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This is What Democracy Looks Like

Today's Note From a Madman

Thursday, January 11, 2007


Quote of the Day

"I do."
-MSNBC political "expert" Pat Buchanan, in response to MSNBC's Joe Scarborough's (a one-term REPUBLICAN Gingrich "Contract with America" congressman) questions to Buchanan, which asked if Buchanan supports a troop "surge" even though he believes it won't work

After the laughter died down from the other panelists on Scarborough's show, which included Lawrence O'Donnell, who some describe as "a Liberal who loves markets" Buchanan finished a mini-tirade with this gem:

"I believe that we're headed for a potential disaster,"

Someone get this guy off the air.

-Noah Greenberg

Bush's Speech & Bush-Speak

PRESIDENT BUSH: The new strategy I outline tonight will change America's course in Iraq, and help us succeed in the fight against terror.
MADMAN: Meet the new strategy, same as the old strategy.

BUSH: The elections of 2005 were a stunning achievement. We thought that these elections would bring the Iraqis together.
MADMAN: They did bring Iraqis together. Together they hate America and Americans. Together they plant Improvised Explosive Devices (IED's) to kill Americans. Together they attack us, Shi'ite and Sunni alike.

BUSH: The situation in Iraq is unacceptable to the American people -- and it is unacceptable to me.
MADMAN: The situation in Iraq has been unacceptable to Americans for quite some time now. It's good to see that The President has finally caught up. I guess there isn't any brush left in Crawford left to clear.

BUSH: We benefited from the thoughtful recommendations of the Iraq Study Group.
madman: The Iraq Study Group's recommendations have been ignored by Bush and his small cabal of advisors. Thanking them for their service, then discarding their 79 points which, most Americans and elected officials agree should be followed, in large part, is doing a disservice to the world as a whole. Nowhere did the ISG say that a nominal "surge" of troops will solve any problem. As a matter of fact, they recommended a phased withdrawal citing that the Iraqis need to start governing and protecting themselves. Bush is calling for a military solution in Iraq when we all agree that it needs to be a political one. In short, Bush believes that this is still a winnable military conflict. It isn't.

BUSH: The consequences of failure are clear: Radical Islamic extremists would grow in strength and gain new recruits.
MADMAN: The Bush policies in Iraq up until now have been the greatest radical Islamist extremist recruiting tool of all time. The next terrorist attack comes with his help.

BUSH: On September the 11th, 2001, we saw what a refuge for extremists on the other side of the world could bring to the streets of our own cities.
MADMAN: Is President Bush attempting to tie Iraq to the 911 attacks again? He wouldn't do that... would he?

BUSH: Only Iraqis can end the sectarian violence and secure their people. And their government has put forward an aggressive plan to do it.
MADMAN: What's the plan? Must be a "trust me" sort of thing.

BUSH: Now let me explain the main elements of this effort: The Iraqi government will appoint a military commander and two deputy commanders for their capital. The Iraqi government will deploy Iraqi Army and National Police brigades across Baghdad's nine districts. When these forces are fully deployed, there will be 18 Iraqi Army and National Police brigades committed to this effort, along with local police. These Iraqi forces will operate from local police stations -- conducting patrols and setting up checkpoints, and going door-to-door to gain the trust of Baghdad residents.
MADMAN: That's the plan? I guess it is "trust me".

BUSH: Our troops will have a well-defined mission: to help Iraqis clear and secure neighborhoods, to help them protect the local population, and to help ensure that the Iraqi forces left behind are capable of providing the security that Baghdad needs.
MADMAN: Meet the new plan - Same as the old plan. Maybe it's just me but, wasn't this "the plan" all along? If not, then please tell me just what has been "the plan" up until now. was it to allow a civil war to brew and grow? Was it to allow a second-class cleric to formulate a 60,000 member militia? Was it to create Shi'ite "death squads" to fight against a growing Sunni insurgency?

