Friday, April 11, 2008

"He is Iraq's Katrina itself"

By J. Thomas Duffy

Just as New Orleans's Ninth War will still be a moonscape when Bush goes out of office, so will Iraq.

Sadly, it's looking less, and less, likely that we will see him exit the White House, handcuffed, in a perp walk - as he so richly deserves.

Mostly due to a brain-dead, Constitution-blinders-firmly-affixed-Congress (How big an outcry from our elected representatives have you heard about the bombshell news the other day, that the torture program was choreographed directly out of the Bush Grindhouse?), he gets to wear his real, and proverbial, flightsuit and play "The Commander Guy" for a number of dwindling months.

And inhabiting the Unreality Bubble he has ensconced himself in, Lord knows what further havoc he will reek.

Especially when he's running his policy speeches up the Neocon flagpole, before he gives them.

Wants to make sure, I suppose, there's enough warmongering in it.

Juan Cole writes/reports one of the best blogs on what's happening in Iraq (and the policies behind it; Another good one is Abu Aardvark).

Cole nails the Bush Legacy;

War turns Republics into dictatorships. The logic is actually quite simple. The Constitution says that the Congress is responsible for declaring war. But in 2002 Congress turned that responsibility over to Bush, gutting the constitution and allowing the American Right to start referring to him not as president but as 'commander in chief' (that is a function of the civilian presidency, not a title.)

So Congress abdicated to Bush. Bush has abdicated to the generals in the field.

That is not a Republic. That is a military dictatorship achieved not by coup but by moral laziness.

And, as Gene Robinson notes today, the Bush Grindhouse, cluelessly, is going through the motions, to pass this mess on to the next president.

Of course, Bush long ago lost any credibility with Congress and the American people on Iraq. It's understandable that he hides behind Petraeus's breastplate of medals and Crocker's thatch of gray hair, sending these loyal and able public servants to explicate the inexplicable: What realistic goal is the United States trying to achieve in Iraq? And in what parallel universe is this open-ended occupation making our nation safer?

Even the most basic question of any war is undefined: Who is the enemy? It was almost painful listening to Petraeus as he faced reporters yesterday and was asked whether Moqtada al-Sadr and his Mahdi Army were friend or foe. His tortured answer, translated into English, was yes.

But thanks to Cole today, the Legacy Shopping is over.

Ironically, what officers like Petraeus need from Bush is not deference but vigorous leadership in the political realm. Bush needs to intervene to work for political reconciliation in Iraq if Petraeus's military achievements are to bear fruit. But Bush seems incapable of actually conducting policy, as opposed to starting wars. Bush happened to Iraq just as he happened to New Orleans. He cannot do the hard work of patiently addressing disasters and ameliorating them. He just wants to set people to fighting. Crush the Sadr Movement, perhaps the most popular political movement in Iraq? He's all for it. Risk provoking a wider conflagration in the Middle East by worsening relations with Iran? Sounds like a great idea to him. Bush campaigned on being a 'uniter not a divider' in 2000. In fact, he is the ultimate Divider, and leaves burning buildings, millions of refugees, and hundreds of thousands of cadavers in his wake. He is not Iraq's Brownie. He is Iraq's Katrina itself.

Just as New Orleans's Ninth War will still be a moonscape when Bush goes out of office, so will Iraq.


That's a nutshell, alright ... A pretty, darned good nutshell I would say.

Last summer, The Garlic put forth a proposal - and it's still open and viable - that could end this madness.

Please, someone, step up and go for it!

Bonus Links

Amy Goodman: “Iraq Does Not Exist Anymore”: Journalist Nir Rosen on How the U.S. Invasion of Iraq Has Led to Ethnic Cleansing, a Worsening Refugee Crisis and the Destabilization of the Middle East

Bob Herbert: The $2 Trillion Nightmare

12 Former Army Captains: The Real Iraq We Knew

Wanted Dead Or ... Ahh, The Hell With It .. I'll Let The Next President Get'em ...

New Bush Export - Preemptive Horseshit!

(Cross-posted at The Garlic.)

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