Friday, November 16, 2007

Out of Control – GW Bush Against the World

About the only light at the end of the tunnel for our country is the fact that GW Bush's presidential term of office is coming to an end soon. His father, former President HW Bush is fretting over the fact that his son, aka The Chimp by nasty bloggers, is so despised by the American body politic that he has taken to defending sonny boy publicly – his plea is: would you prefer Saddam Hussein in power rather than the 5-year inconclusive war? My answer is YES. I would prefer Saddam alive rather than the catastrophically idiotic war in Iraq and I will tell you why.

The Iraq War has destabilized the Middle East. It has enhanced the power of Iran; fanned and strengthened terrorism against the US; killed nearly 4,000 US troops and wounded nearly 30,000 more, half of whom will require long term care; and wrecked Iraq. There are over 2.5 million Iraqi refugees and over 100,000 Iraqis have been killed. The price of a barrel of oil has gone from 38USD to close to 100USD. It has cost the US close to a 611 billion dollars, with more being spent daily. We have over-stressed the National Guard, Reservists, Marines and Army to almost a breaking point. Due to Iraq, the military resources have been diverted from what really should be our focus: Afghanistan; that has resulted in weakening Pakistan and encouraging the regeneration of Taliban and al Qaeda. Major quantities of US military equipment are worn out or destroyed and need replacement at enormous costs already beyond those of the war. There is no viable central government in Iraq as corruption is the rule, not the exception. Lost weapons and billions of dollars remain missing in the accounting records. With these consequences of the war, only a guilt ridden father with misplaced parental sympathy could try to defend such cataclysmic results. If we could bring Saddam back, we should do it in a heart-beat even if it would restore the bad old status quo... If Daddy Bush has tears to shed, let them be over the dead and maimed in his son's foolish war of choice. There are no second chances once you pull the trigger of war; the country must live with GW Bush's bad judgement. At least his father could spare us his vexing crocodile tears.

With the steep economic decline in the US, signaled by a plunging stock market and the devaluation of the dollar, there appears to be an effort to change our focus from the Iraq war to the economy. The fact is that both issues are linked. Economic woes are mainly caused by deficit spending for Bush's war and the war itself that threatens oil supplies... For the record, the military spending for Afghanistan is a very small part of GW Bush's war spending. Every time you fill your gas tank with $3.00 plus gas and pay 25% more for an airline ticket, thank the incompetent Republicans and GW Bush.

Republicans by no means bear all the blame for the out of control political and economic situation in the US. Democrats now share the burden for continuing the Iraq war after failing to cut off funds. Like it or not, the Democrats now own one year of the Iraq war by failing to curtail it. Democratic presidential candidates Obama, Edwards, Dodd and Kucinich appear to want to end the war, with all the Republicans except Ron Paul wanting the war to go on forever, or until victory, however defined at that moment.

Despite the fact that 2007 has brought the highest US KIA of the Iraq war, it appears the situation has recently temporarily stabilized with fewer attacks and casualties – the US changed its tactics by joining the Sunni insurgents to chase al Qaeda but, al Qaeda amounted to only 7% of the insurgency. If the US believes the Sunnis, once armed, will sit still with the Shiites controlling Baghdad and parts south with the Kurds controlling Kirkuit, there is a big surprise coming for us. The US is now building more bases with one on top of an oil rig in the Gulf; and that, is an insurgent target that will be too tempting to pass up. I thought the Navy was smarter; fixed platforms do not maneuver out of harms way. Do you think Halliburton gets to build the base? Any good news in Iraq is certainly offset in Afghanistan and Pakistan; and, at the rate Bush is spending billions in Iraq, if he does gets oil out of the ground to the US, it will cost about 3000USD a barrel in the end.

That things are out of control in the US is not in question, does not matter whether you look at it politically or economically. The pathetic part is that neither party has the solution for the wars, immigration and the out of control spending. Most of the presidential candidates on both sides appear feeble: Hillary cannot do it without venal Bill; 9/11 Rudy cannot do it without mad man Pat Robertson; Edwards needs corrupt trial lawyers; Romney needs the strange Mormon Church; Bomb, Bomb McCain needs his mother and a psychiatrist; and, Obama needs a transformation that only experience brings. Ironically, since the Black Caucus will not support him as well as Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, Obama may win some of the white vote. Too bad Senators Webb and Hagel cannot team up and run for president. Unlike McCain, who was badly dented by his war experiences, they have mentally survived under fire in combat and understand war and its consequences – that is more than the other flaky candidates.

Will someone please advise HW Bush, that if he does more free-fall parachuting, not to be a girlie boy but a big boy, and not strap himself to an Army Golden Knight parachutist. That is just plain candy assed and just supports his already wobbly earned image. Reminds me of another US president who said he smoked marijuana but did not inhale.

Colonel Robert E Bartos USA RET

Photograph: Scream (Skrik, 1893) by Edvard Munch


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Goog writing as always.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow! Great insight.
Spent the past weekend taking a Combat Life Saver Course (this is the 2nd time I took it - once before I deployed to Iraq.) We had to watch a photo slide show of some of the soldiers wounded in Iraq. Very catistrophic injuries. Bet those guys are loving life now. Since I was imbedded with the Iraqis - what about them? Who is going to provide for their healing?


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