Saturday, January 13, 2007

I'm Right and You're Wrong, But Give Me An Alternative

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Pres. Bush is at war with the American people:

President Bush fought back at lawmakers opposing his new plan for Iraq today, charging that simply being against the strategy without suggesting alternatives was "irresponsible." He challenged them to come up with a better plan.

Bush made his comments in his weekly radio address two days after top officials of his administration received a roasting on Capitol Hill about the plan, which calls for 21,500 additional soldiers and Marines to be sent to Iraq in an attempt to quell the increasing sectarian violence there between Sunni and Shiite Muslims, particularly in Baghdad.
To oppose everything while proposing nothing is irresponsible," Bush said in the radio address. "Members of Congress have a right to express their views, and express them forcefully," he said, but added: "Those who refuse to give this plan a chance to work have an obligation to offer an alternative that has a better chance for success."

What chutzpah. Don Q at TPMcafe asks:

... [S]ince when has Bush ever listened to what anybody ever told him anyway? Hell, most recently he even ignored the advice of his own generals in deciding to "surge" in Iraq. Why should anybody waste any time considering an alternative?

The truth is that there is no solution to the Iraq invasion/occupation/insurgency/civil war that will validate Bush's decision to go in there in the first place. It was an historic mistake, made even worse by an historically arrogant and incompetent occupation.

Bush is fixated on a military solution. There is none. Bush wants to slog on in Iraq until the United States "wins" the war. The United States lost the war when it lost the good will of the Iraqi people, because it did not understand that this was guerrilla warfare, not the German army in World War II. There might have been a brief period of time when there was a chance Americans on the ground in Iraq could get Iraqis back on our side, but -- apart from a few notable and isolated exceptions that were never incorporated into a unified strategy -- the U.S. military continued to treat Iraqis as if they were the enemy, to be killed and dominated; rather than realizing that, as Thomas E. Ricks put it in his articles for the Washington Post and in his book Fiasco: The American Military Adventure in Iraq, "the people are the prize."

Pres. Bush has not changed his way of operating at all. He is still insisting on going his own way, attacking anyone who points out the holes in the dam:

Bush also lashed back at critics who have called the plan a repackaging of the same strategy, which the president and military officials have all said has failed to put an end to the violence there. Sen. Carl L. Levin (D-Mich), the new chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said yesterday on the Hill that the plan only reinforces a "flawed strategy."

"We have a new strategy with a new mission: Helping secure the population, especially in Baghdad," Bush said. "Our plan puts Iraqis in the lead."

The plan calls for Iraqi forces, backed by beefed-up U.S. forces, to enter neighborhoods in the capital where suspected insurgents are hiding to root them out and then hold the territory gained in what the administration has called its "clear, hold and build" strategy. The additional forces would also be deployed in Iraq's embattled Anbar province, which the administration says is now the epicenter of the al-Qaeda terrorist network.

So there you go. W has a brand new shiny "strategy" and anyone who tells him it's neither new nor a strategy is just wrong. Now what was that you were saying about suggesting alternatives, W?

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