Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran and Regional Peace
Posted by Lurch on November 28, 2006 • Comments (10)Permalink

A certain segment of our political discourse – the Likudnik operatives inside our government and those who advise and support them from organizations like AIPAC, JINSA, CSIS, AEI, Heritage, Weekly Standard, National Review – are determined to prove they were right all along about Iraq by getting us involved in a war with Iran.

It’s hard to explain why this is happening. A visitor from another planet would scratch his head in wonder (assuming they had heads.) One of the primary rules of warfare is to never reinforce failure. Yet, here we are, paying serious attention to these unserious men whose ridiculous advice and ideological loyalty to another country and got us stuck in this swamp, surrounded by alligators.

The rules of war were actually established by the historical character known as Sun Tzu in the 2nd century B.C. His work The Art of War is considered so basic and revelatory that it is required reading at most military training schools, and enjoyed a period of hipness in the business world after the Japanese business model swamped the US automotive industry in the 1970s and 1980s. But Sun Tzu seems to no longer be relevant in the Age of Bu$h.

Thus we find the Bu$h malAdministration, which will certainly someday be held up as an example of incompetent and blindly self-serving government, going around the Middle East once again trying to enlist others to get the country separated from the tar baby of Iraq. James Baker and his associates in the Iraq Study Group2 have been traveling around the Middle East, trying to find a face-saving method of extricating what’s left of our army before it falls apart from exhaustion. (Iraq Study Group1 was Mr Cheney’s group of elves charged with inventing excuses to justify attacking Iraq.)

Despite the ideological protests of the always-wrong neocons, Mr Baker has even been in discussions with Syria and Iran. Since Iran is in fact a regional power it’s confusing why they should not be talked with. A cynical man would wonder whether the issue at hand is something that happened 27 years ago or Israel’s aspirations of regional dominance.

Dick “dick” Cheney has been in Saudi Arabia trying to get them to invest some of their oil billions in paying for Iraq reconstruction, since we let HalliCheneyBurton take all of our money while painting those three schools and giving tainted food and water to our troops.

Meanwhile Mr Bu$h has been busy visiting the Baltic, making happy speeches about emerging democracies, apparently in the vague hope that people will confuse this talk with what his ego has fostered in Iraq. There has been talk in the last week that NATO is losing control of Afghanistan, and another of My Bu$h’s talking points is that members must invest more money and troops to regain the initiative there. Oddly enough our NATO allies, who were steadfastly devoted to our cause in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, are somewhat leery now, in the aftermath of Iraq.

RIGA (Reuters) - President Bush appealed to NATO allies on Tuesday to provide more troops with fewer national restrictions for the alliance's most dangerous mission in Afghanistan, hours before a summit of allied leaders.

"To succeed in Afghanistan, NATO allies must provide the forces NATO military commanders require," Bush told a joint news conference with Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves in Tallinn on his way to the NATO meeting in neighboring Latvia.

"Like Estonia, member nations must accept difficult assignments if we expect to be successful," he said in a veiled reference to numerous so-called national caveats that restrict where, when and how allies' troops can be used.

It would be a great tragedy for the world if the important mission in Afghanistan was lost because of the catastrophe of Mr Bu$h’s ego-war in Iraq. Somehow, it will end up being Speaker Pelosi’s fault.


Posted by: wkmaier at November 28, 2006 10:19 AM

Canada just lost 2 more soldiers, I wonder if Harper is getting itchy to get out of Afghanistan?

Posted by: Lurch at November 28, 2006 12:02 PM

Being a hard-core Conservative (reality denier) I'd say probably not. And anyway, he just successfuly shucked himself of Quebec, so I'd say his desire to destroy government is sated for a bit.

Posted by: wkmaier at November 28, 2006 12:20 PM

Saw that about Quebec. We'll be in Quebec City between Christmas and New Years, but my guess is nary a word will be spoken (to us anyway) about that.

Posted by: wkmaier at November 28, 2006 12:25 PM

Eh, this was over at Kevin Drum's place Lurch:
Guest: Christina Larson

HERE'S A NUMBER FOR YOU ... Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, Colin Powell's former chief of staff, tells me he's been trading emails with folks around town -- generals, colonels, Pentagon officials -- who have been looking carefully and analytically for the last two years at what it will cost to reconstitute the military after Iraq. In other words, the bill to bring Army and Navy battalions back to the status they were in before the invasion. That includes training, equipment, replacing Apache helicopters, humvees, tanks, rifles (we have burned them up in Iraq faster than life cycle projections), etc. The current estimate: $50 to $100 billion. "The next president will face a staggering bill," Wilkerson says, not even counting the costs of further efforts in Iraq.

Posted by: Lurch at November 28, 2006 02:09 PM

It probably won't make much difference in the short-term. They'll still treat you with that supercilious snottiness that is a trademark with the Quebecois.

But have a Joyeaux Noel, eh?

Posted by: Lurch at November 28, 2006 02:12 PM

Here's hoping we elect more adults in 2008. I know just the place to recapture a lot of taxes.

Posted by: wkmaier at November 28, 2006 02:33 PM

Oh I dunno about Quebecois being snotty and supercilious. We've been there loads of times, and just about everyone we've met has been incredibly friendly.

We rented a house from a guy a few years ago, turns out he was actually French but married a Quebec woman. His English was WAY better than hers! But he took care of us -- built us a campfire, gave us Cuban cigars, hauled our trash down the driveway. Let me stop already... ;-)

Our theory is that the Quebecers treat the Anglophone Canadians with disdain but Americans with a bit more appreciation that we make the effort to visit there.

Posted by: Lurch at November 28, 2006 03:03 PM

I'll go with your observation, since my last experience was 30 years ago and attitudes certainly can change over that time. I think you're right about the anglophone Canadians. "Je me souviens" doesn't refer to Ft Ticonderoga, after all.

Posted by: deuddersun at November 28, 2006 10:29 PM

Dam Lurch, tell it Brother.

Excellent piece.


Posted by: Tim at November 28, 2006 11:03 PM

Speaking of tragety in afganistan heres somthing to ponder, Also didnt we mistakenly waste a pasel of canadians,early on? Here is somthing else, this might explane him getting canned ( ya think ). Thanks for the post,there is alot there to look at.

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