The “Protocol of the Elders of American Neoconservatism” and the Blood of American Soldiers by Walter C. Uhler

Dandelion Salad

by Walter C. Uhler
2 August 2007

As virtually every literate citizen on our planet knows, since the nineteenth century anti-Semites have been extolling the crackpot and wicked Protocols of the Elders of Zion in order to prove a conspiracy by Jews to rule the world. Even today, alas, the Protocols remain popular and believable throughout the world, especially the Middle East. Yet, since the end of the Cold War there has been little in the political behavior of the Jews among America’s neoconservatives to refute such beliefs. After all, it was people with the names Paul Wolfowitz, Irv Lewis Libby and Eric Edelman, who “in 1992…co-authored a security doctrine for the United States that aimed at perpetual hegemony and implied perpetual aggression to prevent the emergence of ‘peer’ powers.” [Juan Cole, “Informed Comment,” July 21, 2007]

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Bush’s Missile Defense vs. My Erector Set by Walter C. Uhler

Dandelion Salad

by Walter C. Uhler
Posted 27 July 2007

Judging by how the overwhelming majority of Americans simply dismiss President Bush whenever he seizes the podium to spout more nonsense and lies about his illegal, immoral invasion and incompetent occupation of Iraq – arguably the worst foreign policy crime and blunder in U. S. history – virtually every image of our swaggering punk president must now be entering American brains accompanied by the caption: “Warning: This pigheaded, lying screw up doesn’t have a clue!”

Knowing that he now comes adorned with that indelible modern-day scarlet letter, Bush has attempted to obscure it by cloaking it with the credibility of others. First, it was Colin Powell. Today it’s General Petraeus. When Petraeus no longer suits his needs, Bush will jettison him in order to latch upon another earnest dupe. To date, Bush’s serial successes in cloaking and jettisoning appear to defy the common sense wisdom uttered by Aretha Franklin in 1967: “You’re running out of fools and I ain’t lying.”

Consider the case of Lt. Gen. Trey Obering, director of the U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA). Gen. Obering has just published a scattershot and grossly misleading article in Defense News sporting the title, “Missile Defense Hits Mark.”

Having read and written about missile defense (see http://www.thenation.com/docprint.mhtml?i=20020128&s=uhler and http://www.armscontrol.ru/start/publications/uhler1.htm), my immediate response was to ask, “What mark?” After all, as the U.S. General Accountability Office (GAO) concluded just three months ago: “Because MDA has not formally entered the Department of Defense (DOD) acquisition cycle, it is not yet required to apply certain laws intended to hold major defenses acquisition programs accountable for their planned outcomes and cost, give decision makers a means to conduct oversight, and ensure some level of independent program review.” [GAO-07-799T, April 30, 2007]

Consequently, Gen. Obering could not have been talking about hitting the oversight “marks” normally required of other weapons programs. They’ve been put off. Thus, missile defense has not been held to the rigorous standards routinely applied to other weapons programs, notwithstanding the fact that “the U.S. has been trying to develop a reliable missile defense system for over 45 years.” [Philip E. Coyle, “U.S. Missile Defenses in Europe: The Putin Alternative,” The Defense Monitor July/August 2007]

Instead, when Gen. Obering writes about “hitting the mark,” he’s actually talking about deploying elements of the U.S. “Ground-based Midcourse Defense” (GMD) system “just in time” to intercept intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) that might be launched by North Korea. Thus, his assertion: “When North Korea launched short- and long-range missiles last summer, we had, for the first time, the means to defend all 50 states against a possible attack.”

But there’s just one slight problem with his assertion. It’s blatantly false!

