What to say about the Idiot-in-Chiefâ€™s big war speech last night? â€œNot since Richard M. Nixon ordered American troops in Vietnam to invade Cambodia in 1970,â€ writes David Sanger in todayâ€™s New York Times, â€œhas a president taken such a risk with an increasingly unpopular warâ€ (Sanger, â€œBush Adding 20,000 U.S. Troops; Sets Goal of Securing Baghdad,â€ NYT, 11 January 2007, A1, A19).
Dumbyaâ€™s â€œsurgeâ€ goes beyond the â€œsurgeâ€ recommended by his intended parental supervisors at the Baker-Hamilton Iraq Study Group (ISG). The ISG Report embraced â€œa short-term redeployment or surge of American combat forces to
But last night Bush said nothing about â€œshort-term.â€ He announced a longer-term increase in force levels and commitment. Heâ€™s talking about an escalation. Heâ€™s deepening the
That is rather interesting when we consider that the Messianic Militarist has repeatedly claimed that O.I.L. (Operation Iraqi Liberation) is about advancing a â€œdemocratic ideologyâ€ holding that government acts in accord with the â€œwill of the people.â€
The occupation is now such a transparent Fiasco that The Decider has to drop his claims of Iraqi â€œprogress.â€ The Worst President Ever is reduced to scrunching up his beady little eyes and trying to frighten us with the terrible â€œconsequences of [his] failureâ€ in
â€œ I broke it,â€ Bush said, â€œand you, my fellow Americans, need to keep on buying it with your blood and money for as long as it takesâ€¦or at least until I can get my sorry silver-spooned ass out of here.â€
Thereâ€™s little if anything â€œnewâ€ in Bushâ€™s â€œplan.â€ As columnist Steve Chapman notes in todayâ€™s Chicago Tribune (I am writing on Thursday, January 11), the speechâ€™s â€œbasic formulaâ€ of â€œclearing and holding urban areas to provide securityâ€ for (frankly) lame jobs plans and â€œdemocraticâ€ development is â€œidenticalâ€ to past U.S. campaigns in Iraq. This is â€œfor the obvious reason that Bush has little capacity to learn from his past mistakes.â€ Itâ€™s just the same old warmed over bullshit all over again, reminding one anonymous administration official Chapman spoke to of the movie â€œGroundhog Day.â€ (Steve Chapman, â€œNew Plan is Just Repeating History,â€ CT, 11 January 2007, sec 1, p. 13).
According to leading imperial strategist James Dobbins, it would now take 500,000 troops to â€œstabilize
About two or three minutes into Bushâ€™s address, I started taking notes. I was picking up a lot of Orwellian absurdity. Here are some of my real-time speech reflections:
* repeated use of the terms â€œdemocracyâ€ and â€œdemocraticâ€ to describe administration goals and a broader invasion that are actually opposed by the majority of Americans and Iraqis and indeed by most of the world.
* Heâ€™s denouncing â€œterroristsâ€ and â€œforeign fightersâ€ and claiming to support â€œthe territorial integrityâ€ of Iraq as he continues to prosecute a state-terrorist war of occupation in which imperial â€œforeign fightersâ€ (US and UK troops) violate the â€œterritorial integrityâ€ of Iraq. He talks like weâ€™ve annexed
* Deepening the crime; deepening the terror; deepening the oil occupation…heâ€™s like an abuser who tells his victims he cares for them and respects them while he beats on themâ€¦violates them.
* He denounces â€œextremistsâ€ but what are he and his team and supporters but an out-of-control bunch of radically reactionary, regressive and repressive extremists â€“ not â€œconservativesâ€ at all – of Empire and Inequality at home and abroad?
* There’s one (indirect) reference to the main reason for the
* The Idiot almost claims to be proposing his â€œsurgeâ€ to the American people when we know damn well that the escalation is already well underway (verified after the speech by ABC anchor Charles Gibson, who noted that â€œvanguardâ€
* The Idiot claims to be advancing â€œhuman rightsâ€ and â€œthe rule of lawâ€ in deepening a monumentally (and elementarily) illegal invasion that has violated the Geneva conventions through mass torture practices he approved while conducting illegal wiretaps on U.S. citizens.
As a radically democratic left opponent of Empire and Inequality, I am by definition denied access to the narrow-spectrum corporate-imperial dialogue that dominates â€œmainstreamâ€ (corporate-state) media commentary regarding
Roseâ€™s roster of morally and ideologically safe guests included Rahm Emmanuel (centrist Illinois congressman and Democratic Party campaign architect, who worked to keep peace and justice candidates off last Novemberâ€™s ballot); Richard Holbrooke (former Clinton envoy, UN ambassador, and leading humanitarian interventionist); Fareed Zakaria (centrist Newsweek columnist); Bill Kristol (yes Bill Kristol, the super-reactionary corporate-plutocratic and arch-imperialist Bush-fellationist and leading Neo”conservative” voice for and of the illegal occupation); Robin Wright (Washington Post); Michael Duffy (Time); Daniel Ignatius (Washington Post); and the intelligent reporter and author Thomas Ricks (Washington Post and author of FIASCO).
Few if any of my notes and comments (above) would have been considered remotely discussion-worthy by this carefully chose crowd. The only relevant point for them â€“ the question insistently posed to them by Rose â€“ was â€œwill it work?â€
Except for the pathetic Kristol, the consensus was that Bushâ€™s plan wonâ€™t work, consistent with the lead Times editorial today, which concludes that â€œthere is nothing ahead but even greater disaster in
The panelâ€™s reasons for â€œpessimismâ€ (I use quotes because I donâ€™t get upset about likely failures of imperial policy…I patriotically want Empire to fail) included:
* Too little (too few troops) too late.
* Maliki is too beholden to Shiite militias.
* The sectarian conflict is too intractable.
* Bush is mistakenly elevating military over political solutions.
* Bush is still carried away with too much “democratic idealismâ€ (a point that Holbrooke emphasized).
* Bush is playing with domestic fire by rejecting the ISGâ€™s recommendation that he find and advance â€œbipartisanâ€ policies regarding
This was educational, but it was disturbing to witness the panelâ€™s consistent avoidance of the core absurdities. None of the participants could begin to acknowledge the fundamental contradiction between the underlying objective of the invasion â€“ to secure deeper
The basic problem and crimes of
Inherently unwilling to acknowledge critical blood-and petroleum-soaked problems of Empire and Inequality, dominant media talking and scribbling heads are stuck on the M-word: Mistake. According to Chapman today in the Tribune, â€œthe administration…canâ€™t admit that
This is one of many truths that cannot be spoken by the well-trained masters of the dominant media word. The idiot winds of war and Empire can be heard howling through their power-worshipping minds, carrying them to future reporting and commentary on ever greater disasters at home and abroad.