Friday, May 18, 2007

US Benchmarks Rejected by Iraqi Insurgents

Ok, lets be absolutely square about this whole bull crap benchmark business, it's foolishness! The concept itself is based on the belief that there is some remote possibility of the security situation in Iraq improving. Obviously in order to meet such benchmarks as effective oil revenue sharing legislation, provincial elections, and reversing the draconian de-baathification laws which the US leaders created, the security situation would need to improve exponentially. What good are new laws created by a Government which has no power to enforce them.

The current Iraqi Parliament members would be in grave danger should they even leave the Green Zone without a major security contingent. Can any sane person have faith that a Government of people who can't even set foot on the land of their own country without being assassinated have the political will or authority to effect the course of their society? This is clearly a show for those still gullible enough to believe that the Iraqi debacle was not lost long ago. Earth to the GOP faithful, this game is over. Whatever losing in Iraq means, we have been successful at it. Benchmarks are irrelevant if they involve political or security related progress. There will be none of that in the foreseeable future.

Likely, the endgame will involve some form of interpreting the current situation in a way that demonstrates progress, then precipitously withdrawing as quickly as possible. An indication of that was when the President recently stated:

“Success is a level of violence where the people feel comfortable about living their daily lives.”

As absurd as that definition of success may seem, it clearly shows that the plan for creating a secular democracy in Iraq has been abandoned. The only hope for an exit is to redefine victory to mean whatever we need it to, and be gone before the 2008 election.

Benchmarks for success in a country that has done nothing but deteriorate in every way over the last four years should be interpreted as justifications for an exit. We destroyed a country and now its time to blame the pitifully impotent Iraqi Government and leave them to oversee a failed state. The truth is, it wasn't the Iraqi Parliament who destroyed the societal structure which maintained order in Iraq, it was the Bush Administration. How can we reasonably expect them to repair the infrastructure and defeat the Insurgents when we can do neither?

We are in the unique position of facing catastrophe regardless of whether we stay or leave. We've opened Pandora's box and there is no way to close it. Years from now we will look back in horror at the recklessness in which we exercised this military and political campaign.

As we talk about benchmarks, the Insurgents build more car bombs. I think their strategy will prove infinitely more effective in the long run.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Plan B????

The ridiculous "surge" strategy has began to yield its expected fruit. By that I mean that the Republicans in Congress are looking for a way to admit that it is, as has been all Bush Administration military strategies, a complete failure. Who could have possibly guessed that a group of morons who have bungled everything they have touched would come up with a another worthless and counterproductive plan? Certainly not their GOP lapdogs in Congress.

The time is rapidly approaching when the lapdogs will decide to either fall with their master, or turn and eat him. The GOP Congressmen recently met with President Bush and advised him of their displeasure with the occupation. Now they have began speaking of a so called "plan b" for Iraq, when the failure of this so-called plan A "surge" comes crashing down to earth. They are saying that come September, barring a sudden upturn in events, they will need a new plan or they will jump ship and possibly join the Democrats in rejecting the occupation. The problem with plan b is pretty simple, there is no plan b. The Administration has no backup plan for failure of the already doomed surge strategy. Pretty clearly the Iraqi Government is falling apart and when this latest strategy goes by the wayside, there won't be room for another one.

So where are we in this process anyway? The Republicans are about to face complete and final destruction at the polls in 2008, Iraq has fallen into the inevitable deadly chaos that was widely predicted before the first shot was fired, and of course the Bush Administration's only concern is starting another war before they leave office. The question is becoming whether they will leave in handcuffs and shackles or by the normal political process. At any rate, the country is in an uproar as we have not seen in many decades and there can be no good end to this madness. Sadly, my guess is that plan b will involve a white flag and emergency extrication's reminiscent of the fall of Saigon.

I'll leave you with a some quotes and information of interest:

David Frum, a former Bush speechwriter, issued a warning to readers of the conservative magazine National Review: “Have Republicans absorbed how much trouble their party is in? To the (limited) extent that we do, we tend to attribute everything to Iraq - as if Katrina, the Schiavo affair, corruption in Congress and the intensifying irrelevance of our domestic-policy agenda did not exist. And so we demand from our candidates ever more fervent declarations of fealty to an ideology that interests an ever dwindling proportion of the public.”

In a column last week, Washington Times editorial page editor Tony Blankley, a favorite of conservatives, said the Iraq war alone was causing the ”virtual collapse of the Republican brand appeal.”

David Brooks, conservative columnist for The New York Times, wrote recently: ”The Republicans suffered one unpleasant event in November 2006, and they are headed toward an even nastier one in 2008.
They are like people quietly marching to their doom.”

