Sunday, December 10, 2006

Who Caused the Fiasco in Iraq? Not the ISG

After Senator Gordon H. Smith (R-OR) said the war in Iraq is absurd and may be criminal, he said, “I believe we need to figure out how to fight the war on terror and to do it right. So either we clear and hold and build, or let’s go home.” And Senator Olympia J. Snowe (R-ME) said, “To ignore the message sent in the last election is to do so at our political peril, because the message was a resounding repudiation of the status quo with respect to Iraq,” The neocons are ridiculing the Iraq Study Group’s report and are calling it a prescription for “retreat” and have labeled the ISG’s leaders James Baker and Lee Hamilton “surrender monkeys”. The neocons are right. The ISG is saying the US should retreat. And 73% of Americans agree. The war in Iraq has become a war that cannot be won. Even though our reasons for attacking Iraq were venal and avaricious, the war could have been won were it not for the bungling of the Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and Vice President Richard Cheney. These are the men who called the shots. Forget about George W. Bush. He is now and always was a puppet. The war in Iraq was a war of choice. It was entered upon as the first move in a planned aggression on the Middle East so that the United States could control the area’s rich oil resources. This is no secret. This we know. Like it or not, oil is why the Bush administration went to war. And the war could have been a short war and it could have been won. The Iraq war became a bottomless pit of failure because of choices made in 2003 by Donald Rumsfeld and Richard Cheney. If neocons like Richard Perle (President Reagan’s Secretary of Defense), William Kristol (architect of the Project for the New American Century) and Rush Limbaugh (asshole) have an ax to grind, it surely is not with the Democrats or the ISG. The reason the war in Iraq descended into chaos and civil war and the reason the situation is now being called dire, grave and daunting is because the war was mismanaged, miscalculated and misguided from the moment of its opening salvo. And now, after three years of stupid choices by the men who lied us into this war, the war has become unwinnable. We who thought the war was immoral and unethical and unnecessary, never wanted the United States to lose. Going to war was a bad decision, but everyone in the United States wanted the United States to win as quickly as its promoters promised we would win and then come home. So who put us in the regrettable position we are in today? It wasn’t the folks who now are saying we have to get out of Iraq. Donald Rumsfeld and Richard Cheney caused the quagmire in Iraq. It was not caused by James Baker and Lee Hamilton. Those who now are calling for the United States to pull its troops out of Iraq are doing so because they must. This morning, the New York Times said, “Bill Kristol, the neoconservative editor of The Weekly Standard and a leading advocate of the decision to invade Iraq, said: ‘In the real world, the Baker report is now the vehicle for those Republicans who want to extricate themselves from Iraq, while McCain is articulating the strategy for victory in Iraq. Bush will have to choose, and the Republican Party will have to choose, in the very near future between Baker and McCain.’” The NYT added, “The choice Mr. Kristol is describing reflects a longstanding Republican schism over policy and culture between ideological neoconservatives and so-called realists. Through most of the Bush administration, the neoconservatives’ idea of using American military power to advance democracy around the world prevailed, pushed along by Vice President Dick Cheney and Mr. Rumsfeld.” The NYT is right and it’s wrong. It’s right that the neocons' idea was to use American military might to advance its aims around the world. But advancing democracy was an also-ran in Kristol’s ideology. The main point that the PNAC crew made in 1998 was that the United States had to “increase defense spending…modernize our armed forces...challenge regimes hostile to US interests and values”. Kristol and the other 25 signers of the PNAC Statement of Principles preached that the US had to be in the position to make pre-emptive military strikes to “shape circumstance before crises emerge”. Those other signers included William Bennett, Jeb Bush, Richard Cheney, Zalmay Khalilzad, Scooter Libby, Donald Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz Now that the PNAC advice has been followed, Kristol and his buddies cannot admit that their grand plan failed because of the sheer ineptitude and stupidity of the men who designed the war strategies. “So what do we have?” current idiot and ex-Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA) asked.” He answered himself saying, “We have the Baker-Hamilton report, which is a prescription for surrender.” No, you blockheaded ignoramus fool, what we have is the ISG trying to put to rights the mistakes, gaffes and blunders of Donald Rumsfeld, Richard Cheney, the neocon cheerleaders and the entire Bush administration. What we have is a disaster in Iraq caused by the arrogance, ignorance, and muddled thinking of an old past-his-prime warhorse, Donald Rumsfeld.


Anonymous said...

First and foremost....the US invaded another country....we are occupiers of another country, stealing, distroying, murdering! I don't know what else there is to say. The people who are responsible for this should be captured and tried and then hanged!

Barry Schwartz said...

Richard Perle was only an assistant to the Secretary of Defense.

I think you overestimate the capacity of the United States to undertake such a venture as an invasion of Iraq. I think it is just a matter of 'losing' more quickly or 'losing' more slowly. Perhaps we should rest more easily that Stupid and Stupid, Inc., invented this fiasco and not, say, Henry Kissinger, who could have dragged it out for much longer. OTOH, it wasn't Kissinger's style of mayhem-making, though now, of course, he'll give advice on how to drag it out as long as possible.