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The Withdrawal Follies

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Posted on Jul 26, 2007

By Tom Engelhardt

(Page 3)

This mood was caught perfectly in a question nationally syndicated right-wing radio host Hugh Hewitt posed to General Petraeus:  “Some have warned that a genocide of sorts, or absolute terms, would follow a precipitous withdrawal of coalition forces. Do you agree that that is a possibility ... and a significant one?”  To which Petraeus responded, “[O]ne would certainly expect that sectarian violence would resume at a very high level…. That’s not to say there’s not still some going on right now….”

The Future in Slo-mo

In the meantime, the Bush administration, its ambassador in Baghdad, and its commanders were hard at work trying to push any full-scale assessment of the President’s “surge” plan—promised for September—and the plan itself ever further into the future.  This was part of a larger campaign for “more time.”  In press conferences, teleconferences to Washington, briefings for Congress, leaks to the press, and media appearances of all sorts, they appealed for time, time, time.  (Nowhere in the media, by the way, have the reporters who benefit from this flood of official and semi-official commentary suggested that it might be part of a concerted propaganda campaign.) 

Lt. Gen. Raymond T. Odierno, who oversees day-to-day operations in Iraq, typically claimed that the September deadline was “too early” for any real assessment of “progress” and suggested November as the date of choice.  Under pressure, he half-retracted his comments the next day, assuring Congress that there would indeed be a September Progress Report.  He added: “My reference to November was simply suggesting that as we go forward beyond September, we will gain more understanding of trends.” 

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General Petraeus took a similar tack in that Hugh Hewitt interview: “Well, I have always said that we will have a sense by [September] of basically, of how things are going, have we been able to achieve progress on the ground, where have their been shortfalls…. But that’s all it is going to be.”  In essence, the once-definitive September report was already being downgraded to a “snapshot” of an ongoing operation. 

While Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Peter Pace even hinted that U.S. troop numbers in Iraq might rise in the near future, the horizon for the surge plan to end began to be pushed toward summer 2008.  Yochi Dreazen and Greg Jaffe reported in the Wall Street Journal (“Gap Widens over Iraq Approach”):  “Despite growing calls from lawmakers for drastic change in Iraq, senior U.S. military officials on the ground say they believe the current [surge] strategy should be maintained into next year—and already have mapped out additional phases for doing so through January.”  They indicated that this was part of a Bush administration “gamble”—think campaign—“that Congress will be unable or unwilling to force a drawdown and that the military will have a free hand to keep the added troops in place well into next year.”

There was a drumbeat of commentary by various commanders pushing the plan deeper into the future.  Maj. Gen. Richard Lynch, commander of the 3rd Infantry Division, typically said:  “It’s going to take through [this] summer, into the fall, to defeat the extremists in my battle space [south of Baghdad], and it’s going to take me into next spring and summer to generate this sustained security presence.” 

Leaks of plans that took the American presence into the increasingly distant future also began to occur.  The most striking came on July 24th in a New York Times front-page piece by Michael R. Gordon.  Its headline said it all:  “U.S. seen in Iraq until at least ‘09.”  Gordon reported that a “detailed document,” known as the Joint Campaign Plan and developed by General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker, “foresees a significant American role for the next two years.” The article revealed plans to be in Iraq in force at least through the summer of 2009—in other words, well into the tenure of the next administration.  Gordon identified the source of this leak as “American officials familiar with the document.”  As is often the case with reporter Gordon, the sourcing was indecipherable but undoubtedly administration-friendly, part of the President’s rolling, roiling campaign to secure the future (having lost the past and present). 

As it happened, the future was also being wielded in another way.  The President’s commanders now embraced their own version of withdrawal and began to turn it into another version of prolonged occupation.  Their general attitude went something like this:  If you think it took a long time to get into this mess, you have no idea how long it will take to get. 

As an example, General Pace recently claimed that a month would be needed to withdraw each of our 20 combat brigades in Iraq non-precipitously; in other words, once we started, it would take almost two years not to get all our troops out of that country.  Maj. Gen. Benjamin R. Mixon, U.S. commander in northern Iraq, then topped Pace by claiming that 18 months would be needed just to cut the brigades in his region in half. 


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By Counselor1, August 1, 2007 at 6:36 am Link to this comment

Response to 90871 by Cyrena
I made a typographical error in writing “June 1996.” I meant June 2006. For what little it’s worth, I’m a supporter of the new Council for the National Interest. This is the group, it appears to be mainly Jewish Americans, that has arisen to oppose the AIPAC lobby in the latter’s endless drive to keep the U.S. unfairly supportive of hard-line Israeli governments. I’m quite aware of the baleful influence, going back to the paper “A Clean Break,”  of those persons I’d call “Isra-aliens” (American citizens who should have to register as lobbyists for a foreign power, Israel.)

