Thursday, September 06, 2007

Deceit, Deception, Delusion – GW Bush in Iraq

General Petraeus recently told an Australian journalist that things were going just fine in Iraq. Petraeus was desperately trying to support Australian existing political leadership that is in a hotly contested election with opponents decrying 1500 Australian troops assigned to the Coalition of the Willing in Iraq. If this is Petraeus' evaluation of the surge in Iraq, suggest he join the Italian poetic hero, Orlando Furioso, who went to the moon to search for his brain. Petraeus is always attentive to the press; he just finished escorting CBS Katie Couric around Fallujah. You do what yah gotta do in the war zone...

This more war conclusion by Petraeus was foregone as President Bush, his Republicans, neocons and Israeli lobby pushed for the surge – it was a cake that was baked prior to launching the surge. You learned quickly that the President was speciously relying on Petraeus’ judgement on whether to continue his tragic war – Patraeus’ promotion to four-star general and rescue from a dead end assignment as Commandant of the U. S. Army's Officer Command and General Staff School, locked up Patraeus' predictable optimistic evaluation, despite what the ground situation actually dictated. Remember, Petraeus is a proven man of opportunity; as a West Point graduate, he married the West Point Commandant's daughter...

When the surge was launched a few months ago, the Administration hinged everything on the Petraeus report. It was quickly changed to the Petraeus/Ambassador Crocker report. Then, Bush wanted SecDef Gates and Condoleezza to give the report once it was fixed by the White House. Today we have developed a report contest which will involve additional separate reports by the SecDef, General Jones, the outgoing Chief of the Joint Chiefs of Staff as well as the incoming Chief of the Joint Chief of Staff. My sense is the SecDef preferred not to take full responsibility for the policy recommendations, so he let this gaggle loose. Gates is a careful man; he did not reach the top by sticking his neck out.

The report landscape was seriously complicated by a recent national intelligence estimate that predicated grim results for the US in Iraq despite the surge. More complications showered down on Bush's plan to extend the war. The Congressional General Accounting Office produced a report condemning the effectiveness of the Iraqi government, and the White House tried to fix the conclusions. This report was critical as it was requested by Congress to determine if 18 mandated benchmarks were being met by the Iraqi as required by the surge legislation. Only three were met and they were minor; oil revenue distribution and de-Baathification, which were key to stability, were missed. The White House argues four more minor benchmarks were partially met. It is like arguing she is a little bit pregnant; you either make the benchmark or you do not as no shades of failure are acceptable. As of now, the only functioning Iraqi government is in President Bush's brain.

As far as the military success of the surge, you be judge. Over 1400 Iraqis were killed in August, the 2nd highest since the occupation; the US lost between 80 and 90 KIA in the month of August which is up from July, and the wounded is probably 7 or 8 times the number. The British pulled out of Basra under fire into a single fortified air-base area. Five or six Southern Iraqi provinces are now a wild west show without the marshals, with the US main supply route stretching across them. General Jones' special report has called for the complete reorganization of the Iraqi police force, because it has been infiltrated by Shiite militia. Last report was that police stations in Basra area have Shiite militia recruitment posters plastered on their walls. Nineteen Iraq units were to support the surge in Baghdad; only 5 performed well and they were most likely Kurdish.

The rearming of the Sunnis is probably creating a Frankenstein for Iraqi reunification and makes it certain that the sectarian violence will be bloodier. Nearly all the 2.5 million refugees are Sunni. Do not expect long term good will toward the US by the Sunnis. Baghdad now is nearly all Shiite as the Sunnis were purged. The Iraqi war now costs nearly 3 billion a week and is getting more expensive as US ammo stocks are depleted and more military equipment wears out or is destroyed. The Brass has told the President at the Pentagon recently that the ground forces cannot sustain current deployments much past spring of 2008, so Bush at that time will be compelled to pull more public relation rabbits out of his hat to continue the war at the same intensity.

General Ordinero, 2nd in command in Iraq, declared at the beginning of this week that three to four more months are crucial before the US starts to make troop withdrawals. Come on General, why not state there is a Light at the end of the tunnel to make another link in GW Bush's Vietnam war analogy? US Army leadership has two choices: either win the war or find themselves afterwards with a reputation lower than a used car salesman. Somebody in that group should tell the truth to Congress while still on active duty. You will note that no retired Army general officer supports the Iraq war except General Tommy Franks, and he is part of the problem...

This invasion of Iraq was based on deceit, deception and delusions. About 70% of Americans now believe this, and the surge will be extended by the same spurious black propaganda techniques that uses American patriotism to push hidden agendas. For the war to end, the Democrats must have spine and the Republicans a conscience. For this to happen Hell will freeze over first... The country is hopelessly dominated by a minority of special interests who see war profits or misplaced security for Israeli. These forces auger for the war to be permanent. As Americans used to say: It time for all good men to come to the aid of their country. A Third Party? Colonel Robert E Bartos USA RET


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know what good reorganizing the entire Iraqi police force is going to do. They all play different sides. In the Iraqi army to become a jundee they just join. There is no conscription or contract. To quit, they just say I quit, turn in their equipment and uniforms and walk out the gate. No questions. A lot of them go join the different militias and really criminal groups over there for a couple of months, then come back into the army.
The Iraqis are going to bleed our treasure and soldiers dry. Too bad I actually thought the Iraqis were not really a bad lot. But they have been conquered and occupied for so long that resistance is really second nature to them. Gee, there is no high tech solution to that!

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