Monday, October 23, 2006

Bush strategy for Iraq: Version 3.2

This is a "connect the dots" exercise.

First we have George W Bush saying this in April 2002:

No nation can negotiate with terrorists. For there is no way to make peace with those whose only goal is death.
And, before the wet-pants crowd even tries to make a suggestion that he didn't mean it, we'll all remind ourselves that in November 2005, Bush said this:

This is an enemy without conscience -- and they cannot be appeased. If we were not fighting and destroying this enemy in Iraq, they would not be idle. They would be plotting and killing Americans across the world and within our own borders. By fighting these terrorists in Iraq, Americans in uniform are defeating a direct threat to the American people. Against this adversary, there is only one effective response: We will never back down. We will never give in. And we will never accept anything less than complete victory.
In short: No negotiation with terrorists. Kill them, capture them, torture them but, never negotiate. There is nothing to be gained by negotiation.

Then there's this from yesterday's Sunday Times:

AMERICAN officials held secret talks with leaders of the Iraqi insurgency last week after admitting that their two-month clampdown on violence in Baghdad had failed.
Few details of the discussions in the Jordanian capital Amman have emerged but an Iraqi source close to the negotiations said the participants had met for at least two days. They included members of the Islamic Army in Iraq, one of the main Sunni militias behind the insurgency, and American government representatives. The talks were described as “feeler” discussions. The US officials were exploring ways of persuading the Sunni groups to stop attacks on allied forces and to end a cycle of increasingly bloody sectarian clashes with members of the majority Shi’ite groups.
Secret talks? Sounds like negotiations to me.

Then there's this bit of work by the Bushco fabrication factory:

Our mission in Iraq is to win the war. Our troops will return home when that mission is complete.
Resolve. Pure steely-eyed resolve.

OK, maybe not complete resolve. This kind of changes things:

WITH mounting American casualties and growing political heat on the Republicans in the November congressional elections, the pressure is on for President George W Bush to “finish well” in Iraq.
Every potential exit strategy runs the risk of plunging the country into further chaos and bloodshed. This explains why Bush has insisted in recent days that he is merely interested in adjusting the “tactics” needed to secure stability. Yet plans are emerging for a dramatic change of course that could lead to an orderly withdrawal of coalition forces. The Pentagon is determined to force the faltering government of Nouri al-Maliki to shoulder responsibility for Iraq’s security.
(Emphasis mine)
That doesn't look like victory in Iraq. It looks more like this. You know - the war that was supposed to stop the Domino Effect, a containment project that wasn't necessary and didn't work in any case.

Then we have Bush making this statement yesterday, (which has now been repeated as a Republican talking point today), and interviewers allowing him and others to get away with it:

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: James Baker says that he’s looking for something between “cut and run” and “stay the course.”
GEORGE W BUSH: Well, hey, listen, we’ve never been “stay the course,”
Really!!! Billmon has a list of at least 18 times when stay the course was exactly what Bush enunciated as policy with respect to Iraq.

While Bush is revising history things aren't going all that well in another country he had a hand in destroying. Granted, it was the one country Bush had the right to attack, but it would have been nice if he'd completed the job instead of walking away.

TALIBAN fighters are preparing for a winter of urban warfare, say Afghan and western intelligence, and have established cells in the cities of Afghanistan from which to launch a campaign of explosions and suicide bombings.
While military chiefs have been declaring victory in the south of the country and claim to have killed more than 3,000 Taliban over the summer, diplomats in Kabul warn that security in Afghan cities is deteriorating fast. “This could turn into another Iraq,” said one.
Suicide bombs were almost unheard of in Afghanistan until last year with only five since the fall of the Taliban in December 2001. But this year has already seen 81, which killed or wounded more than 700 people.
Where would the Taliban have learned a tactic like that, I wonder? How do they know it will work?

Ah yes. George W. Bush. Purveyor of democracy. So far he's 0 for 3, having laid waste to three countries: Afghanistan, Iraq and the USA.

And, his new strategy? Cut and run.

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