I think all religions, insofar as they have sets of varying unfalsifiable theological beliefs, are inherently authoritarian and thus anti-democratic. So if there are some Islamofacists, (“Sunnifacists” and “Shiafacists”?) there are also “Christocans,” and “Judeofacists,” people who insist that their nation be an “X-nation.” 

In any case, any hope of making for a less murderous redeployment of US troops that could have been proposed by Greens or even Democrats is now gone. Bush will simply redeploy to north and south in Iraq, U.S. casualties will diminish and the mainstream media will lose interest after the election no matter what horrors may or may not happen in Iraq. So Americans will cease paying attention.

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By cyrena, July 31, 2007 at 2:04 am Link to this comment

#90871 by Counselor1 on 7/30 at 12:12 pm

•  My approach has always been “What can I do, given the enormous influence of the Israeli lobby, the military industrial complex and oil companies, as one almost completely powerless American citizen, to lessen the slaughter and destruction of Iraq?” I have always thought of it as a way to reduce killing and maiming and expense. I doubt this is arrogance rather than humility.

Counselor1:

I appreciate your response, but reading it, I realize that the primary point I was attempting to make in my own comments, was that it was in fact very “arrogant” for ANY group or person to consider “a plan” for Iraq, unless they happen to be an IRAQI, or at the very least, somebody or some group that has spent years studying it’s history, and communicating within that culture, and has been INVITED by the people of that nation, to help them come up with a “plan”.

The “plan” that you put forward, if I’m interpreting this correctly, would mean a “plan” for the colonization of Iraq that would be “less” bloody, and have “less” slaughter, and be cheaper on top of it. And, you say that you’ve had this plan since 1996, though we know that it was 1997 I believe, when the Israel lobby was strongly pushing Will Clinton to invade Iraq, to take Saddam out.

So, based on that, I’m making the assumption that it was perfectly within your own humility, to allow for the invasion and occupation of that sovereign nation, but that your plan would have involved less slaughter and bloodshed.

MY point, was that because of the fact that we should never have initiated this war of aggression, there would be no need for such a “plan” as yours, because if we weren’t there, we wouldn’t need to withdraw, and there has never been a reason, EVER, to invade or occupy Iraq, with what is (for the purposes of reality) a US unilateral force.

So, THAT is why I believe it to be arrogant and presumptuous, to make ANY “plans” for another group of individuals, all of whom have a right to self-determination. Not US politicians’ determination, and not the US Oligarchy’s determination, and not the multinational corps determination, but…their OWN –Iraqi- self-determination.

Anyway, my idea of a “withdrawal plan” was obviously not to ever be there in the first place. If there was a need to depose Saddam, (and there certainly was a need to do that) it could have been accomplished through the International Law Enforcement body. However, for the specific gang that initiated this particular war, (the neocons as headed by Cheney/Rumsfeld/Wolfowitz/etc) that was not an option, and would obviously have been overwhelmingly hypocritical, since these very same Cabal Characters have supported Saddam for decades. Even more importantly than that, it has never, ever been the INTENTION of the Cabal, to do any sort of “withdrawal”. It was intended, from the beginning, to be a permanent occupation, for the privatization of Iraq’s oil and Cabal hegemony in the region. Consequently, that makes any withdrawal plans, regardless of whom they are presented by…be they Republican or Democrat, or Green or Independent, or any of the rest of them, totally insignificant.

I see any talk of “withdrawal plans” in Congress, as posturing for the spoon-feeding of the populace as we whirl or float through this election season. Just some parliamentary feathering of the propaganda that has already been decided upon.

Meantime, no one has put up any genuine withdrawal plans, and I don’t expect them to. For me, a “lesser slaughter” of humankind (say only 1 million instead of 4 million) isn’t really an option, and doesn’t show any “humility” on anyone’s part.
 
Neither is arming the rest of the region, now that they’ve created the self-sustaining fireball that is Iraq. One might even begin to speculate, that all of this was planned as well.

Meantime, the link below shows what the past 4 1/2 years of arrogance have done.


http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/073007C.shtml

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By Counselor1, July 30, 2007 at 1:12 pm Link to this comment

Response to 89896 by Cyrena
My approach has always been “What can I do, given the enormous influence of the Israeli lobby, the military industrial complex and oil companies, as one almost completely powerless American citizen,  to lessen the slaughter and destruction of Iraq?” I have always thought of it as a way to reduce killing and maiming and expense. I doubt this is arrogance rather than humility. I’m 66, retired, and an elected Green Party borough councilman.  I think plans, like words, can be weapons in the rhetorical combat of our elections. Notice how H. Clinton the other day said not that she is a “liberal” but “progressive?” Stealing my label for my politics almost made me gag.