Bush: Many listening tonight will ask why this effort will succeed when previous operations to secure Baghdad did not. Well, here are the differences: In earlier operations, Iraqi and American forces cleared many neighborhoods of terrorists and insurgents, but when our forces moved on to other targets, the killers returned.
MADMAN: So now we're going to stay after we clear these neighborhoods. And an additional 20,000 troops in a nation of some 28 million people is going to do that? There are, presently, 137,000 American troops in Iraq. Last year at this same time, we had upwards of 160,000. If we couldn't fix it with more troops one year ago, along with the help of Coalition members that have since left, then just what makes Bush think that less troops now will get the job done? Or, for that matter, just what makes Bush think?

BUSH: Here is what (Nouri al-Maliki) told his people just last week: "The Baghdad security plan will not provide a safe haven for any outlaws, regardless of [their] sectarian or political affiliation."
MADMAN: That's the "promise" which the Iraqi Prime Minister made to Bush? What have they been doing since their election anyway? It's obvious to everyone that the Iraqi "Unity" Government is a series of self-interests wrapped up in a "I want to keep my job" atmosphere. In the end, they'll do nothing, much as they have done so far as they watch their nation run into the ruin of a sectarian civil war.

BUSH: Our enemies in Iraq will make every effort to ensure that our television screens are filled with images of death and suffering.
MADMAN: Code translated: It's all the media's fault. As Donald Rumsfeld said before, we must all be watching that same vase being stolen by that same Iraqi over and over and over again. This time are the Bushies going to say that we're watching that same American soldier being blown to pieces over and over and over again?

BUSH: To establish its authority, the Iraqi government plans to take responsibility for security in all of Iraq's provinces by November.
MADMAN: Then we're out of there, Right? I'm all for it.

BUSH: In keeping with the recommendations of the Iraq Study Group, we will increase the embedding of American advisers in Iraqi Army units, and partner a coalition brigade with every Iraqi Army division.
MADMAN: The ISG said to keep American troops embedded in with Iraqi troops? Funny how I didn't read that one anywhere. I must have had the abridged version of their plan. All that putting one or two troops in with Iraqi forces will do is to give the insurgents an American target for kidnapping, injury or assassination. Are we to believe that the Iraqi troops are going to protect an American soldier against an insurgent attack? They can't even protect themselves!

BUSH: Al Qaeda is still active in Iraq.
MADMAN: That statement should read "Al Qaeda is still active in Iraq, thanks to my failed policies."

BUSH: Succeeding in Iraq also requires defending its territorial integrity and stabilizing the region in the face of extremist challenges. This begins with addressing Iran and Syria.
MADMAN: Just what does "address" in relation to Iran and Syria mean in Bush-ese? I'm afraid to find out.

BUSH: We will use America's full diplomatic resources to rally support for Iraq from nations throughout the Middle East. Countries like Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, and the Gulf States need to understand that an American defeat in Iraq would create a new sanctuary for extremists and a strategic threat to their survival.
MADMAN: I get it now. We'll pursue diplomatic talks with those we already have friendly relations, but we won't talk with Iran and Syria. As the two gentlemen in the Guinness Draft commercials say. "Brilliant!"

BUSH: They (the World) want to know: Will America withdraw and yield the future of that country to the extremists, or will we stand with the Iraqis who have made the choice for freedom?
MADMAN: I think they really want to know just how we could elect such a doofus in the first place. I think they want to know how we could still be in Iraq at all. I think that want to know just how stupid we really are.

-Noah Greenberg

More on Bush's Speech & Bush-Speak

Three things are clear from President Bush's televised address last night:
1- The President set this November as his deadline for the termination of American combat missions in Iraq.
2- The President has begun the political process of blaming the Democrats and the opponents of the war for the bloodshed and disorder that will engulf Iraq and perhaps the entire Persian Gulf region in the near future.
3- There still are numerous Americans willing to continue to mindlessly and fanatically "stay the course" and continue to slaughter Arabs in their own country in the name of Democracy and Freedom.

The net effect of the Iraq mission has been to spread war and disorder throughout the mideast. The daily murder of Arabs will go on and perhaps intensify. And it's all thanks to GW Bush and his neoCons' naive and Pollyannaish faith in the projection of military power.

If "taking responsibility" were anything but a catch phrase for President Bush, he would have announced that America's new policy on Iraq would proceed from the deliberations of the commission he appointed last night.

-Robert Chapman

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-Noah Greenberg