Thursday, September 16, 2004
In case you've been drinking the Bush Kool-Aid over Iraq (Everything is great...everything is great...), here's a wake-up call.
You know things aren't going well when the Marines tell you there is a problem. They aptly describe Fallujah as "a cancer" that could spread throughout Iraq.
It's at a point where the only way to bring it back under control would be a massive US military incursion - something that would tarnish the Alawi government and a move that the Bush Adm. doesn't have the balls to execute. Remember, the Marines were hell-bent for taking back Fallujah in April until Bush called a halt only three days into the battle, showing that LBJ has nothing on him. (That's a Vietnam reference. Get used to them, b/c it's slowly becoming an apt analogy).
And you know it's Bush and his Theo-Con boys holding the US back. Because the Marines want to settle this now. As Lt. General John Sattler said, "The status quo in Fallujah cannot stand...We could arm the 1,000-pound grizzly bear and take it into town." He gets it. We get it. Why doesn't Bush get it?
And sadly, many civilians will die in this re-taking. Civilians who wouldn't have to die if Bush had, oh, even remotely planned for the aftermath of the Iraq invasion. When his vision of "flowers and candy" didn't come to pass, he and the Theo-Cons were caught with their pants down, because they didn't have another plan.
And now, finally, some GOP members are standing up and giving Bush hell for it. At the Senate Foreign Relations Committee meeting yesterday in which State Dept. officials wanted to divert $3.7 B from recosntruction to security, Sen. Richard G. Lugar (R-Ind.) and Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.) laid into the Administration for their half-assed execution of this war. Some quotes:
Hagel: "[the pace of reconstruction] has been 'beyond pitiful. It's embarrassing. It is now in the zone of dangerous."
Lugar: "Now, the nonsense of all [the predictions] is apparent; the lack of planning is apparent..."
Hagel: "'You don't win the hearts and minds of the people at the end of a barrel of a gun. You do that through the process that we started here in the Congress appropriating $18.4 billion" (Hagel is a Vietnam vet.)
Hagel: (referring to the Admin. people who sold the war back in 2003) "Maybe we ought to have a hearing with the inventors of this, have them come back up, all these smart guys that got us in there and said, 'Don't worry.'"
Lugar: "...the slow pace of reconstruction spending means that we are failing to fully take advantage of one of our most potent tools to influence the direction of Iraq."
Well, two GOP senators get it. Will President Bush finally open his eyes and see what is really happening in Iraq?
Don't hold your breath.