I started to propose my plan in June 1996 by sending it to a national circulation Green Party journal as a “Greens have an alternative” plan. The editors would not print it. I then sent it to 3 local, small town newspapers which published it. I then sent it to 950 newspapers as a short letter to the editor via an online marketing service for press releases. No takers. I then sent it email and some hard copies to elected “liberal” democrats and candidates. No response at all. I sent it to Bloomberg and his campaign manager Sheekey. No response. Now word is leaking that REPUBLICANS are talking about “withdrawal” of our troops “to the north and south” IN IRAQ. It seems REPUBLICANS have now got an essential element of this plan, without even the “soft partition” part, for which even Senator Biden can’t get any traction. So far as a plan for reducing casualties and expense goes, the Republicans now have something more practical than Democrats vague promises of “withdrawal,” which I just don’t believe the powers in our society will allow. And at the same time, Bush is planning a $50 billion arms deal, $30 billion to aid Israel and $20 billion for Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states.

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By hippy pam, July 30, 2007 at 6:11 am Link to this comment

I THINK WE SHOULD INSIST BUSH “GIVE ONE DAUGHTER TO THE MILITARY”.Why don’t a daughter of Bush go to IRAQ and fight in the WAR.We know it is safe over there because he claimed victory several years ago.Why arent’t his kids over there RISKING THEIR LIVES IN A COUNTRY WE ARE INVADING.The news is that suicide fighters are sneaking in from the surrounding countries and those countries should “police their borders”.AMERIKA can’t fix our own problems and borders-HOW CAN BUSH HELP ANY OTHER COUNTRY TO FIX THEIRS???He and Cheney are OLD MEN who have enough money and power.Let them play games within their own “circle of friends”.MAKE BUSH PUT ON ARMOR AND LEAD BY EXAMPLE AT THE FRONT.LET HIS KIDS GET KILLED.WHEN BUSH HAS TO PUT HIMSELF AND HIS KIDS IN THE LINE OF FIRE, HE WILL BRING OUR TROOPS HOME.

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By cyrena, July 30, 2007 at 3:49 am Link to this comment

#90666 by Enemy of State on 7/29 at 12:24 pm
•  We didn’t want religious to be part of the government, we thought that would be too divisive. That ruled out Sistani, the most powerful voice of moderation in the country.
Enemy of the State:

I guess we can chalk this up to yet another astounding paradox, in deciding that “we” didn’t want religion to be a part of Iraq’s government, so that just ruled out any sort of communication with Sistani. It’s tragically ironic, because Iraq, (under Saddam) and with the exception of Turkey, was probably the closest to a secular Islamic nation than any other nation-state in the region. And, rather than being a divisive element, the faith (Islam) is the one thing that has united nearly all Iraqis, (in the past) regardless of their sect or other ethnic identity.

Meantime, we sure have gotten our own “experience” now, on the dangers of allowing anything allegedly “religious”, to determine our policy.  Lord, what a mess we’ve made…there as well as here.

I read an article some months ago, (as part of an assignment) in which the author, Laura Nader, poses the suggestion that occupying nations frequently adopt behaviors that are native to the nations they occupy. I see a bit of that, looking at both Iraq and US, before and since the occupation.

And in the meantime, I know that absolutely nothing will resolve in Iraq, until the people of that country are allowed the self-determination that the universal laws have afforded them, and that we have taken away. No society of people can be “ruled” unless they allow themselves to be, and they must always choose the “rulers” themselves. Otherwise, there is social dysfunction.

That’s why things are so jacked-up for us here at home…we didn’t CHOOSE these criminals that are ruling us, and yet we haven’t been able to find or use a collective tactic to remove them. So, the national mood reflects that.

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By Enemy of State, July 29, 2007 at 1:24 pm Link to this comment

Cyrena “because it means only that I failed to properly articulate myself. I do it a lot..”

  Unfortuantely I have been guilty of the same sorts of sins-of-ommission, not wanting to burden the reader with what I thought would be obvious to them.

  We didn’t want religious to be part of the government, we thought that would be too divisive. That ruled out Sistani, the most powerful voice of moderation in the country.

  This was my first experience with tomdispatch.com. I plan to add it to my list of regularly accessed sites.

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By felicity, July 29, 2007 at 11:49 am Link to this comment

Anybody hear Shays and Wrangle (sp.) duke it out this morn on Blitzer’s program?  Shays finally admitted that if for no other reason our presence in Iraq - troops and all - was necessary given Iraq’s huge oil fields.  Wrangle came back with something like ‘well, finally someone comes up with the real reason and the only viable reason why we’re there and need to stay there.’  (I think it’s the first time I’ve ever heard sitting politicians tell the truth about our Iraq invasion and occupation.)

That said, our assumption that the Iraqi people welcome al Qaeda in their country is yet another example of America’s head-up-her-ass thinking. The Saudis got rid of them as did the Sudanese.  It is our presence in Iraq that has given them a field of operation.

