(Note: Part One of "The Bush/Cheney Holocaust in Iraq: Criminality, Immorality, Incompetence and Desperation examined the criminality and immorality underlying the Bush/Cheney regime's invasion of Iraq . Part Two, examined the disasters that could have been avoided, except for the gross incompetence with which the invasion was conducted . Part Three, below, examines the desperation, which now compels various political actors to contemplate drastic action before the Bush/Cheney regime leaves office.)
Part Three: Desperation unto Bombing Iran?
Cowards? Yes! As more than one observer has lamented about this pair of jokers: "People don't Change." Neither Bush nor Cheney opposed the war in Vietnam, but neither proved brave enough or patriotic enough to volunteer to fight for their country there, when they had the chance. True to form, in April 2004, a full year into his debacle in Iraq, when our cowardly president was asked whether his administration had made any mistakes, the supposedly honest, forthright and swaggering Bush said he could not think of any.
In fact, neither Bush nor Cheney possessed the courage to level with Americans about what they really had in mind for Iraq. And neither has demonstrated the courage to stand up, like a man, and take responsibility for the criminality, immorality and incompetence that has produced the holocaust in Iraq. Moreover, cowardice richly explains how Bush could dare to challenge the insurgents to "Bring 'em on" in Iraq — but from the safety of the White House in Washington D.C.
Cowardice also explains Bush's recent commutation of Scooter Libby's thirty-month prison sentence. Libby simply knows too much about the Bush/Cheney regime's criminality, immorality and incomptence. Thus, the commutation is a part of a cowardly coverup.
Finally, cowardice also explains why Bush and Cheney ignored advice from their senior military leaders, which recommended against an escalation of the war in Iraq. Simply recall Colin Powell's June 10, 2007 statements to Tim Russert on Meet the Press. When Russert asked Powell why his predicted troop drawdown in early 2007 didn't occur, Powell responded: "A different choice was made by the Prsident."
Elaborating, Powell asserted: "The President received advice from his military advisers last fall that said, do not send more troops." Moreover, "Gen. Abizaid went before Congress, the commander of Central Command, and said he had consulted with all of division commanders in Iraq and all of the senior commanders, and non of them wanted to send additional troops." [Robert Parry, "Powell Belies 'Commander Guy' Bush," consortiumnews.com, June, 10, 2007]
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Taking such advice would have implied that their war was lost, a matter Bush and Cheney are afraid to admit. So, instead, the cowards sucker-punched the American electorate, the Iraq Study Group and the U.S. military by ordering a desperate, last ditch escalation of the war, which they called a "surge." Thus, more U.S. soldiers and innocent Iraqis are destined to die for their cowardice.
(Inveterate liar and hypocrite that he is, Bush would subsequently criticize Democrats for attempting to manage the war from Washington, while noting how he listens to his commanders.)
Desperately seizing upon another pipe-dream of the neocons, the Bush/Cheney regime touted the "surge" as a measure which would stamp down sectarian violence in Baghdad long enough to allow the food-fighting politicians in Iraq's national government sufficient time to reconcile their differences on such critical issues as the distribution of oil revenues, the holding of local elections and the reversal of the de-Baathification process.
Astute analysts, such as Anthony Cordesman, immediately saw the flaws in this desperate move: "Winning security control of the city (of Baghdad) and losing Iraq's 11 other major cities and countryside to Iraq's sectarian and ethnic factions is not victory (in any strategic sense), it is defeat." Moreover, U.S. policymakers have "completely failed to set forth a strategy and meaningful operational plan for dealing with Iraq as a country even if it succeeds in Baghdad." [Martin Sieff, "Iraq Surge Strategy Slammed," UPI, Feb. 22, 2007]
As if to demonstrate the accuracy of Cordesman's observation, on July 7, 2007, a suicide truck bomber in the village of Amerli killed at least 105 people and injured some 200 more, "leading to fears that insurgents who had fled intense military operations in Baghdad and Diyala are turning to more vulnerable targets nearby." [New York Times July 8, 2007] In fact, the U.S. simply does not have sufficient boots on the ground to prevent insurgents from exercising classical insurgency strategy - tactical retreat in the face of massed firepower, in order to wreak havoc elsewhere.
The violence has surged to such an extent - in spite of Bush's "surge" - that "prominent Shiite and Sunni politicians [have] called on Iraqi civilians to take up arms to defend themselves." [Robert H. Reid, "Iraqi politicians call on civilians to arm themselves," The Independent, 9 July 2007] So much, then, for the "surge" as a means of stamping down sectarian violence.
