Thursday, February 01, 2007

Bush – Lost in his own Labyrinth

When a leader, in this case our Commander and Chief, has to tell himself and his minions repeatedly that he is the decision maker or in charge, he usually is not. No one disputes GW Bush has executive powers. What is in doubt is who makes him act and talk so foolishly, and continuously make disastrous decisions. He reminds me of the actor in the film A FISH CALLED WANDA, where the main character smells his armpits to give himself strength and self confidence... GW Bush more and more appears as a lost soul; ironically, lost in the maze he has constructed.

VEEP Dick Cheney, our grand master of draft deferments, is by most experts believed to be Trilby Bush's Svengali, but he has higher priorities now than to rescue GWB from himself. Cheney is caught in a web of legal problems as he prepares to defend himself and his numero uno pistolero, Scooter Libby, with sworn testimony before a federal judge and jury. Cheney is the bold fighting flagship for the Administration. He is a formidable battleship, but since the 2006 elections, he must advance more carefully. Remember the BISMARCK was sunk, and more recently, the dreadnought RUMSFELD went below the waves...

Adding to his misery, this week two of Bush's own sleigh dogs turned and bit him. Two Republican Alpha males, Senators Warner and Hagel, stopped pulling the sled, broke their traces loose, and nailed him for his so called surge reinforcement into Iraq. Both are propounding a resolution, driving the point that more troops to Iraq is self-defeating. Bush has responded with smoke and mirrors by changing the subject. Out of the blue, said he is going to get tough on Iranians in Iraq who are busy foiling his stratagems and killing Americans. Did the rules of engagement protect Iranians shooting Americans? Unbelievable, you mean to tell me we were taking hits in Iraq from the Iranians before this announcement without smacking back with deadly force? If this is true, Bush may as well delegate his commander-and-chief authority to Donald Duck...

Reliable US intelligence sources claim up to 100,000 Iranian military advisors are now in Iraq – they provide training, military equipment and infernal devices mainly to Shiite militias. Under General Sanchez's and General Casey's noses, the Shiite militia has grown from about 8,000 to 100,000. Though not united, this force is spread in Baghdad and in Southern Iraq along the US Main Supply Routes from Kuwait. Actually the British troops that occupied Southern Iraq turned a blind eye on this penetration. This Iranian trained force moved into police and security units in and around Basra; as long as the peace was kept and British Petroleum interests were not trashed, coalition forces remained unperturbed. Even the police stations bore a Shiite militia recuitinting posters pasted to the walls. News reports from Southern Iraq are few and far between in US media since a US reporter was killed in Basra by police a few years ago... British troops are eagerly kissing Southern Iraq good-by in the next few months.

Uncertain what prompted Bush to announce publicly last week what he should have been doing in Iraq to counter Iranian operatives all along. One report is that the Deputy NSC neocon Elliot Abrams put him up to it to ratchet up the tension with Iran. Abrams, apparently dented by the Holocaust, also wanted Bush to call the Iranians Nazis, but Bush apparently did not bite on that hysteria. Perhaps Bush's statement was made to coincide last week with Israeli Premier Olmert's 251st declaration that Israel will not stand by as Iran goes nuclear. As leader of the free world, Bush might want to urge the premier not to panic and start WWIII... As president of the US, he might want ask to Olmert why he violated US/Israel accords and dropped US cluster bombs on civilians in Lebanon – Katuyshka rockets Panic?

There were two incidents last week in Iraq that underscored vulnerabilities of Bush's so-called “New Way Forward” that envisioned the embedding of US forces in Iraqi formations. One was at Karbala where five US soldiers were killed while advising locals on security arrangements – Iraqi security permitted insurgents disguised as English speaking American military personnel to enter the compound to kill and capture the Americans. One American was killed immediately. The other four were executed 20 miles away handcuffed to each other. One of the insurgents was reported to be blond haired. Why the US military stalled for days reporting the details of the incident is open to speculation. The other incident involves the US Iraqi military combined operations against Sunnis on Haifa Street in Baghdad near The Green Zone. Apparently the Shiite Iraq troops show up late for the operations – they are happy go lucky and let the US take lead in all operations. Saw a film clip where an Iraqi soldier knocked on a door to gain entry. When nothing happened, he stood aside as a US soldier battered down the door... General Patreaus, our new troop commander in Iraq, may have to revise his new field manual on counter insurgency.