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By jbart, July 29, 2007 at 9:33 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Here, here, Non Credo !! It is, painfully, correct that, at the base of our troubles, is Israel’s (illegal) influence on our governmental policies. It is abhorrent and needs to be stopped A.S.A.P.. We need to get rid of ALL “influences” through lobbying practices ($$$). AIPAC & Tobacco & Pharm & Medicine & Insurance/Banking & the rest of them.
Unless they go, we’re doomed as a country.

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By cyrena, July 29, 2007 at 12:10 am Link to this comment

#90521 by Enemy of State on 7/28 at 7:26 pm

•  One inaccuracy I’d like to correct: The Iraqi Government is not our puppet. We have no direct control over it, athough we can threaten to up and leave (which gives us a little bit of influence). Of course the government is weak, and corrupt, and near failure, its just that Bush/Cheney don’t have any relliable strings to control it with.  Kinda like Tom said, the plan went bad because we could control hardly any of the players.

Thanks EOS, for pointing this out, because it means only that I failed to properly articulate myself. I do it a lot, because of having to click back and forth between what was always the shadow agenda, (the real one) and the stuff they told us. So, in the shadow agenda, (the cheney-neocon plan) it was the INTENTION, to set-up a “puppet government” in Iraq, after we’d already pissed them off with the CPA….Bremer’s operation. So, I really do think that was the plan initially, and they thought they’d just manage to make Maliki, their “man in Iraq”.

But, as you and Tom have both said, that didn’t work, because of those crazy Arabs. (or, so they will say). Because in fact, Maliki and his closest circle, have NOT produced, or responded to any of these demands. And, while I believe that cheney HAS been making routine “visits” (along with the rest of the gang…they take turns) just to keep putting Maliki’s feet a little closer to the fire, it’s been like trying to get blood from a turnip, because Maliki himself, has no support for his government, and it’s not like the Cabal has ever been willing to have any serious conversations, with anyone OTHER than Maliki. I mean, did anybody ever think to talk with the dispossessed Sunnis, aside from just lumping everybody in the category of “insurgent”? Did anybody bother to consult with Sistani? What about Sadr…of course not, he was just a thug punk in a turban, as far as the Cabal was concerned. Well, look what 4 and ½ years has changed. There is a large chunk of Iraqi humanity, that is overwhelmingly influenced by him. How ya gonna ignore that?

And, that’s the part that the Cabal just can’t accept. They futz around over here in all of their arrogance, making up this “task list” for a whole population of people, -on their own soil- and “threaten” to LEAVE, if they don’t complete these assigned tasks, when in fact, that’s EXACTLY what the majority of the Iraqis have been asking for – for years!!! Needless-to-say, Maliki and his few guys have probably wanted us to stay, if only as protection for him, against his own people.

But, the irony that I just can’t get over, is how we’re over here making all of these “plans” for Iraq, and nobody has asked any of THEM, a damn thing about how they feel about any of it, and they even make sure that WE don’t hear what they DO have to say, when they say it.

So, I think we’re in agreement. They went in with the typical arrogance, and particular hubris of this particular gang, and just automatically expected, exactly what they had already described….”A slam dunk”. Or a “cake-walk”. They just forgot that there were 26 million humans just as firmly attached to that soil as the oil is, and they didn’t bother to consult any of them. And, it backfired. That’s what always happens when people operate with such hubris.

And now they’ve got the gall to “threaten” them with abandonment? I get pissed every time I think about it.


But, I always appreciate Tom’s work, and all of the other authors’ analysis that he provides.

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By Counselor1, July 28, 2007 at 9:41 pm Link to this comment

I agree with Non Credo in his/her claim that that there will probably be no really major withdrawal form Iraq, but because two, not one, very powerful influences are opposed: not only the pro-hard line Israeli government lobby, but also the oil companies that want to control the quantity of oil on the world market.

And would real withdrawal now, as opposed to redeployment out of the way, really be responsible action for the superpower perpetrator? Isn’t it like having gone into the vast pottery barn, killed the managers, set the stock boys to fighting the cashiers, smashed 655,000+ precious pieces, thrown another 2 million out the door, moved another 2 million around, and then running away from the store while other thieves are lurking around? 

And now comes word that Bush intends to sell $billions more arms to Israel and Saudi Arabia! That’s right, Georgie, the fire’s not big enough. Pour more gasoline on it. We’ll be lucky if we get a relatively calmer Euro-Korean length occupation.

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By Enemy of State, July 28, 2007 at 8:26 pm Link to this comment

Cyrena, lots of good points. One inaccuracy I’d like to correct: The Iraqi Government is not our puppet. We have no direct control over it, athough we can threaten to up and leave (which gives us a little bit of influence). Of course the government is weak, and corrupt, and near failure, its just that Bush/Cheney don’t have any relliable strings to control it with.  Kinda like Tom said, the plan went bad because we could control hardly any of the players.

