Friday, June 22, 2007

And the Walls Came Tumbling Down – But GW Bush not in Jericho

By any standard, the week that was signaled a disaster for US national security policy. The fact that SecDef Gates had to exit his air conditioned Pentagon suite for the fourth time since last December to visit sweltering, bloody Baghdad, tells us something is rotten in Iraq. With real time communications both visual and voice, why does the SecDef have to visit personally? His visits severely disrupt the command because of the extraordinary security arrangements required. If he is there to deliver another ho hum message to the Iraqi chieftains, forget it; they regard it as more hot air. Any threat to withdraw US troops if they fail to meet US benchmarks is music to their ears.

Gates landed to be greeted by a surge that is failing, a Green Zone with more sporadic rocket and mortar fire, and Baghdad, smoking under curfew. US casualties are rising, Baghdad morgues are filled with murdered tortured Iraqis, an F16 has crashed and, he is faced by the sheer incompetence of permitting more destruction to the Shiite Askariya Mosque in Samara. Insurgent attacks on US supply convoys have increased by 14.5% since May 10th. LTG Dempsey dutifully keeps fulfilling his goal to train and equip Iraqi forces, i.e. over 350,000, but he has not figured out to make most of them fight. For Gods sake at least teach them how to break down a door. Film clips always show US troops breaking doors with Iraqi troops, hanging back, furtively following after the American gate crasher.

To add to GW Bush's Rome is Burning scenario, his cooperation with the Israelis blew up in his face with the recent military success in Gaza by Hamas. Condoleezza and the Israelis forced an election in Gaza, but when Hamas won to their dismay, they proceeded cut off funds to the democratically elected party: Hamas. Opposition party Fatah was given funds and this backfired as Fatah was regarded as an Israeli and US tool, considered corrupt by many Palestinians. With Hamas fully in charge in Gaza, Israelis faced a totally hostile regime backed by anti Israeli forces and funds. Israeli febrile propagandists' hair is on fire claiming Hamas is an Israeli and US enemy. I am certain Hamas is an Israeli enemy, but Hamas is not a part of the 9/11 attack or Jihad in Iraq... America may want to reconsider taking on the many and proliferating Israeli enemies as their own. It was certainly a mistake in the bombing of Lebanon, done with US bombs, aircraft and diplomatic support at the UN. Noted that the Israeli Nuncio in the US Senate, Senator Leiberman, wants the US to attack Iran because of Iranian military aid to Iraqi insurgents. I am certain that the US is using sub rosa and pin point methods to deal with Iranian interference; it was done previously. We do not need a pro Israeli warmonger to tell the US what to do. FYI, Lieberman had three deferments during the Vietnam war, so he fits right in with Cheney and GW Bush. Like the Israelis, he wants badly for the US to go to war with Iran as they both did in Iraq.

It appears the US backing of the Christian parties in Lebanon is also backfiring as Palestinian gunmen stubbornly fight the Christian Army in the Palestinian refugee ghettos. I do not give a rat's ass who kills whom in their local dog fights, but it would be a positive sign for US policy if the US is neutral or backs a party other than Israel or loser Israeli clients in the Middle East conflicts. US failures in the region are a disastrous example of permitting Israel to make our policy there. There is an outside chance the situation can be defused if the Israelis solve the Golan Heights issue with Syria; much bitter water has gone over the dam and now this may not even work as Israel foolishly annexed the territory under Reagan's nose. But GW Bush should make a valiant stab at it. Olmert is in Washington this week to beg for more aid for Israel and corrupt Fatah. Bush should put strings on aid, e.g. fix the Golan Heights issue with Syria.

To the South of the US, Bush's inattentive policies in Latin America are bearing bitter fruit. El Presidente Chavez of Venezuela is democratically elected and is acting undemocratically. He has closed opposition TV stations, has instituted draconian private property laws and nationalized oil resources. Nationalized oil!! That should be enough to get the Bush oilmen stirred up, advocate war or cut their own wrists. Chavez with Castro's advice has figured out his days are numbered; once the US gets unstuck in the Middle East, one way or another the US has to go after him. To prevent this, El Presidente is off to Russia at the end of this month to meet Vladimir. In recent years, oil rich Chavez has bought about 4 billion worth of Russian military equipment including 24 Su fighter-bombers, 50 combat and transport helicopters, air defense systems and 100,000 assault rifles. Russia 's leading business newspaper recently reported that Chavez is talking with Moscow about buying between five and nine conventionally powered submarines – unknown whether they are attack, cruise missile or ballistic missile submarines. GW Bush, after he gulps, may want to chat about this when he meets Putin on 1 July 2007. Question is, does he do it before or after he tells Putin he intends to go ahead with US missile defense deployments in Poland and the Czech Republic?

Bush has run a one pony foreign policy show, i.e. the Middle East. The dice seem to be rolling in too many places; GW Bush must be held accountable for starting them in motion with thoughtless policies. His policies provided nesting for a militant Red Chinese Dragon in Panama and over the horizon in the Pacific. Iraq is a basket case. His September report from Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker will be spun into a hypothetical exercise that delivers little hope, but will argue dire consequences if the US pulls out... About the only good short term news is that the US is arming Sunnis that could slow down the Iranian backed Shiites to take over of the whole country. The Shiite government opposes this.The Kurds as usual, are in trouble with the Turks who make incursions into Kurd areas. The Iraqi refugee situation has turned ugly. The US has to bring Israel under control to prevent it from committing more self destructive stupidities. Barak as new Israel Defense Minister may be sobering for Israel and bring some adult thinking into the Israeli policy instead childish delusions of the restoration of King David's Kingdom. And let us not forget that Bush with his agitated, boob neocons has foolishly baited the Russian Bear who now stands dangerously in a fighting position. Bombing Iran of course will result in bloody retribution to America in the theater as well at home... Colonel Robert E Bartos US Army RET
Photograph: Etching No se convienen by Francisco de Goya


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I enjoy your writing. I think you would fit on
COL Hackworth was posted there.


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