Chaos in Iraq and Afghanistan

Actually, chaos in Iraq has devolved into chaos on Iraq--within the administration. Bush fires Rumsfeld and chooses a creepy CIA guy who spent the '80s helping Rumsfeld arm Saddam Hussein (when he wasn't cutting deals with the Iranians to illegally fund the contras). This guy is serving on the Baker Commission, whose report (due out tomorrow, but widely leaked in advance) calls for a troop pullback. Before it can even be released, Bush rejects it (just after Cheney had been "summoned"(!) to Saudi Arabia.) Meanwhile, it turns out, days before being fired, Rumsfeld wrote a secret memo--since leaked--contradicting his own ad nauseum public statements and revealing that the Iraq policies, well, aren't working. Many of his proposals jibe with the Baker Commission. At one point, he even waxes nostalgic over his old business partner, Saddam Hussein, suggesting that the US adopt the old Hussein tactic of bribing certain groups to gain their support. Just as Bush goes to have a much-publicized "summit" with the Iraqi PM, someone leaks a document from the NSA chief expressing no confidence in the Iraqi PM, who, if he has studied his Vietnam history, is now watching his back for a coup. No one batted an eye when Maliki canceled the summit.

Need I emphasize that the bill for this unmitigated disaster is now expected to top $2 trillion?

Meanwhile, after goading Israel into its brutal invasion of Lebanon, designed to destroy support for Hezbolla, the Bushies are gaping stunned as hundreds of thousands turn out in the streets of Beirut--in support of Hezbolla and against the PM they see as a puppet of the US and Israel.

Meanwhile, Afghanistan is in shambles.

Bush may or may not be a hardcore Christian; but as a steward of empire, he has displayed a Nero-like profligacy and mendacity. Can the Pax Americana survive his embrace?


Paul Hue said...

Pax America? Indeed. Tom, I am in my commutes listening to the History of the Roman Empire, a series of lectures from a U-Utah history prof who got her PhD from UT-Austin, and presumably was a student of our dad's. In no way do I see any proper compassions to Bush II's policies, except in very superficial form. Do the following nations, previously invaded and occupied by the US military, which also set-up their current governments, fall under a "Pax America":

1. Italy.
2. Germany.
3. Japan.
4. South Korea
5. Panama
6. France.
7. Kurdish area of Iraq.

I fault Bush II for many things. But I am confident that his invasion did not constitute what the old Roman invasions did (are you aware of the aims and effects of Rome's invasion of Carthage?), that he merely wanted for Iraq what Japan and South Korea have. Groups of people there have different desires, and I blame them. The Kurdish area demonstrates what happens in the Iraqi areas where a critical mass of people doesn't rise up with nihilistic violence before the US plan even gets a chance to unfold.

Paul Hue said...

One major error that I believe Bush committed -- and which I bought -- is that humans universally (and Afghanis & Arab Iraqis particularly) want civilization, and want it enough to earn it when the opportunity arises. But I should have known different from my hard won understanding of health and medicine, which includes the widespread phenomenon that a vast fraction of people relish their illnesses and disabilities.

Does anybody doubt, now, that had Bush I swept into Iraq at the end of "Desert Storm" and supported the Shia who had "risen up" what that "uprising" would have amounted to?

Nadir said...

"Does anybody doubt, now, that had Bush I swept into Iraq at the end of "Desert Storm" and supported the Shia who had "risen up" what that "uprising" would have amounted to?"

Absolutely not. Bush I told you what would happen in his memoirs, but his son (and his supporters like Six and Paul) ignored Daddy's advice.

Wanting a people to enjoy the so-called "freedoms" of democracy is one thing. Invading a nation, murdering its people, stealing its antiquities and natural resources, overthrowing its government, installing a puppet regime and sparking sectarian violence and civil war is quite another.

The Iraq war was a straight-up home invasion - a jack move - Something we knew when administration officials told us that Iraqi oil would pay for the cost of the war. Painting piracy as "exporting democracy" is delusive. That we are now caught in the crossfire is the unfortunate result of chickenhawks coming home to roost.