  I really like your point about the arrogance/ignorance seeming to be part of the American character. All too depressingly true.

  Now for my 2cent shot at prediction:
  Gen Petraeous will have just enough progress to report, that we will go for yet one more Freidman Unit. The initials of the Friedman Unit are of course FU (which is pretty descriptive of the result).

  It looks to me like Al Qaeda in Iraq is being defeated (or at least seriously set back). I suspect we will beat them, then ask What do we do now? And we will have no good plan for that.

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By cyrena, July 28, 2007 at 7:46 pm Link to this comment

RE#90499 by Louise on 7/28 at 5:05 pm

Louise, Thanks so much for this post. I especially like your note to Ms. Pelosi. And, the direction to the democracy now link as well. My oh my…that Dan character, (the Lieberman dude) was just EXCEPTIONALLY ANNOYING, wasn’t he? I feel compelled to somehow record some responses to him, since I wasn’t able to reach through the computer screen and choke him.

So, that has turned out to be an excellent “prompt” for me, to get some work done. Got me all fired up.

Thanks again.

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By Louise, July 28, 2007 at 6:05 pm Link to this comment

When you see yourself as ruler, the world is where you live.
If you happen to be a politician that might be a problem, but for the rulers an easily broken law.

Did anyone happen to catch “NOW” last night? [PBS]
Great program explaining how the repubs bend and break election law. And even now are working on “controlling” the outcome of the next election.

Memo to Nancy Pelosi:
Dear Madam,
Whether you like it or not you folks will not be in the majority after the next election cycle, unless you begin impeachment proceedings immediately!

You see, they have a plan in place. They don’t need to fix every corner because you know what your constituents want and you refuse to go there. And they know that. So, between disgruntled, disappointed and angry democrats and dumb republicans, and a smattering of cheating, you will put them back in power.

Please Nancy, don’t do that to us.

Forget about history. Forget about what your advisers are telling you. Forget about whether or not you will be successful.
Please ... just try. For the trying, you will hold the majority, because a growing majority of republicans are as sick and tired and fed up as the dems! If the effort is made, you will be rewarded for your effort. If no effort is made, you have lost the moral high ground.

You know we all want our troops out of Iraq.
Nancy, dear Nancy ... you know that will never happen if these people re-gain control. And you surely must know that as long as Bush believes he is untouchable it will never happen while you are Speaker of the House.

Don’t you think it’s time you let him know he’s not untouchable?
Don’t you think it’s time to show the man who really has the balls?

end memo.

OK, sorry about that ... got a little off track, but I feel better.

I have family born in Texas.
I have family living in Texas.
They moved there back when the democrats were cleaning up the school system.
Got to where people were moving there because the schools in Texas were the best!
But that was then and this is now.
What a difference republican leadership makes!

Some of the most progressive writers and thinkers in the country are Texans.
The Lone Star Iconoclast, one of the first newspapers in the country to speak out against re-electing W. is in Crawford, Texas.
And of course, our Molly was a Texan.

If you didn’t get a chance, go to http://www.democracynow.org and watch todays show. [Friday, July 27]

“Should Impeachment Be Off the Table? A Debate with Peace Mom Cindy Sheehan, Ex-CIA Analyst Ray McGovern and Democratic Strategist Dan Gerstein”

That’s it! It’s those darn “Strategists” that are messing with Nancy’s head!

Addendum to memo:
Dear Nancy,
Strategists get PAID to think. Shouldn’t that make you a little suspicious? Listen to “we the people” instead.

Believe it or not, we know what we’re talking about!

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By cyrena, July 28, 2007 at 4:30 pm Link to this comment

#90449 by Louise on 7/28 at 1:42 pm

Louise:

Another great post. And yes…the war is lost. A bungled occupation from the beginning, for all the reasons you’ve said. One cannot offer all sorts of “alternate agendas” in order to hide the real agenda, (an exercise in neo-colonization)and expect to win. THEY knew they were going to Iraq to conquor and rule - permanently, but they didn’t tell anybody else that. Ergo…the disaster.

And, if they had any intention -at all- of leaving Iraq, they could do it in less than 30 days. (the Iraqis would probably help them pack, and provide logistical support).

But, that was never the plan.

Such as it is…

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By cyrena, July 28, 2007 at 4:23 pm Link to this comment

Comment#90126 by michael on 7/27 at 1:00 pm

Sorry Michael,

I honestly DO know, that the Shrub family are NOT “real Texans”. They actually came down from the Northeast some decades ago, when the area wasn’t big enough for them and the Kennedy’s at the same time, and the Kennedys won out.

So indeed, they “adopted” Texas, and since I spent 17 years of my own life as a Texas resident, I was around during the time when george was first starting to blow all sorts of deals in West Texas, and all of the rest.

