Wednesday, January 10, 2007


By Michael J.W. Stickings


(Surge Speech 2 is here.)

The president is going live at 9 pm ET this evening -- eight minutes from now, as I begin this post. But we already know what he's going to say and how he's going to say it. What will be presented as "new" won't be new at all. Whatever the spin, what the "new" strategy amounts to is a last-ditch escalation of the Iraq War, a desperate effort to pacify Baghdad just enough to provide Bush with the necessary cover for withdrawal. The effort to pacify may take many months -- and it will certainly take many lives -- but there is no avoiding the inevitable. Not with all the incompetence, bungling, and gross mismanagement that has come before it. Not with the fact that the Iraq War has been a disaster, that it has already been lost. Iraq is now in a state of civil war. The surge may temporarily lessen the sectarian violence, but there is no way the U.S. will be able to reverse the trend towards chaos, the forces of self-destruction that Bush unleashed when he and the warmongers launched their Mesapotamian misadventure back in 2003.

The speech is about to begin. The "new" strategy is about to be outlined.

I'll have more to come. Stay tuned.


9:06 pm: Bush admits that there have been mistakes. Not enough troops in Baghdad. But it's too late now. As expected, there will be a troop increase, but the American commitment is not "open-ended" -- read: a way out when things go wrong. How will the Iraqis respond to yet more American troops on their streets? Do they really want American forces to have a "green light" to enter their neighbourhoods?

U.S. troops will be embedded with Iraqi forces. So will the Iraqis be fighting on their own, or as puppets?

Ah, "benchmarks" for the Iraqi government. Bush is clearly hedging his bets. When things go wrong -- and they will -- Bush will hold the Iraqis responsible. As usual, Bush is shunting responsibility onto others. Anyone but him.

A "larger and better equipped" Iraqi army. But how will the Iraqi army conduct itself when the U.S. leaves?

"[W]e will continue to pursue al Qaeda." -- Here's the not-so-subtle (and predictable) link to 9/11. But al Qaeda is only active in Iraq because of Bush's disastrous war. It's all about "the terrorists". As always.


9:13 pm: Iran. Syria. Yadda yadda yadda. At least Bush is talking "diplomacy". But, again, it's too late now. Where was this sort of strategy back in 2003?

Rhetoric: "the hateful ideology of the enemy." Memories of the Second Inaugural. Us versus them. Freedom. Democracy. All so hollow. Iraqis versus "extremists". Bush has no clue. He doesn't understand Iraq. There is no historical or religious context. The sectarianism is so much more complicated than he knows.

He still thinks Iraq will be "a functioning democracy". So delusional.

So: It's either the "new" strategy -- the surge, the escalation, the troop increase -- or the U.S. will be in Iraq even longer. What nonsense. That's hardly a fair option.

And Lieberman makes it into the speech! Of course. Bush says he wants to work with Congress in a bipartisan way. But Joe's the only Democrat who buys this.

"The advance of freedom is the calling of our time." Sounds nice, but come on.

And he ends with the patriotism card. America's "new struggle": "We can and we will prevail."

Thank you and good night. And go to hell.

As I've said before, the blood is on Bush's hands.

And the war is about to get a whole lot bloodier.


9:26: Good, sensible response from Senator Durbin. There is civil war in Iraq. The surge won't work.

"America has paid a heavy price." She has indeed.

It's time to end this madness.

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