Thursday, November 16, 2006

if at first you don't succeed


Rather than comment on tomorrow's secret ballot for the Majority Leader position between John Murtha and Steny Hoyer, a literal 'lesser of two evils' between a defense industry-funded pro-life unindicted Abscam co-conspirator and a pro-Iraq War DLC shrill owned by K Street, let's look at the big issue undergirding the political moment: Iraq.

Everyone is holding their breath waiting for the vaunted 'bipartisan' wizards of the Baker-Hamilton Commission to reveal their magic bullet for gettin beyond 'stay the course' and 'cut-and-run', but as one wit said, "all the Gates and all the Bakers couldn't put Humpty-Dumpty together again." It seems that Bush, according to this article in the Guardian, has not only given up on working with the Democratic Congress to find a way out of his Iraq debacle, but hasn't learned a goddamn thing from the electoral 'thumpin'. He's set up a parallel policy review timed to have its report released concurrently with the Iraq Study Group's so that he can get the recommendations he wants to hear, like ones not including any reductions in troop levels.

Clearly he's still in denial. He's got Henry Kissinger, that unconvicted war criminal, whispering in his ear about how this is all a matter of 'political will'. His strategy is to have one last futile push at making chicken soup out of chickenshit. This would consist of four points, all of which seem to have Cheney's greasy fingers all over them:
  • Increase troops by up to 20,000
  • Bring in 'friendly' Arab regimes like the Kuwaitis and the Saudis to negiotiate diplomatically. Including Iraq and Syria in this regional summit is still being resisted.
  • Try to bring the Shia and the Sunni together
  • Get more money for equipping and training the Iraqi army and police.
More of the same tired old shit, in other words. And too little, too late. Of course, any more troops and you would need a draft. Good luck with that... Oh and umm forget what we said about democracy and all those high-falutin' ideals. This past week, the US commander in the Middle East, General John Abizaid, gave a piece of Bill O'Reillyesque advice, saying more troops weren't necessary but neither was withdrawing any troops, just that the Iraqi army needed more pressure to do its part. All of this is to give the GOP cover for the 2008 campaign. Expect withdrawals to begin in the fall...finally.

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