Anyway, forgive me if I’ve given the impression that all Texans are represented by the likes of Bush, or even Cheney, whom…oddly enough, is now always “associated” with Wyoming, even though he too, was a “resident” of Highland Park, (Dallas, Tx) all the time that he was running Houston. At the time of the 2000 judicial coup, cheney and the RNC didn’t concern themselves about the “rule” that prohibited a Pres and VP candidate being from the same state. Instead, cheney just claimed WY as “his” state, since it had been at one time. BUT, WE all knew he lived right there in Highland Park.

So, I know the deal there, but it doesn’t still mean that there aren’t a bunch of legitimate Texans, that are equally crazy. Just not ALL of them.smile

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By Louise, July 28, 2007 at 2:42 pm Link to this comment

This is a great article!
Digging at the obvious and coming up with an in depth explanation of the un-explainable. But, [always there is the but] forgot to mention the biggest obvious of all. [although it came very close]

The war in Iraq is lost.
Period.

The war in Iraq was lost before it began, because it was a fiction.
A fantasy created in small minds who play at life rather than experience it.
Who designed a game that they would play and they would win, on the pretense that they knew what they were doing and that they would always control the players. Since none of these mental midgets have ever had to do anything real in their entire lives ... they forgot to factor in the players that they couldn’t control.

Which is just about everybody.

This should stand as a lesson to us all.
Never send a child to do a mans job.
Nothing original in that rule. But never in my life have I seen a better example of why it’s not a good idea.

And the second lesson we should all learn ... again ...
Wars of liberation based on lies can not be won.
Ever!

When Alexander marched across Europe and Asia, there was no pretense of liberation. It was raw aggression and labeled as such.
He won.

When Napoleon conquered Prussia, he had no intention of liberating anyone.
He won.

Long story short, if you fight to conquer, you win. If you fight to conquer and call it liberation you lose.
Proving once and for all, you can’t alter reality just by lying.

A growing majority in this country are finally waking up to that fact.

You have to be OK with bloody pointless death and destruction to conquer.
Apparently the administration and far to many in congress are.
The problem lies with the people and their military, most of whom aren’t.
So the administration and some in congress just keep lying.

While others ask what will it take?
When will they learn?

Never.

For the most part they are old enough to remember Vietnam, another war lost. Another war based on a lie. Proving they weren’t paying attention any better then, than they are now. Or they are really dumb. Or they are making tons of money from this particular lie.

From the article:
“Lt. Gen. Raymond T. Odierno, who oversees day-to-day operations in Iraq, typically claimed that the September deadline was “too early” for any real assessment of “progress” and suggested November as the date of choice.  Under pressure, he half-retracted his comments the next day, assuring Congress that there would indeed be a September Progress Report.  He added: “My reference to November was simply suggesting that as we go forward beyond September, we will gain more understanding of trends.”

Of course there will be a progress report.

“We have found the broken pipe ... it can not be fixed. Can we re-wind and start over?”

The fantasy created in the altered reality of our administration and congress can create war.
But alas, they can not reverse time.

Shall we help the good General understand the trends?
The Iraqi people hate us.
They want us to leave.

There, that was easy huh?
[but of course the General knows that]

Meanwhile back in the White House Mr. Bush continues to practice saying alqaeda, terrorist and 9/11, with an occasional Osama thrown in. Simple enough. He should be able to remember another week ... month ... year ... While the rest of the world reluctantly begins to realize when we leave Iraq, and we will have to you know, it will be chaotic. Putting off beginning a complete withdrawal guarantees that.

And the good general knows that too.

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By farmertx, July 27, 2007 at 6:50 pm Link to this comment

Thanks, Michael…
Yes, Shrub says his hame is George Walker Bush and that he is from Texas…but, remember, he has lied before. Easy way to tell…waych his lips; when they move…yup, he’s a lying again.
Just as his daddy rented a hotel room in Houston every 4 years, so he could come down from Kennebunkport and vote as a “Texan”. Patently illegal, but nobody cared. Guess that is where they got the idea that laws and such only applied to Democrat’s and other opponent’s.

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By michael, July 27, 2007 at 2:00 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

cyrena

I love your comments but to make matter clear.  when you said          
So, as we know, this isn’t at all remarkable, for the attitude of the Texas Mob.
First of all HE IS NOT A TEXAN.  Did you just see where the new dress policy fof vistors to the white house says you cannot whear jeans?  This is not the behavior of a texan. Second of wich none of his behavior is what I find in real texans.  And yes texans are people and yes some of us can be real SOBs if we put our minds to it but stop blaming us for these dofuses.

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By cyrena, July 27, 2007 at 4:15 am Link to this comment

#89869 by farmertx on 7/26 at 4:52 pm

And, Farmertx, YOU TOO, hit THIS right on the head..

...“Rather than consult folks whose business it is to understand other countries and their outlooks, these yo-yo’s consult politically reliable hangers on.”....

