Friday, January 12, 2007

Failure Is Not an Option

Robert Gates said, “failure in Iraq is not an option.” The president told Americans on Wednesday that failure in Iraq would be a disaster and Condi Rice repeated the mantra in front of a Senate committee with its hair on fire.

Gatesrumsfeld Robert Gates said, “failure in Iraq is not an option.” The president told Americans on Wednesday that failure in Iraq would be a disaster and Condi Rice repeated the mantra in front of a Senate committee with its hair on fire.
So, I guess the natural question to ask (that no one seems to be asking) is, if we find ourselves in a disaster where failure is not an option, who got us there? Just as the first requirement of an architect is to keep the rain out of a building, the first requirement of a president is to keep the country out of failures without options.
Bushftbenning George Bush didn’t do that. Now that he feels there is no option but continuing, he has lied (again) about the reasons to continue. From Fort Benning, Georgia the president claimed
"The [Iraqi] Prime Minister came and said, look, I understand we've got to do something about this violence, and here is what I suggest we do. Our commanders looked at it, helped fine-tune it so it would work. . . .

"The commanders on the ground in Iraq, people who I listen to -- by the way, that's what you want your Commander-in-Chief to do. You don't want decisions being made based upon politics, or focus groups, or political polls. You want your military decisions being made by military experts. And they analyzed the plan and they said to me, and to the Iraqi government, this won't work unless we help them. There needs to be a bigger presence. . . .

"And so our commanders looked at the plan and said, Mr. President, it's not going to work until -- unless we support -- provide more troops. And so last night I told the country that I've committed an additional -- a little over 20,000 more troops, five brigades of which will be in Baghdad."
That’s a total and unforgivable lie. A lie that hands off Bush's personal responsibility for failed strategy to the Prime Minister of Iraq and whoever the latest of Bush’s remaining generals ‘commanding’ in Iraq might be. It’s a cowardly passing of blame by a cowardly, bull-headed and ignorant commander in chief.
Bushmaliki_4 Nouri al-Maliki is just waiting (and hoping) to get American troops the hell out of the way, so his Shiite death-squads, in combination with Moqtada al-Sadr’s militia, can clean up what Sunni resistance yet remains. They will turn the country from a perhaps-democracy to a for-sure-theocracy.
Maliki asked Bush to take his troops and go home in September. The president wasn’t having any. That was our one great shining moment to take Maliki at his word and get out, but Bush couldn’t bear to leave the oil, his swagger and the permanent basing behind. This, far more than any false hope of democracy in the Middle East, is why failure is not an option. Where the hell would we base our troops?
Well, he’s correct—failure is not an option. An option is the act of choosing or selecting and the time of choice or selection in Iraq is long gone. The enemy there is
  • not Shiite, Sunni or Kurd;
  • not al-Qaeda, Syria or Iran;
  • not the forces of evil,
  • the death squads
  • or even the insurgent roadside bombers
—the enemy is everyone.
Iraqwolfbrigade_1 We will not be allowed to rebuild anything. There isn’t a contractor in the world (not even the criminally protected Halliburton) who would be able to successfully undertake a construction project under fire. We will funnel more billions into the coffers of the Halliburtons of our nation, but  we will build no schools, transmit no electricity, treat no sewage, repair no pipelines and put no wages into the pockets of Iraqis. 
We will not be allowed to keep our two ‘permanent bases,’ constructed under the fraudulent rationale of temporary military support. Meant to base our Middle East contingent of troops for decades to come, these bases were to be the Middle East equivalent of our client-state basing in the Philipines.
That particular failure has Saudi Arabia sweating, as well they should. Nor is it welcome news in Israel.
Ricetestifies Suffice it to say, the Iraqi oil is and will remain beyond our control. Iraq is not currently buffering any American costs with their oil revenues (some 60 million barrels of which conveniently ‘go missing’ each year).
Additionally interesting in that regard, Iran is said to be running dry of oil, the last pump to stop within twenty years.
Thus, we may be able to buy Iraqi oil in future, but probably through Iran and most probably for Euros. George Bush, incredibly, has now upset the applecart of world-oil trading in dollars; a former (1970s) bulwark against a steadily weakening dollar.
This will be his least noticed and least cared about immediate failure in Iraq, but certainly of the most long-term damage to America.
Bushpensive Failure in Iraq not being an option takes on an entirely different rationale, when one considers that this former ball-club-owner president has left America precariously obligated to single-source oil availability—Saudi Arabia. Among the oil producing nations of the world (Algeria, Angola, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Venezuela) we can perhaps count on Saudi, Nigeria and the United Arab Emirates. One need only scan the political turmoil within these nations to see how disastrous has been our foreign policy toward major suppliers.
Small wonder the sweating administration is adamant upon opening up Alaska and the Gulf to drilling. Small wonder Cheney’s hidden energy policymakers encouraged the ‘regime change’ in Iraq.
The game is up, the loss attributed to a president hornswoggled by swagger, greed, avarice and score-settling within a small coterie of his advisors. Desperately unwilling to walk away from a losing hand, they have convinced The Decider to double down on two pairs.
That’s a chump-bluff even among the greenest of poker players.
But Bush’s an easy guy for Cheney to manage. George’s career was built on swagger in the place of ability and, ultimately, bail-outs to disguise his repeated failures. Now, with failure assured, failure is no longer an option because this man has never stood up to it. Lacking that basic requirement of a well-lived life, Bush has subscribed your and my sons and daughters lives to lay his calamity at the door of the next president. Which will allow, for the rest of a dishonorable life, the 43rd president of the United States to blame anyone but himself for his own lack of integrity, strategic vision and honesty.
The next president of the United States will be blamed by this failed man for not having ‘stayed the course.’
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