Sunday, September 9, 2007

No End in Sight

"Military progress without political progress is meaningless, and Mr. Bush no more has a plan for unifying Iraq now than when he started the war." NYTimes Editorial, September 9, 2007

This afternoon I saw I film that should be mandatory viewing for every lawmaker who is about to sit through the Petreaus spin that has already been vetted by the White House. The film is No End in Sight and it chronicles the bungling, horrible mismanagement of the occupation of Iraq that has brought us to this point. Anyone who believes that this administration has an iota of credibility when it comes to executing any kind of military or political operation in the Middle East is living with his head so deep in the sand that he will likely suffocate before he ever sees the light of day. The appalling lack of planning combined with the ignorance of the culture that we were "liberating" was made only more problematic by the incompetent personnel who were assigned to undertake the task of remaking a country that we allowed to be looted beyond recognition in the first months after the arrival of the American military in Iraq. Bush's (and ultimately George W. Bush is responsible for this fiasco) refusal to listen to ORHA's (Office of Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance) advice that at the very least 20 sites - including the National Archives and the Iraq National Museum - should be protected resulted in looting and destruction that served as an ugly prediction of the lack of planning to come. It is telling that the only ministry that was protected by the U.S. Military was the Ministry of Oil. So the U.S. Army and Marines stood by while every other Ministry, office building, government agency, and even private homes were ransacked and left in virtual shambles. This horrendous mistake was compounded by the appointment of L Paul "Jerry" Bremer as head of the CPA (Coalition Provisional Authority). According to the film, Bremer made several huge and disastrous mistakes, among them were the de-Baathification of the Iraqi government and more disastrously the disbanding of the Iraqi army which essentially let over 100,000 armed soldiers out on the streets of Baghdad without purpose and more importantly without paychecks. Anybody with any sense of the consequences of those actions correctly predicted the calamitous results of those decisions. Yet the decisions were approved at the highest levels of the U.S. government. So how can anyone who has the facts give the Bush administration the benefit of the doubt any longer? Seriously, how could anybody trust BushCo with another precious American life or the life of another innocent Iraqi civilian or perhaps just as grievous is the amount of money spent, particularly considering how far those funds would go at home, to cover children in need of health care, or to bolster America's failing infrastructure, or to tackle the climate crisis and come up with renewable energy solutions, or to help retrain the thousands of American workers who lost their jobs last week.

In short, this film confirmed my worst fears about the complete and utter lack of leadership that has been offered by this administration, and it reaffirmed my commitment to make sure that this occupation ends sooner rather than drag on for years and years with the only beneficiaries being Halliburton, KBR and other private contractors who not coincidentally have close ties to Darth Cheney and other neo-cons. Any notion that any lawmakers might have that this administration is planning for a workable future in Iraq, I must ask them to look at the evidence, look at what's already been done or more exactly what hasn't been done, and judge this administration on their actions not their words, which have proven to be gross distortions of the reality that is the chaos we have created in Iraq.

We must end this war as soon as possible and we also must hold the war criminals accountable for their dastardly crimes committed in our names, with our money, and with thousands of American lives. Impeach Bush & Cheney NOW!!!

Here's an editorial from the NYTimes (Sunday, September 9, 2007) that articulates what we have in store for us, not only next week, but unfortunately for the remainder of Bush's presidency: Hiding Behind the General.

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