I would add this, even when these consultants HAVE provided the essential information, the Mob never pays any attention to them. They only shop for “professionals” that are gonna tell them what they want to hear…whatever will fit into their real plan. For them, that doesn’t include the outlooks or history, or traditions, or basic structure of another society. None of that is necessary.

Bottom line, They’ve come from Texas, and they’re there to get the oil. The people and all the rest of that stuff, are insignificant.

It’s like I heard a neighbor kid say over a decade ago, when I suggested that he check with another neighbor, before going into his yard to retrieve a ball. (This was like the neighborhood’s “family from hell”) He told me that he/they didn’t ASK for NOTHIN’, because they just TOOK what they wanted.

He was about 9 years old, and dead serious. His brothers and sister were the same way. The parents were the real doozies though. So, as we know, this isn’t at all remarkable, for the attitude of the Texas Mob.

Iraq belongs to them, just like any of the other oil fields they’ve taken over. This is just the mother lode, and they intend to have it.

That said, no professional analysts who know and study the area, have given him the “diagnosis” he wants to hear, so he pretends to find some that will. And then he even lies on them.

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By cyrena, July 27, 2007 at 1:01 am Link to this comment

Well, here we have more outstanding journalism, the kind we’ve come to expect from Tom, and many of those who bring us information from his TomDispatch venue. At least I have come to depend on it as the necessary confirmation that I need from time to time, in sifting through all of the propaganda campaigns of the past 6 or more years. It’s been easier to do that, which Dispatches such as his. (if only to compare notes and verify sources.)

Meantime, while Tom certainly pointed it out, and while some of our posters recognize it as well, we are still, for the most part, thoroughly convinced that ONLY our own “solutions” are worth considering, and NONE of them include actually giving the people of Iraq a VOICE in ANY of this. Even Counselor1, (who seems to have the moral as well as the pragmatic concerns in mind) still suggests a “plan” that leaves US in charge of deciding what’s best for the Iraqis:

•  #89896 by Counselor1 on 7/26 at 6:12 pm
….”There is more likely to be a “bloodbath” if we leave the immeasurable treasure of the Iraqi oil fields up for grabs among Turkey, Sunnis and Shia than if our forces redeploy to protect them.”…

And, herein lies the problem…it’s that arrogance that we can’t ever seem to get away from, even when we really don’t mean to be . It’s the nature of the American mentality. So, it allows us to forget, (or never even consider) that the PEOPLE of Iraq, be they Sunni, Shia, Kurd or Turks, have BEEN managing to control their own oil industry, (albeit under extreme conditions of sanctions) for the past 30 or so years, and so there’s no reason to expect that they can’t continue to do the same thing NOW, or that they haven’t been attempting to do exactly that, (and running into nothing but walls in the puppet government?).

In other words, there has been nothing (besides the propaganda campaign) that provides any certainty that the Sunni, Shia and Kurds are going to battle each other out for the oil, even though we certainly can’t ignore that possibility, now that we have created exactly that type of social chaos and competition between them, as a result of the illegal occupation. Still, we have NO IDEA what the Iraqis will do if we leave, because NO ONE, (at least within this administration, or the whole of Congress) has actually bothered to ASK any of them.

Not only have they steadfastly ignored any and all of the community leaders of Iraq, they’ve consistently managed to hide from our own attention, ALL of the demonstrations and protestations that the Iraqis have participated in, since the very beginning of the occupation.

Thanks to sites like these, we are hearing more and more of what the PEOPLE of Iraq really think, and how they feel. And what is overwhelming clear, (at least to me) is that the people of Iraq were not STUPID when we invaded them, and they aren’t STUPID now. They KNOW that it is their OIL that the US Mob is after, and they’ve known that all along.

So, since they were an able society when we broke in and ruined it all, it’s as reasonable as anything else, to expect that THEY would best know how to put it back together, if WE would just get the hell out, and allow them to do that.

This is the part that the Cabal can never accept. It cannot accept defeat on the whole purpose of the disaster to begin with, which was, and continues to be, to control the oil resources in that region.

That was the plan from well over a decade ago, and so “withdrawal” has NEVER been part of the real agenda. They intended to be in Iraq forever, and to make it a new American Kingdom, (not unlike the one that the US set up in Saudi Arabia, and still maintains).

This is the fundamental thing to consider, when ANY politician talks about “any” withdrawal plans. Unless they have a plan to leave now, WITHOUT LEAVING A TRACE of a base or a bullet, then it’s not a plan.

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By DennisD, July 26, 2007 at 7:48 pm Link to this comment
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Cut off the funding and this Bu$hian nightmare will end much faster than anyway else. Congress - take your heads out of your collective asses and justify your existence as something other than a corporate rubber stamp. Repubniks I’m addressing you scumbags in particular while not forgetting the Demchiks trying to play both ends against the middle a little while longer. Get to it.