In the last few days there appeared planted stories that link the deadly raid at Karbala to Iran. It is argued that it was too sophisticated to carried out by Iraqi insurgents – I do not know about that – al Queda certainly is capable and the Iraqis have cleverly demonstrated they can steal from the US occupation authorities with very little consequences. The striking thing about Karbala incident was that it appeared to be a hostage operation that went wrong at the end. Otherwise, why would the captives have not been killed on the spot rather than 20 miles away? The US holds diplomatic Iranian prisoners taken in a recent raid on an office in Iraq. So the incident could have been a retaliation operation that went haywire on the Iranians. Iranians, as Jimmy Carter learned, do not play by the Marquis of Queensbury rules, so this scenario cannot be ruled out. However, it should not be used as a Gulf of Tonkin or Pearl Harbor provocation for a second neocon war. There are other smarter options to punish the Iranians if they are in fact guilty of the raid.

Not that GW Bush does not have his hands full changing Secretary of Defense and military commanders in mid-stream, at a critical point in the Iraq war, but his political flanks at home have been turned by the 2006 Democratic congressional victories; his center is crumbling from bipartisan Senate resolutions. Perhaps the greatest blow to his ego is that Southern Methodist University in Texas is resisting accepting his planned presidential library on campus. Given the bloody nature of Bush's term in office, his library could develop into a chamber of horrors... If it does not work out at SMU, suggest he petition Israeli Premier Olmert to establish it in Gaza to be secured by Fatah and Hamas. Or if rejected, go to his Iraqi pal Maliki to establish it on Haifa Street in Baghdad to be guarded by Shiite militias or the Iraqi Army, as if there was any difference. Colonel Robert E Bartos USA RET


Anonymous ANDREW WEAVER said...

January 31, 2007

Bishops speak out against Bush Library, Think Tank at SMU and Vow to Push Forward

Today the organizers of a United Methodist Church petition urging Southern Methodist University (SMU) not to house the George W. Bush Presidential Library, Museum, and Institute released early results of their petition drive and vowed to continue with the drive.
“We now have as signatories fourteen Bishops in the United Methodist Church, the past President of the Methodist Church of New Zealand, two Superintendents in the British Methodist Church, over 600 United Methodist clergy, and more than nine thousand members of churches from across the United States and Canada,” said the Reverend Andrew Weaver, the SMU alum who organized the petition.
The petition,, has been online for less than two weeks. Its organizers argue that Bush’s legacy is incompatible with the values of Methodism and thus that his Library, Museum, and Institute should not be housed on SMU’s campus. Bishop C. Joseph Sprague condemned the administration, stating that. “Bush violated United Methodist teachings when he initiated a pre-emptive, first- strike war, contrary to Just War criteria, when he pursued policies that reward the rich, while punishing the poor and he further sneered at church teaching by condoning the torture of prisoners. Add to these callous and arrogant acts the fact that he presided over more capital punishment executions (state-sanctioned murder is condemned by our church) than any governor in this nation's history, and it becomes abundantly clear why a G.W. Bush Library should not be housed on United Methodist Church property. The United Methodist Church's Social Principles call all United Methodists to social holiness. This petition reflects our church's tradition that all United Methodists are to be held accountable for our personal and institutional behavior.”
Southern Methodist University is one of 123 educational institutions that are related to The United Methodist Church. Petition organizers believe that association with this president through his proposed $500 million library, museum, and institute will reflect poorly upon Methodism worldwide. They invite all people of faith who honor the good name of Methodism and our Christian heritage to sign our petition at
“The placement of the George W. Bush Library and the establishment of an Institute to promote the policies of this president at Southern Methodist University would be a tragedy.” said Bishop William Boyd Grove. “The policies of the Bush administration are in direct conflict with the Social Principles of the United Methodist Church on issues of war and peace, civil liberties and human rights, care for the environment and health care. SMU is a university of the church, and is home to one of our outstanding theological seminaries. Its Methodist identity and its moral authority would be seriously compromised were it to be identified with the policies of George W. Bush in this way”.
“We’ve had an outpouring of support so far,” said Rev. Weaver, “from those who don’t wish to have their beloved church associated with a man who has authorized torture and a lie-based war of aggression against the people of Iraq. The comments on the petition are a modern epistle to the church and the 45 million Methodists worldwide, pleading for justice.”


