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State of the Union: digging a hole « Previous | |Next »
January 24, 2007

I would have thought that Shiite and Sunni insurgent dominance in Baghdad is such that it will be extremely difficult for Bush's "surge" in troops to restore law and order and stablize the daily bombings and killings from sectarian warfare. It will be easy enough for the Shiite guerrillas to pull back, stockpile weapons, lay low or even leave Baghdad for a period.

Now why would the Shiite Iraqi Prime Minister, Nouri al-Maliki, move against the Shia militias that support him? More American troops fighting in Baghdad's red zone is going to increase the widespread humiliation and anger amongst Iraqi's. With the US bottled up in the Green Zone, with a lack of access to the population, and almost nonexistent language skills on the part of both CIA and military intelligence personnel, Bush's plan is akin to finding oneself in a hole, and then digging deeper.

State of Union.jpg
Peter Brooke

Via The Politico. The time warped Republican rhetoric that retreat isn't an option, which will be used to justifiy digging the hole ever deeper. Liz Cheney's op-ed looks crude judging by these talking points, as Bush's State of Union Speech currently being delivered in the House to a Democrat-controlled Congress was also concerned with health care, energy security and immigration. But the crudity around Iraq is placed in the context of the war on terror and regional hegemony.

I only managed to catch the last 5-10 minutes of the State of the Union speech. It was a more humble Bush, who spoke in a subdued, noncombative style. Bush is politically weak and iraq is the cause. The country is now aligned against him, since, Bush in effect, has been rejected by the electorate. We have entered the end game of the Republican era.

The speech contained no suprises on Iraq. Bush says that if America is:

to win the war on terror, we must take the fight to the enemy...Al Qaida and its followers are Sunni extremists, possessed by hatred and commanded by a harsh and narrow ideology. Take almost any principle of civilization, and their goal is the opposite. They preach with threats, instruct with bullets and bombs, and promise paradise for the murder of the innocent....In recent times, it has also become clear that we face an escalating danger from Shia extremists who are just as hostile to America, and are also determined to dominate the Middle East...Many are known to take direction from the regime in Iran, which is funding and arming terrorists like Hezbollah, a group second only to Al Qaida in the American lives it has taken.

Bush is going to take everybody---Al Qaida, Shiites and Sunnis--- only the Kurds are left out:
The Shia and Sunni extremists are different faces of the same totalitarian threat. But whatever slogans they chant, when they slaughter the innocent, they have the same wicked purposes: They want to kill Americans, kill democracy in the Middle East and gain the weapons to kill on an even more horrific scale ....

It's the usual freedom v totalitarianism rhetoric. Bush adds that ' we advance our own security interests by helping moderates, reformers and brave voices for democracy.' Who are these moderates in Iraq? Is it the Shi'ite Iraqi Government residing in the Green Zone in Baghdad, and relying on the Shiite militia to fight the Sunni insurgency? But they want a speedy and total US withdrawal from Iraq! They want a sovereign Iraq not a client state.

This is the transcript of the Democrat response by Senator Jim Webb to Bush. It's a bit of straight talking on Iraq.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 10:06 AM |