA Times.

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By evor, November 30, 2005 at 5:51 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The US invasion of Iraq is nothing more than an imperialist power grab meant to stem the looming energy crisis brought about by the impending global warming which the capitalist hypercorporations are causing in their mad rush to globalization, as well as an attempt by the American taliban religious right to spread their gospel of non-inclusiveness and self-denial in a post-modern world that has clearly moved beyond their mantra of self-loathing and conformity.

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By Maria Valent, November 30, 2005 at 5:27 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Digby has a good take on this question

<snip>
“Feaver and Gelpi categorized people on the basis of two questions: “Was the decision to go to war in Iraq right or wrong?” and “Can the United States ultimately win?” In their analysis, the key issue now is how people feel about the prospect of winning. They concluded that many of the questions asked in public opinion polls—such as whether going to war was worth it and whether casualties are at an unacceptable level—are far less relevant now in gauging public tolerance or patience for the road ahead than the question of whether people believe the war is winnable.

“The most important single factor in determining public support for a war is the perception that the mission will succeed,” Gelpi said in an interview yesterday.”

http://digbysblog.blogspot.com/

It has always been about perception with this man. It is the belief that most of the public can be “sold” almost anything, and it has been mostly successful, along with the practice of thuggery, on many items, although it did not work with the Social Security initiative. The public has been conditioned to be “sold” almost anything because of the culture’s compulsiveness toward consumerism and the incessant barrage of advertising to sell almost anything.  Yesterday he unveiled his “immigration plan” wearing a nice new green jacket with the border patrol logo embroidered on it

Another reason, as has been reported by Sy Hersh in his latest New Yorker piece, is that Bush is convinced he has been, in some way, told by God to invade Iraq and probably to say the course until his “mission” is accomplished. If that is the case, he is certifiably insane

It could be a combination of both.

Coming up today, his speech on the “Victory” and it is “national” btw, in Iraq today at Annapolis. It is another staged event before the military, purposefully chosen because of all the cheering and the clapping and the razzsle dazzsle of all those sharp, neat shiny uniforms. I will not look or listen, but I suspect, for the marketing effect, he will wear another military costume or jacket.

It has been reported that CNN will do an “impromptu” interview with Laura Bush soon. Her poll numbers are not as bad as his, but no way will this be “impromptu” as we know from what the Irish journalist, Carol Coleman has written in her book about the pre-interview restrictions she was told to follow. No media is going to ask the hard questions, we know that. It will be more propaganda and puff.

This follows a pattern.  Bush, then trot out Laura, after Condi drops a few of the talking points, and a few in the congress get on board with the same talking points. I won’t mention the MSM. It is a blight on the American people.

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By Phil Mosley, November 30, 2005 at 3:12 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This whole thing, well at least the fall back position, was supposed to be about liberating the Iraqi people.

The decade of totally immoral sanctions prior to Gulf War 2 did more to destroy Iraq than GW2 itself. No fly zones that didn’t have the support of the U.N. created a situation where the majority of Iraqi Kurds can’t even speak the same language as their commanding officers.

The U.S. has been buggering the Iraqi people for a long, long time. Don’t you think it’s about time we started bringing them into the equation?

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By C.M. Ramakrishna, November 30, 2005 at 2:36 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It looks like that Bush is afflicted by some kind of madness.  It is high time he is removed from his office before he brings more destruction not only to Iraq but to world itself.  His invasion of Iraq has spawned more terrorists and brought more insecurity around the world.  He as well as Dick Chaney richly deserve to be impeached.  But GOP controlled Congress may not impeach them unless a majority of people cry for their removal.  So, some leaders should start this movement.
Our Constitution is out-dated and outmoded.  It needs to be amended to have a parliamentary type of government.

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By Kay Brown, November 30, 2005 at 1:04 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

How about house arrest in Crawford.

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By bill bergren, November 29, 2005 at 11:44 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The American occupation of Iraq has nothing to do with “nation-building.” The latter is, in fact, an utterly specious concept: nations aren’t “built” by their destruction. It is, however, a usefull apology for empire.

The American occupation of Iraq is an example of imperialism and piracy. The facts that “democracy building” was used only as a secondary rational for invasion and the absence “post war planning” point directly to this inescapable conclusion, not to mention the mountains of pre-war evidence.

Serious reportage on Iraq should quit paying lip-service to claims that the invasion is a misguided attempt to achieve “lofty goals” by an “out of touch” president and concentrate on demonstrating the actual methods of the ongoing plunder, not only of the Iraqi treasury, but of the American as well.

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