Bishop Joseph C. Sprague

Bishop William Boyd Grove,

Bishop C. Dale White

Rev. Andrew J. Weaver


Highlights from the comments on

5977 Elizabeth Cote As a great granddaughter of Bishop A. Frank Smith, and a daughter of an SMU graduate, I oppose allowing a George W. Bush library at the Southern Methodist University campus. The mission and standards of SMU are in complete opposition to the motives and ethics of his presidency, and as such, a library honoring his tenure leading the country has no place at Southern Methodist University.

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6762 KATHRYN PROTHRO Great-granddaughter and Granddaughter of Perkins-Prothro family, Wichita Falls, Texas. Member of Methodist church since confirmation in 1971. Current membership at FUMC, Ft. Worth TX, but inactive. Attending St. Andrews Methodist and Custer Road in Plano, Texas [Perkins family of Perkins school of theology gave 30 producing oil wells to found the seminary at SMU]

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7544 Gania Demaree Trotter 4th generation Methodist. Great, great grandfather was know as the Mountain Bishop of Kentucky,(George Daniel Demaree); my grandparents were Methodist missionaries to Japan.1897 to 1936. Rev. T.W.B. Demaree and his wife Gania Holland Demaree. My son-in-law is a United Methodist Minister at First United Methodist, Burbank California. I am married to a Methodist minister, Dr. F. Thomas Trotter, former General Secretary of the Board of Higher Education. I have served as Director of Development at Claremont School of Theology and Alaska Pacific University, during my husband's tenure as President of those institutions. Prior to that I served as Minister of Music at Anaheim, and Claremont Methodist Churches.

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7692 Louise M. Tate Both my parents graduated from SMU. Both my father's brother (Willis Tate) and my mother's grandfather (Bishop Boaz) are past Presidents of SMU. I am very glad to see and sign this petition.

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7903 Laurence Wareing President Bush showed little interest in engaging with his denomination when embarking on the war with the war Iraq. Speaking as a British Methodist and allumnus of SMU, I believe that it would be insulting to worldwide Methodism for his name to be commemorated by a United Methodist foundation now.

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7909 Rev Judith I Maizel-Long Presbyter of the British Methodist Church I protest the implied approval of the policies and actions of the Bush Presidency on the world stage, which would be a reasonable deduction from establishing a Bush Presidential Library at the Southern Methodist University. The arrogant actions of the US government in the irregular detentions of prisoners at Guantanamo, torturing suspects in secret prisons outside US territory is contrary to key clauses of the US Constitution and Christian understandings of the proper treatment of prisoners. US policy in Iraq has made life untenable for Christian Communities across the Middle East, from Turkey to Pakistan. In many cases these Christian communities go back nearly 2000 years, far predating the USA and indeed the UK as political entities. The policies of the Bush Presidency are contradictory to Wesleyan theology and the teachings of the Wesleys about human dignity and the purposes of human life.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The majority of SMU's students, alumni, faculty, and staff SUPPORT the Presidential Library. Only a very small group of faculty are resisting the library. Here's an article worth reading on the matter:


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