AMERICANS CONDEMN WAR IN IRAQ MORE STRONGLY -BRITONS PROTEST-BUT ARE BY NATURE MORE STOICAL
DUBYA IN DENIAL
Paralysed by record unpopularity.
Facing a backlash from his own party.
How many thousands more must die in Iraq just to indulge the vanity of this utterly discredited President?
by Max Hastings
[Daily Mail-Saturday, July 14,2007]
What if your neighbour suddenly announced that he had spotted fairies at the bottom of the garden, or thought he was about to give birth to an elephant? You would feel sympathy for his loved ones, and maybe suggest that he had changed his sleeping pills. There are lots of such people about the place, harmless and indeed often rather sweet.
But when America's president, leader of
THE FREE WORLD
-displays the same symptoms, we are entitled to take fright. On Thursday, George Bush gave a press conference at the
-during which he asserted that the
UNITED STATES 'can succeed in IRAQ'
He restated his rejection of demands for
Pulling troops out, he said, would mean
'surrendering the future of Iraq to Al Qaeda'
[Well!-Mr Bush has done that already as the civil war in that country clearly demonstrates]
He says: If American forces quit the country now, it would mean that they would have to return later
'to confront an enemy that is even more dangerous.'
In short, Bush remains in absolute denial about a reality which is apparent to most politicians and almost all senior soldiers on both sides of the Atlantic. The Democratic majority in the
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
has just passed a vote calling for
-and hopes the
-will follow suit.
Douglas Alexander, Britain's new International Development Secretary, delivered a speech in Washington on Thursday applauding the merits of 'soft power' ,which has been interpreted as a delicate distancing of Gordon Brown from the blind embrace of American policy adopted by Tony Blair.
BUSH WILL IGNORE ALL OF THIS.
Of course as he dismisses almost every message that his simple obsessive mind does not wish to receive [As we all observed when on the morning of 9/11 while attending a school class he was given a message that his county had been attacked. The look on his face was monumental to all who observed the granite stone un-expressible face which he showed at that hour of great danger to his country which many have interpreted it as the face of a man who already had advance notice of the intended attack as 95 professors in American Universities have claimed.]
With 18months of his term of office to run, this is his privilege. The consequence is that American and British soldiers, and above all Iraqis, will continue to die daily in pursuit of
A MISSION THAT IS ACHIEVING NOTHING
Worse still to come when the world faces all manner of problems which demand leadership to resolve
THE USA CANNOT PROVIDE THIS
So discredited has the Bush administration become, and so threadbare is
US MORAL AUTHORITY
-in consequence, that this great nation is incapable of addressing
SUDAN or SOMALIA
RUSSIA and CHINA
-with any prospect of imposing its will.
[We would draw a parallel with the situation on a United States Ship-of-War where the captain of a ship has gone bonkers and a danger to himself and the crew and the vessel. In these circumstances there is a clear instruction that the captain must be removed from command. We have the greatest SHIP of DEMOCRACY which is heading towards the rocks it is up to the
of that GREAT COUNTRY
TO PUT THAT SHIP BACK ON COURSE
This is very bad for us all, because America is the only superpower we have. It remains the world's greatest
-the foremost engine of economic growth
-the source of more innovation and technological thrust than any other nation on earth.
WE NEED A STRONG CONFIDENT AMERICA
What we have is a society plunged into a deeper doubt and division than any time since the fall of Saigon in 1975.
AUTHORITY is haemorrhaging out of the
The Democrats in Congress threaten to withhold funding - $58 billion worth -for the US commitment in Iraq.
'It is time for the president to listen to the American people and do what is necessary to protect this nation..'
says Senate majority leader Harry Reid.
"That means admitting his Iraq policy has failed.'
Even Republicans have begun to speak out. This week, an Oregon senator became the first of Bush's own party to break ranks and declare that
- the U.S. should start leaving Iraq
in 120 days.
The buzzards are circling closer and closer around the
Congress has been probing whether Bush's
-unlawfully fired eight
-for partisan reasons in 2005.
The President this week ordered former White House counsel Harriet Miers to reject a subpoena to testify on what she knew about the sackings.
A few days earlier, Bush used his presidential powers to quash a jail sentence imposed on Vice President Dick Cheney's former chief aide, Scooter Libby, for crime committed while serving in the
Sure, the President has the paper authority thus to thwart the
But each time he uses it
IN SUCH ROTTEN CAUSES
IS FURTHER ERODED.
Not since Richard Nixon in the Seventies has a US chief executive found himself in such deep trouble, though unlike Nixon, Bush is unlikely to be prematurely evicted from office.
Even when Bill Clinton faced
-after his dalliance with Monica Lewinsky, his personal popularity never plumbed the depths which Bush's has reach in the polls today.
AND IT IS ALL ABOUT IRAQ
In Britain, strange people that we are, the public remains astonishingly apathetic about the shambles in which we are involved. British politicians of all parties report their amazement at their constituents 'near- indifference about
WHAT IS HAPPENING IN BASRA
-about the shameful commitment in which Tony Blair entangled us, and
WHICH CONTINUES TO COST THE LIVES OF BRITISH SOLDIERS
-save to sustain Downing Street's relationship with the
In America, by contrast Iraq rouses passions which divide families, communities, the nation. When the New York Times , last weekend announced magisterially
THAT IT WAS TIME TO QUIT
-some Bush loyalists denounced the paper's editorialists as 'traitors'. Among innumerable bloggers, Bush's more temperate online critics
BRAND HIM A LUNATIC
Yet there are still enough rednecks and 'patriots' to respond in the terms of one message to the Houston Chronicle on Thursday, which said:
'If we didn't have this "lunatic" in office right now, I wonder how many attacks we would have faced already here in the United States. The terrorists
HATE AND WANT US DEAD.'
Here is a card that Bush still plays constantly. he tells Americans that every insurgent killed in Iraq is one fewer to launch another
[And many of us suspect on whom to put the blame for that inside job?]
Almost daily, he couples the insurgents in Iraq with Al Qaeda, arguing that the U.S. Army is simply fighting a battle in Baghdad that would otherwise to be fought in
WASHINGTON DC or Des Moines, IOWA
Back in 2003, when he first used this line, it was complete twaddle. No senior U.S. soldier or intelligence officer believed that Al Qaeda had anything to do with Iraq and Saddam Hussein.
TODAY, ironically, this has changed. Al Qaeda fighters indeed flock into Iraq. They are as eager to fight infidels there as Bush professes himself to be confronting
This week, the National Security Council (NSC) delivered an 'interim' report on progress in Iraq, which had been demanded by
Bush says he sees grounds for optimism in its findings, which puts him on a par with those who expect England to win the World Cup.
MOST OF THE DOCUMENT MAKES ABYSMAL READING.
It concludes that 80 per cent of suicide bombers in Iraq are
-who enter the country through Syria, almost all professing support for Al Qaeda.
Since January-2007, there have been a total of
-of what the NSC calls 'suicide events' in Iraq which have resulted in
-most of them Iraqi civilians. Some 50 to 80 would-be mass-murdering martyrs enter the country each month
WITH PLENTY MORE IN THE PIPELINE
Bush's 'surge' - the dramatic reinforcement of the
U.S. Army in Iraq
-has been successful in killing a lot of insurgents. Britain's SAS is working alongside American special forces.
[But as was shown on our screens over the past days the American forces are under considerable pressure not having the usual turn-round in their front line duties leaving them no chance to rest periods which should be the norm if they had sufficient forces on the ground. It looks very likely that the increased attacks are taking their toll because the build-up of their forces has not kept up with the increased insurgent activity.]
[The SAS] 'taking out' insurgent leaders whenever a rash mobile phone call or tip-off enables them to be pin-pointed. The combined arms assault which began in February with the characteristically melodramatic codename Operation Phantom Thunder, has been sustained full-tilt ever since.
The trouble is that killing 'bad guys' has little meaning when there is
AN UNLIMITED FLOW OF REPLACEMENTS
[As we and many other observers have said for some years , when one is in a battle against a unrelenting religious enemy there will be always many more converts to fill the ranks of those who put their religion before life itself. When one opposes such an enemy it helps greatly if the reason for the war is beyond reproach and not as now an illegal undertaking. Our troops have the primary function to protect our country they are not to be squandered in an unnecessary war -far from home.]
What MATTERS is that no progress is being made towards creating a viable local government and institutions. The U.S. and British governments lie through their teeth when they suggest that it is.
Every soldier knows this. The CIA has been saying it for months, as the Washington Post has revealed this week. The fighting and dying become futile when control of Iraq remains in the hands of rival factions and militias who are simply waiting for the Americans and their Allies to go home before starting the
REAL BATTLE FOR POWER AND OIL
This will be as true if we keep our troops in Iraq for another five years as if they leave in five days.
A few weeks ago, in a notably outspoken out burst, a serving American lieutenant -colonel named Paul Yingling delivered a broadside against his superiors in the U.S. Armed Forces Journal. It says a lot that this pretty conservative magazine published the piece.
'For the second time in a generation,' thundered Yingling, Deputy Commander of an a Armoured Cavalry Regiment who has served several tours in Iraq, 'the United States faces DEFEAT at the hands in INSURGENCY.
Yingling denounced his country's
for going along with the
FOLLIES of the WHITE HOUSE.
-and its neo-conservative supporters.
They underestimated the strength of the enemy, overestimated the capabilities of the Iraqi government and security services, and failed to tell
CONGRESS the TRUTH
-about how badly things were going wrong.
THAT HAS CERTAINLY CHANGED NOW.
Congress understands all too well hoe awful is the situation on the ground, and the futility of the U.S. Army's mission when the Iraqi government is going NOWHERE.
What is the purpose of buying time with blood for reconstruction and development if there isn't any; if- as a senior U.S. officer put to me -'there is nothing to join up to?
There are some fine and able American commanders in Iraq today, tormented by their awareness of the failure and what this will probably mean for Iraqis who have fought beside them, ON THE LOSING SIDE.
One such U.S. officer says that, even after returning home, in his mind's eye he still sees the faces of local friends he made in Iraq, 'friends who will surely become marked men if we pull out and the country collapses into genocidal havoc'.
Whatever the West does now, Iraq's future is likely to be pretty awful. What id for sure, however, is that nothing useful can be done until the
MAN in the WHITE HOUSE
-admits the game is up.
General David Petraeous, U.S. commander in Baghdad, is an outstanding officer who knew when he accepted the job that
IT WAS ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE.
He mused privately to a friend shortly before flying to take up command:
'How do you know when it's beyond hope, and how do you convey that to a
PRESIDENT WHO DOES NOT WANT TO HEAR IT.
[It reminds us of the situation on the morning of 9/11 when George Bush was informed on the attack against the United States of America. He remain seated looking at his audience of primary school children with no emotion on his pale face and continued to appear he had not heard the news. There are many sinister theories afloat as to the reason for his demeanour.]
I am sure that today, the smart sensitive, immensely engaging General Petraeus recognises that
IRAQ IS 'BEYOND HOPE'
-and is wondering how and when to deliver that message to Bush knowing what bitter reproaches will fall upon his head
IF HE DOES SO.
Salvaging Iraq must start with
-because there is no other way.
Bush should accept the bitter pill of talking to Iran, overwhelmingly the most powerful nation in the Middle East, and most influential on Iraq.
INSTEAD STUBBORN TO THE LAST
-the President remains determined to tough out his last phase in office, leaving his successor to face the humiliation of admitting
It is monstrous to think that thousands more people must die to assuage the self esteem of the discredited President.
The last 18 months of his term will seem almost as painful for us as for his own nation. All the Iraq options are awful, but only credible one is to
THEN GET THE TROOPS OUT
AS FAST AS POSSIBLE
If Bush would only see it, this course offers the
-possibility of salvaging something from his self-accused presidency.
BUT IT IS NOT IN HIS NATURE
HE PREFERS TO GO DOWN FIGHTING PAYING THE PRICE IN BETTER MEN'S BLOOD. THE LOGJAM IN IRAQ WILL BE BROKEN IT SEEMS ONLY WHEN THIS DISASTROUS PRESIDENT QUITS THE
* * *
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[Latest Addition - June07]
Daniel Hannan - Forming an OPPOSITION to the EU
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* July 18-2007
WITH THE ONLY PARTY WITH A MANDATE
TO SET YOU
UK INDEPENDENCE PARTY
THE QUESTION THAT THE VOTER MUST ANSWER
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