A CBS News poll last month found 65 percent of independents favor decreasing the number or removing all troops, while 61 percent favor a timetable for withdrawal. Unaffiliated voters’ distaste for the Republican Party revealed itself in 2006, as 57 percent broke for Democrats, after the two parties split those voters in 2004, according to exit polling.

And yet the Republican presidential candidates are running campaigns at odds with this fundamental shift in public attitudes.

”This is what Bush and the other Republicans don’t get,” said Larry Sabato, director of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia. “There is a social revolution occurring, and they are completely out of the mainstream.”

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Benchmarks and Carbombs

It has been fairly obvious for the last few years that the Iraq project would result in monumental failure, but now we have a drop dead date (no pun intended) for the end. Iraq's Sunni Arab Vice President has announced that his organization, The Iraqi Accord Front, will pull out of the current Government on May 15th unless certain demands are met. These demands, which include disarming the Shiite militias and re-writing the Constitution, have virtually no chance being met. Therefor, on May 15th the Iraqi Government unofficially implodes.

The Iraqi Accord Front holds 44 Seats in Parliament and the Sunnis as a group hold a total of 58 seats. Moqtada Al Sadre has already pulled his 32 MPs and the Islamic Virtue Party has pulled their 15. Is this picture becoming clearer? The Government is falling apart and if the remaining Sunni MPs pull out it is over. The only way to address that would be a new election, then starting a Government and Constitution from scratch. What are the odds that either the American or Iraqi people will embrace that idea?

Make no mistake about it, the Maliki Governments rule should be measured in days or weeks. All the benchmarks and surges in the world will have little effect on a country in complete anarchy after the Government falls. If the GOP'ers in Congress are smart, they'll jump off this ship before it sinks. The way things are shaping up, when Iraq goes down the Republican party will be in the ballroom playing their instruments and singing praises to Bush all the way to the bottom. The penalty for blind obedience is high, but its fair.

Thursday, May 03, 2007


Are you familliar with Lemmings? They are small rodents that are believed to have a habit of following one another over a cliff in what would appear to be either mass suicide or fatal stupidity. Though the lemming suicide story is a myth, it has been used for years to describe the actions of foolish followers.

All that is wordy way of decribing the current GOP members of Congress. They followed the hapless bungler in chief right out of power in the last midterm elections and those who survived appear to headed, lemming style, for a similar fate in 2008. I watched a loyal GOP Congressman this morning on C-Span tell viewers about the importance of the Iraq debacle and stick to the worn out talking points about 9/11, AL Qaeda, and fighting them over there so we won't have to fight them here. Earth to the GOP, America does not want to hear that anymore.

Apparently the midterm elections did nothing to convince these fools that a change in course was necessary. All the current polls show that the American people side with the Democrats plan for withdrawal. However, the loyal Bushies are so smart that they know whats really good for America, regardless of what those pesky voters think.

Meanwhile the problem grows. Iraq is unravelling at such a rate that in a matter of weeks or at most a few months the current Government is going to fall and the wheels will visibly come off the cart. What plan for these last few loyal war supporters then? Might I suggest the Japanese ritual of Seppuku, also known as hara-kiri (腹切り It's pretty easy, you just perform a few rituals, then plunge a sword into your own abdomen and croak. That way, you won't have to face the humiliation of yielding a super-majority to Democrats and the Presidency in one fell swoop.

Eight years of following Bush and the Republican Party is toast, turn them over and stick a fork in their collective breasts because they are done. But look at the bright side, Saddam Hussein will never attack new York City again.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007


Four years ago George Bush stood on the deck of an aircraft carrier and announced to the world that the mission in Iraq was accomplished. Today, it is dreadfully obvious that whatever that mission was, if it even abstractly resembles bringing peace and democracy to Iraq, it will not be accomplished in our lifetime. The mission has been reduced to "Lets try something else and HOPE that works". That's right, we are reduced to trying an alleged new strategy and waiting to see if it works. That is not the stuff that brilliant military strategies are made of...HOPE?

We are sending 21,000 additional troops into a country of 26 million engulfed in a civil war and HOPE for some, as yet undefined, success. While we're doing that HOPE for world peace and an end to hunger. The odds of seeing the fulfillment of this HOPE is probably about the same as peace and democracy in Iraq.

The Iraq debacle is merely proving to be what it was destined to be. The worst strategic military error in US History by a wide margin. There was never a chance it would succeed and I would argue that there was never a clear definition of success from day one. More Iraqis and Americans will be maimed and die while we HOPE that a miracle happens. It is a sad truth that our President will never accept the reality of what he has created in Iraq.

Eventually, our troops will leave and the gates of hell will be completely opened in Iraq. When that will happen is in question but it is a certainty at some point. Then, rather than accept out responsibility as a nation, the guilty parties will begin the search for scapegoats.