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By Counselor1, July 26, 2007 at 7:12 pm Link to this comment

Congratulations, Tom. You’ve pierced the veil of Democrats vague talk of “withdrawal.” But like all other commentators I’ve read, you seem to be leaving Israel and Iran, and an important task for this political season, out of consideration. One problem is that vague promises of withdrawal increase the probability that Israel will make a preemptive strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities while our forces remain in the area. The difficult political task is to make the mainstream media insist that Bush and all presidential candidates tell us exactly what they would order or forbid our forces to do to defend Israel against retaliation once it makes such a preemptive attack on Iran.

There is more likely to be a “bloodbath” if we leave the immeasurable treasure of the Iraqi oil fields up for grabs among Turkey, Sunnis and Shia than if our forces redeploy to protect them.

Here, in very brief form, is a redeployment plan with risks of its own, but if implemented in its entirety, might reduce bloodshed.

Redeploy troops to guard Iraq’s oil on its Turkey - Iran border. That’s the only way to get the oil cartel’s investment. They can store the oil for later resale at highest profitable prices. Our military could equitably distribute “wholesale” revenue from the oil companies purchase of it, even if Iraq’s Council never accepts an oil law. Iraqis desperately need revenue for jobs and rebuilding.

Redeployment involves “withdrawal!” Vague talk about withdrawal increases probability that Israel will attack Iran’s nuclear facilities, while we are there, or that Turkey will invade Kurdistan. 

Redeployment gets us out of cities. U.S. troops can help Iraqis resettle in co-confessional or ethnic partition zones, or to emigrate and could also evacuate our contractors. U.S. funding of U.N. surveillance of Iraq’s borders would allow refugee return, and reduce risk of US - Iranian conflict. We could move Iraq’s federal government to a US base. Other countries, including our own, have moved their capitals. We could give the Green Zone to Sunnis moving from east to west Baghdad and turn Bush’s prideful embassy into a hospital and war memorial to all.

The people need to make the media ask Bush and candidates how they will limit our commitment on behalf of Israel. And congress must force Bush into such a redeployment, by funding restrictions,  before Israel or Turkey drags us into a bigger war!

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By farmertx, July 26, 2007 at 5:52 pm Link to this comment

Felicity
You hit the nail on the head. Too many American politician’s think that everybody in the world thinks the same as American’s. One size fits all thinking.
And no matter how many times they are shown to be wrong, another one will pop up and claim that his plan will work…somehow…if everybody just gives it a chance.
Rather than consult folks whose business it is to understand other countries and their outlooks, these yo-yo’s consult politically reliable hangers on.

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By Margaret Currey, July 26, 2007 at 5:26 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

If Bush lets the show go on much longer he will have to be removed from office, Chaney too.

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By Hammo, July 26, 2007 at 4:39 pm Link to this comment

Back during the Vietnam War, by about 1970 Americans were realizing that we were going to get out of Vietnam.

Still, it wasn’t until April 1975 that the last Americans left Vietnam (though the fate of many POWs and MIAs remains unclear).

Now, in 2007, public opinion has again turned against a failed and flawed military effort, this time in Iraq.

So, how many more years will American troops really be in Iraq, even if a redeployment out of that country begins in Septmember?

Food for thought in the article ...

“Americans felt turning points on Vietnam, Iraq in ‘70, ‘07”

PopulistAmerica.com (Populist Party of America)
July 14, 2007

http://www.populistamerica.com/americans_felt_turning_points_on_vietnam_iraq_in_70_07

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By felicity, July 26, 2007 at 4:37 pm Link to this comment

There’s a new book out on Cheney who, apparently, laments that at veritable day two of our occupation of Iraq we should have staged ‘democratic’ elections.

Wonderful!  People who know the Middle East, know its history, know Iraq, even have a passing knowledge of ‘democracy’...have written extensively that the very worst thing we did was to hold elections, period. 

We may assume that Cheney’s still a major player in the Iraq policy game so if he advises against pulling out, pulling out is what we should do. Be a good idea to sweep all the flotsam and jetsam of the Iraq ‘architects’ into one big pile, listen to the screams and then do just the opposite.

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By Michael Boldin, July 26, 2007 at 3:48 pm Link to this comment

Withdrawal - eventually it’s going to happen.  I recently heard Chalmers Johnson speak and his comment (which was on the US economy, but applies to the war too) was -

“Things that can’t go on forever….don’t”

This war is completely unconstitutional, immoral and financially ruinous, and it’s been that way since day one.

Killing more people isn’t going to change that one bit.

The time to end this madness is now.  Not after the next election and not in the fall. Not next month or next week.  Today, not tomorrow. Now.

Read on if you’d like:

“Top-Ten Reasons to Get out of Iraq. Now!” - click here

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