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This is What Democracy Looks Like

Today's Note From a Madman

Wednesday, January 10, 2007


A Short Note on The President's Speech

President Bush centered his argument for sending an additional 20,000 troops to Iraq by pushing a promise. But it isn't a promise which he is making to us, the people of the United States whose children are in harm's way every day in places like Baghdad and Iraq's Anbar province. The promise he's talking about is the promise that Nouri al-Maliki and the Iraqi government are making to Bush himself.

Al-Maliki promises to take over all of Iraq's provinces by November of this year. It's a promise which seems to have been made before. I guess this time he must mean it. While at the same time that the Iraqi forces, ones which can't fight the insurgents in an even basis, despite the help they get from the US military, are taking over for the US military as a national police force, they will have American military "advisors" to "assist" as they patrol those dangerous areas which they can't patrol now. In other words, we're going to put American targets in the midst of Iraqi patrols, some of which are laden with insurgents in disguise. When the insurgents corner one of these squads, who do you think the Iraqi police will turn over in exchange for their own escape?

President Bush said there were "mistakes", just not his "mistakes. He said there weren't, initially, enough troops to keep the peace, nor where there enough troops to patrol neighborhoods. What The President failed to mention was that sending so few troops weren't the ideas of his Generals, or any other combat military advisor for that matter. It was made by civilians who knew nothing about winning wars or keeping the peace. Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld (a peacetime naval officer), Rice , Wolfowitz and the rest of the White House gang of NeoCons all had never fought for their country, nor have an inkling of what it would take to defeat and occupy a nation of some 28 million. In fact, General Anthony Zinni, the former head of CENTCOM, had a plan he and his staff devised just for the invasion and occupation of a nation such as Iraq (if not Iraq itself). It called for far many more troops than the Bush administration, through then Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, wanted. In fact, Zinni's successor at CENTCOM, General Tommy Franks, initially came in with a plan similar to his former boss' and was told time and time again to scale it down by "Rummy".

And if that weren't enough, the only man in the whole Bush administration who actually had battle experience said we need an overwhelming force. The Powell Doctrine, formulated by then Secretary of State Colin Powell called for a large, Zinni-like force to win the war and keep the peace. Powell also advised the President that the Pottery Barn rules applied to Iraq: If you break it, you bought it. Bush bought it and the American people are paying for it.

Every time a General, such as former Middle East head John Abizaid and former Iraq military head General George Casey, called for something other than what the President's advisors called for, such as no more troops in Iraq, they were "retires".

When the US troop commander in Iraq during the invasion, General David McKiernan, stated the obvious about troop strength in Iraq, instead of being named the Military Governor, he was "rotated" home. He said he was "surprised".

"The elections of 2005 were a stunning achievement,"

The President said that he thought the elections and other events on the ground in Iraq should have stabilized the country. Instead, "The Opposite" happened. It appears that every time something happens not as bush planned, he and his advisors are stunned. That "stunning achievement" turned into an "opposite" surprise.

"If the Iraqi government doesn't come through with its promises, it will lose the support" of the American people.

The only support that the Iraq government of Nouri al-Maliki and his real boss, Muqtada al-Sadr, have is Bush himself. The American people no longer have the stomach, the will or the desire to allow even one more "sacrifice" on behalf of their poorly planned occupation and continuing failure in Iraq. (Bush actually used the word "sacrifice" - Does Karl Rove know this?)

"This time Iraqi and American forces will have a green light to go into those neighborhoods,"

So all this time, our troops have been handcuffed by Prime Minister al-Maliki? Is that what President Bush is telling us? Our troops have not been allowed to stop Shiite death squads and have been unable to halt a Sunni insurgency that kills many Americans, and dozens of Iraqis, each and every day. And now we know that it was "okay'd" by President Bush..

Many DC Republicans are getting on the "no more troops" bandwagon. Most of them are up for re-election in 2008, such as Senator Norm Coleman (REPUBLICAN-MN), or are running for President, such as Senator Sam Brownback (REPUBLICAN-KS). These former Bush-butt-boys are in fear for their political lives, and we all know it. But fear can be a great motivator and, judging from the do nothing congress of the past six Bush years, we need these guys (and gals) to get motivated.

The Generals on the ground don't want more troops. The company, battalion and even platoon leaders realize that more troops aren't the answer. Too bad that President Bush doesn't realize it.

-Noah Greenberg

Look at the Map

Have you taken a look at a map recently? More specifically, have you taken a look at a map of Eastern Africa in the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden and Western Indian Ocean area? Go ahead - take a look. I'll wait.

Here's what we have there: The western part of Sudan, the Darfur region, with all of its ethnic cleansing, rapes and murders borders land-locked Chad, the Central African Republic (CAF) and, of all places, Libya. The rest of Sudan borders Egypt to the north, Ethiopia (also land-locked) and Eritrea to the east, and Kenya and Uganda to the south.

Ethiopia's neighbor to the east is, of course, Somalia. Ethiopia, whose people were starving and fleeing less than a generation ago, is attempting to police its civil-war-torn neighbor. Somalia, a nation with a northern coast on the Gulf of Aden and an eastern coast on the Indian Ocean, regularly practiced piracy, boarding cruise ships as they pass by.

Directly across the Red Sea from Sudan and Egypt is Saudi Arabia. Directly across the Gulf of Aden from Somalia is Yemen, a safe haven where Osama bin-Laden once called home and home to two of the 911 hijackers.

More violence has broken out in Somalia with al-Qaeda taking the lead against the war lords who are the better of the two evils running the nation (go figure that out). Violence has broken out across the borders of Sudan's Darfur region into Chad and the CAF. One wonders what would happen if (and when?) it spreads into its northern neighbor, Libya. And what happens if it spreads into not-so-far away southern Egypt?

What happens if the Somali or Sudanese violence spreads into Saudi Arabia? Why is it so hard to imagine that al-Qaeda in Somalia and al-Qaeda in Yemen might make Taliban-like moves in the Gulf of Aden and Red Sea areas? It isn't.

East Africa is about to explode, if it hasn't already. With all of our resources stuck in Iraq and spread thinly around the rest of the world, how will we, the United States, react when this inevitable explosion happens.

The policies of the Bush administration have done nothing to make us safer at home and have made the whole world a less-safe place to live. Our sons, daughters and their sons and daughters will be fighting the Battle of the Bushies for generations to come. and it could have been avoided.

When history looks back at George W. Bush and his band of cronies, they'll be linking his name with the likes of Hitler rather than Lincoln. His presidential library should be in the design of a tomb.

-Noah Greenberg

Bush's "Surge"

Today President Bush announced his new policy for Iraq, which will include a surge of some twenty thousand additional American troops to be sent there.

The "surge" is partially necessary because of the other Coalition Members' reductions in their forces and partly because the conflict has changed from an anti-occupation insurgency into a civil war.

The difference in this is that the Shiite militias are bent on liquidating their Sunni enemies and are in the process of conquering Baghdad. Unless we can bring this under control, other nations, notably Saudi Arabia have threatened to intervene.

What the logic behind interfering with the Saudis is escapes me, although AEI types spin doom and gloom scenarios about a Saudi-Iranian war that make the threat of Saddam's WMD sound like a picnic.


Come to think of it, "W" must have been planning the surge while he was campaigning in October.

There he was campaigning on "Stay the Course," while planning the surge.

Obviously, for the right wing, bald faced lying is considered heroically patriotic.

-Robert Chapman

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-Noah Greenberg