Consider the recent comments by Philip E. Coyle, the Pentagon’s chief weapons evaluator during the Clinton administration. Speaking about the foolishness of the proposed missile defense system for Eastern Europe, Coyle observed: “[T]he United States is deploying missile defense hardware in Alaska and California, and is proposing the same for Eastern Europe, that has not demonstrated the capability to defend Europe, let alone the United States, from an attack by Iran (or North Korea for that matter) under realistic operational conditions. For this reason, the U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA) has ‘dumbed down’ the supposed threat from Iran (and North Korea) to just one or two missiles with no decoys or countermeasures. And yet still the MDA has not been able to demonstrate the effective capability to stop even that idealized threat under realistic operational conditions.” [Philip E. Coyle, “U.S. Missile Defenses in Europe: The Putin Alternative,” The Defense Monitor July/August 2007]

Simply put, notwithstanding the roughly $50 billion already lining the pockets of defense contractors during the Bush years and the $49 billion that MDA expects to spend over the next five years, the United States still possesses no demonstrated capability to intercept even one ICBM launched from North Korea or anywhere else.

Thus, rather than “Missile Defense Hits Mark,” a more appropriate title might have been, “The American Taxpayer: An Easy Mark for Missile Defense.”

That new title got me to thinking: Perhaps I could locate the “Erector Set” I played with as a kid. You know, the small metal beams full of holes, capable of being fastened into various shapes by screws, nuts and bolts and put into motion by pulleys, motors and gears. Perhaps, I could craft a Ground-based Midcourse Defense system from that Erector Set, link its projectile-firing pulleys, motors and gears to my computer and a GPS system – and sell it to the Pentagon for a mere $5 billion (to cover material, labor and engineering costs).

Granted, I haven’t fully worked out all the conceptual problems associated with my envisioned GMD interceptor (projectile), but, as the above-mentioned GAO report notes about my competitors: “The reliability of some GMD interceptors remains uncertain…because inadequate mission assurance/quality control procedures may have allowed less reliable or inappropriate parts to be incorporated in the manufacturing process.”

Moreover, I’m quite willing to concede to the Pentagon that my GMD system would be slightly less effective than the system it currently deploys. But unlike its unworkable GMD system, my unworkable Erector Set GMD system can be had for pennies on the dollar! (If I charged less than $5 billion, the Pentagon wouldn’t take me seriously.)

Walter C. Uhler is an independent scholar and freelance writer whose work has been published in numerous publications, including The Nation, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, the Journal of Military History, the Moscow Times and the San Francisco Chronicle. He also is President of the Russian-American International Studies Association (RAISA).

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. This material is distributed without profit.

Does the Bush Administration Support the Troops? Yes, Like a Noose Supports a Hanging Man! by Walter C. Uhler

Dandelion Salad

by Walter C. Uhler

Posted 16 July 2007 On August 2, 2000, while accepting the Republican Party’s nomination as Vice President of the United States, Dick Cheney told the U.S. military, “help is on the way.” Cheney used the occasion to savage the Clinton administration: “Rarely has so much been demanded of our armed forces and so little given them in return.” Yet, Cheney’s rebuke has proven to be vastly more applicable today than it has been for the past thirty years. When it comes to abuse and neglect of our military, President Clinton emerges as a rank amateur when compared with President George W. Bush and Vice President Cheney.

It was the Bush administration that sent American soldiers to war in Iraq without adequate supplies of body armor, without an adequate number of armored vehicles to ward off roadside bombs and, most significantly, without an adequate number of troops to secure the peace in Iraq after toppling Saddam Hussein. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld disdained and abused the senior military leadership – and the disdain was largely reciprocated.

But listen to how Rumsfeld responded in Kuwait, in December 2004, when Spec. Thomas Wilson (a mechanic with the Tennessee Army National Guard) asserted, “our vehicles are not armored.” Rumsfeld callously replied: “As you know, you go to war with the Army you have…They’re not the Army you might want or wish to have at a later time.” [Thomas E. Ricks, Fiasco, p. 411]

Had Rumsfeld been either an honest, honorable or forthright man, he might have said: “Son, we never planned to be in Iraq this long. I was too obsessed with demonstrating the wisdom of my policy of military transformation, which emphasizes technological superiority as a force multiplier, rather than adequately equipping a large army. Others, such as Vice President Cheney, believed we would be greeted as liberators. None of us in the Bush administration expected a long war, which we might well lose. I’m sorry, we were dead wrong.” (That is, due to our mistakes, some of your buddies already are dead and some of you soon will be.)

To readers of Thomas E. Ricks’ book, Fiasco, none of this is news. