Thursday, November 30, 2006

Laundry list of failure, with no benchmark to measure it

David Seaton's News Links
In the clip below, Robert Scheer compiles a laundry list of failure in Iraq. We are looking at a disaster that dwarfs Vietnam by a magnitude. The Vietnam war was a terrible thing for the USA and especially for South East Asia, but it went no farther than that. The possible knock on effects of the collapse into anarchy of the Middle East are impossible to calculate. I don't think there is any precedent of such a complete disaster in US history which would give people some perspective. If you say to a German or a Russian, even if they are young, "WWII"... They know what that means from Grandma's table talk. If you talk to an American about "civil war" it conjures up visions of blues and grays, Matthew Brady and "Gone with the Wind"... If you say "civil war" to a Spanish kid it means grandpa buried in a mass grave in a ditch outside the village. Americans just don't have any benchmark to realize how deep in the shit they are. The Baker Commission is said to be recommending a withdrawal, but Bush still talks about "finishing the job". Amazing days are ahead. We may yet see Nancy Pelosi as president... Cheney has a heart attack and Bush is led off drunk in a strait jacket. DS
Robert Scheer - Abstract: Having idiotically dug ourselves a terribly deep hole in Iraq -- remember when protesters against the war were mocked for using the word "quagmire"? -- Bush is now forced to beg Syria and Iran to throw us a rope. As the Bush-appointed and James Baker-led Iraq Study Group has telegraphed, the cooperation of these two pariah states is essential to an effective exit strategy. In reality, this is not so much a change in policy as it is an acknowledgement of a truth-on-the-ground that has been clear since the invasion 44 months ago: Our sworn enemies were the biggest beneficiaries of our overthrow of Iraq's secular dictatorship.(...) And don't expect Tehran's theocrats to be magnanimous in victory. The key message from Ayatollah Khamenei on Tuesday was, as the BBC headline put it, "U.S. troops must leave Iraq if security is to be restored."(...) So it is that Iraqi President Jalal Talabani was so desperate in his pleas to the ayatollah, admitting that, "We are in dire need of Iran's help in establishing security and stability in Iraq." Of course he is, because six years of Bush's foreign policy has had the presumably unintended consequences of elevating radicals and theocrats into positions of dominance throughout the region, from Iraq, Lebanon, the West Bank and even, this past week, to the oil emirate Bahrain, where Shiite and Sunni radical Islamists split elections in an upset. "It looks like our parliament will be dominated by people who see themselves only as Sunnis or Shiites," said Fowad Shihab, a political science professor at Bahrain University. "These are the same Islamists that are gaining control across the Arab world." Simply put, the neoconservative geniuses who believed invading Iraq would bolster both U.S. and Israeli interests in fact have accomplished the exact opposite -- handing both military and public-relations victories to their sworn enemies. Similarly, the international movement to restrain the proliferation of nuclear weapons has been struck a possible death blow as a desperate United States may be forced to accommodate Iran's nuclear ambitions, just as it did those of Pakistan. READ IT ALL

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