Saturday, January 06, 2007

Bush, the American Brezhnev

David Seaton's News Links
Bush and what has always been known as the "establishment", both Democrat and Republican, have finally realized that the United States is facing a major strategic defeat in the Middle East... A defeat such as the United States has never faced before. The fact that it has never happened before means that the analogies used, such as "Vietnam" are too feeble to carry the full meaning of it clearly. This defeat will not produce a "Iraq Syndrome"; a national navel contemplation and wound licking. A strategic defeat has strategic consequences. What will happen when (not if) the US is defeated in Iraq? A strategic defeat on the order of a US version of the "Invincible Spanish Armada" means a sharp, dramatic and drastic loss of American influence in the world. The knock-on effects are so complex and far reaching as to incalculable. (They should have thought of this before they started, now it's much too late, but what the heck). This in turn will affect the bottom line of America's major corporations... The Democrats form part of all of this too, so don't expect miracles from them.... And of course there is always Israel... The skinny is, if you are or are going to be of draft age anytime in the next five or ten years, this would be a good time to start sending your CV up north to Canada. Below is a marvelous analysis by my favorite pundit William Pfaff, which will certainly clear and concentrate your mind wonderfully, as it did mine. DS
"Surging" to Defeat - William Pfaff
Abstract: White House spokesman Tony Snow said last week that the theme of President George W. Bush’s new Iraq policy, to be announced shortly, is “victory, winning.” If so it will be nothing new, only more of the same.(...) This means reinforcing failure, a common and much-deplored military impulse. It is not accompanied by an explanation of why, despite more than three years’ evidence to the contrary, what the U.S. wants to do in Iraq is feasible.(...) The Baker-Hamilton Commission tried to provide the administration with the political “cover” to abandon this impossible effort. It failed to convince, despite the commission’s many sensible judgements, because of the near-impossibility of providing a way for the United States to leave Iraq that is not a clear admission of failure, and does not have very bad consequences in Iraq and elsewhere. The consequences of leaving later will probably be worse, but that does not move this White House, since its occupants will be gone at the end of next year.(...) The commission’s recommendations are being mostly ignored by Democrats as well as Republicans because both parties and their principal leaders, including nearly all of their possible presidential candidates, are deeply compromised by having from the start supported the Bush administration’s “global war against terror.”(...) Individually, politicians in Washington have reason to fear that if they back away from the war now, and Bush continues the Iraq conflict into the presidential election year of 2008, they may face the electoral accusation of betraying their own previous commitments, and be attacked by their opponents for lack of patriotism and “surrender” to terrorism. Worse yet, accepting defeat in Iraq seems a national capitulation in ways much wider than Iraq.(...) he obstacle to such a capitulation is that not only President Bush and those Republican legislators, but nearly all of the Democratic legislators as well, supported from the start the plan to invade Iraq and democratize the Middle East. They uncritically believed in the United States as sole superpower, militarily omnipotent, responsible for international security, and moral and political leader of a world in which history had recently come to an end in the triumph of American democracy over Communism. There remained only for Washington to install that democracy in a few unruly corners of the earth, and kill all the Islamic radicals who want to defy the inevitable. With this record of past commitment, how can defeat in Iraq be acceptable? To do so amounts to acknowledgement of the defeat of the moral and political stance of the United States since the end of the cold war. This may yet prove a longer war than anyone now thinks.

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