Yesterday George Bush gave a speech at Annapolis Naval College in which he offered up the shiny new ‘National Strategy for Victory in Iraq’.
The partisan pundits and clueless commentators then exercised their jaws about the quality and content of Bush’s turgid performance instead of analyzing and discussing the strategy document itself—even though Bush himself invited everyone to do so. .
The fact that this ‘strategy’ now exists isn’t due to the administration’s initiative, but instead due to the likes of Cindy Sheehan, Congressman Murtha and the overwhelming and obvious truth that the White House was fiddling whilst Baghdad burned.
Nearly 3 years ago the Iraq Experts Group offered the White House a comprehensive strategy for the Iraq war plan which Bush, Cheney, Wolfowitz, Perle, Libby, Rumsfeld, Rove and Rice pointedly ignored. Every dire prediction that the IEG made were its recommendations not followed has since come true.
So has the White House finally "wised-up"? No, of course not. Given the challenge of acting responsibly for once and diligently addressing the deadly serious issues of Iraq’s present and future (and thus that of the United Sates too) Bush and company have once again sacrificed policy for politics.
You have to read it for yourself but here are some highlights that I have gleaned and would like to share:
Firstly, this document was clearly cobbled together purely in response to recent public pressure. Nice to know that the futures of two nations and the "global war on terror" can be organized in just a few weeks.
Secondly, this "strategy paper" has no author! NOT ONE! No attribution whatsoever. Shouldn’t Rumsfeld’s name be there? Or Rice’s? Bueller? Anyone? Ah ha! With no attribution there is no responsibility, no accountability, nor is there any authority.
Thirdly, the document begins with a couple of lies (actually by default because it opens with a quote from George Bush speaking a few weeks before the invasion of Iraq) :
"The United States has no intention of determining the precise form of Iraq's new government. That choice belongs to the Iraqi people. Yet, we will ensure that one brutal dictator is not replaced by another. All Iraqis must have a voice in the new government, and all citizens must have their rights protected." (February 26 2003)
Every country requires a leader if not a government. Chalabi was hand-picked by the US to replace Saddam Hussein and form a new US funded government.
As for citizens’ rights, need I mention Abu Ghraib?
And then the lies and bullshit continue:
"Our strategy is working" (Infrastructure, services and even oil production are still behind pre-war conditions)
"Much has been accomplished in Iraq, including…restoration of full sovereignty" (except that the Iraqi economy is being subsidized by the US, the police force was once again placed under the control of the US army just a few weeks ago and the Iraqi "Army" is just one battalion)
"Coalition troop levels, for example, will increase where necessary to defeat the enemy or provide additional security for key events like the referendum and elections". (The Spanish quit, the Poles, Italians and British are drawing-down and the rest of the coalition have no plans of increasing their troop commitments).
How about some "fun facts"?
"Hundreds of judges have been trained since the fall of Saddam Hussein. These judges are now working and resolving cases under Iraqi law. In 2003, approximately 4,000 felony cases were resolved in Iraqi courts. In 2004, they resolved more than twice that number. This year, Iraqi courts are on track to resolve more than 10,000 felony cases."
Actually Iraqi law hasn’t been codified; it doesn’t exist. Bremer’s statutes are still on the books but the legal system remains undefined because the constitution hasn’t been ratified.
As far as the processing of felony cases is concerned are the courts now more efficient or have the number of felonies increased? And how exactly are these cases being ‘resolved"?
One of my favorite sections is entitled "Progress On The Economic Track".
Here’s a typical example:
"Since April 2003, Iraq has registered more than 30,000 new businesses, and its stock market (established in April 2004) currently lists nearly 90 companies with an average daily trading volume over $100 million (from January to May 2005), up from an average of $86 million in 2004."
Note the benchmark date of 2003, specifically April which closely approximates the end of the invasion that destroyed the Iraqi government and its economy. With whom have these businesses been registered? What types of businesses are they? How many Iraqis do they employ?
I’ll spare you the rest.
This strategy paper is nothing more than a cut and paste collection of meaningless verbiage and promotional pieces crafted by political advisers collated by anonymous interns as a pathetic sop to public outrage in a desperate attempt to shore up a failed presidency.
This isn’t a strategy for "Victory In Iraq" it’s the same old strategy of hanging on to domestic power through lies, obfuscation, manipulation and misdirection.
As an alternative to this highly polished turd, here’s my strategy for "victory" in Iraq:
Remove the President and his political cronies from policy-making and set up a bi-partisan task force to address the realities of this particular issue and arrive at a policy based on intelligent consensus.
Unfortunately for our troops, Iraqis, the American public and the world there’s little chance of that happening before the 2006 elections.
Bush and the Neocons have three more years to go and their strategy is clear--to ignore their moral and might I add legal and constitutional responsibilities and instead use their current power and position solely for their own ends. And that's the strategy behind the 'strategy'.