In fact, on June 29, 2007, nine days after concluding, "the US is now losing in Iraq," Cordesman noted that "the level of sectarian and ethnic separation now taking place throughout the country, the weakness of the central government at every level, and the rising power of local authority…are now clearly changing the 'surge' strategy." [Cordesman, "Iraq and Anbar: Surge or Separation?" CSIS Publications, June 29, 2007]
Thus, his conclusion: "Even if security in Baghdad is achieved, it cannot be a bridge to successful national conciliation by a weak central government facing massive nation-wide problems in terms of growing local power and civil conflicts." [Ibid]
But the Bush/Cheney surge faces another equally insurmountable problem - it relies on a U.S. Army that they've virtually destroyed. As retired General William E. Odom has recently noted: "No U.S. forces have ever been compelled to stay in sustained combat conditions for as long as the Army units have in Iraq." Rather than fix this problem, Bush's "recent 'surge' tactic has compelled the secretary of defense to extend Army tours to 15 months!" [Odom, "'Supporting the Troops' Means Withdrawing Them," Nieman Watchdog, 5 July 2007]
Given that U.S. military leaders, in their expert judgment, opposed Bush's "surge" from the outset, and given that highly regarded defense analysts found the "surge' to be strategically deficient, why did Bush go forward with it? Because, as Gen. Odom concluded: "The president is strongly motivated to string out the war until he leaves office, in order to avoid taking responsibility for the defeat he has caused and persisted in making greater each year for more than three years."
If correct about Bush's motive, then General Odom was certainly correct, when he observed: By "squandering the lives of soldiers and Marines for his own personal interest" Bush surely has committed an impeachable "high crime." Were Bush or Cheney genuinely interested in supporting the troops, they would bring them home.
Fortunately, new pressure to bring the troops home has arisen from the ranks of Bush's own Republican Party, thanks to the speech given by Senator Richard Lugar on June 25, 2007. As the Indiana Republican noted, in a speech from the Senate floor: "Three factors - the political fragmentation in Iraq, the growing stress on our military, and the constraints of our own domestic political process - are converging to make it almost impossible for the United States to engineer a stable, multi-sectarian government in Iraq in a reasonable time frame."
As the New York Times reported on July 9, 2007, thanks, in part, to Senator Lugar, "White House officials fear that the last pillars of political support among Senate Republicans for President Bush's Iraq strategy are collapsing around them." [David E. Sanger, "In White House, Debate Is Rising On Iraq Pullback," New York Times, July 9, 2007] Thus, the White House is debating the pros and cons of a gradual withdrawal.
The Bush administration immediately denied the Times' report. But, what's worse, neither Gen. Odom's interpretation nor the Times' report addressed the continuing influence of warmonger Cheney. (As Michael Isikoff of Newsweek recently reported, Bush commuted Libby's jail time because, "If he didn't, he would have caused a fracture with the vice president." [Isikoff, "Why Bush Gave Scooter Libby a Pass," Newsweek, July 16, 2007]
And neither have Gen. Odom nor the Times taken into consideration the recent report of columnist, Georgie Anne Geyer, who's found evidence that Bush "is more convinced than ever of his righteousness." [Geyer, "A spreading terror," Dallas Morning News, May 31, 2007] According to Geyer: "Friends of his from Texas were shocked recently to find him wild-eyed, thumping himself on the chest three times while he repeated 'I am the president!' He also made clear he was setting Iraq up so his successor could not get out of 'our country's destiny.'" [Ibid]
Given that U.S, ground forces (and their weapons) have been nearly exhausted, the only plausible way for Bush to commit his successor to the war in Iraq would be to "double down" on his first disaster by attacking Iran's nuclear energy facilities, perhaps with nuclear weapons. As Robert D. Novak recently reported, Marine General Jack Sheehan refused to become "czar" of Iraq operations, because he believed that "hawks within the administration, including Vice President Cheney, remain more powerful than the pragmatists looking for an exit strategy in Iraq." [Robert D. Novak, "'Scouting' the Hill on Iraq," Washington Post, July 9, 2007]
In addition, we have Seymour Hersh's expert opinion, recently expressed to an audience at the Campus Progress National Student Conference, that "George Bush's and Dick Cheney's wet dream is hitting Iran." Finally, ask yourself: How did Bush and Cheney respond to rebukes of the November 2006 elections and the Iraq Study Group report? By escalating the war in Iraq!
More to the point, such an attack probably would bring Iraq's holocaust to the entire Middle East, thereby binding Bush's successor to "our country's destiny." As it is, Turkey already has massed 140,000 soldiers on its border with northern Iraq and al Qaeda in Iraq already has threatened to wage war against Iran unless it stops supporting the Shiites in Iraq.
Thus the question: Given the probable defection by key Senate Republicans, can the feckless (and thus desperate) Democrats that American voters placed in a legislative majority last November limit or end America's war in Iraq before Bush and Cheney expand it into Iran? Don't count on it.
Instead, recall the words of a high level Bush adviser to Ron Suskind: "We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality - judiciously, as you will - we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do."
Which is why Americans must insist upon immediate impeachment proceedings against Vice President Cheney and, then, President Bush. Simply put: "The World Can't Wait!"
Walter C. Uhler is an independent scholar and freelance writer whose work has been published in numerous publications, including The Nation, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, the Journal of Military History, the Moscow Times and the San Francisco Chronicle. He also is President of the Russian-American International Studies Association (RAISA).
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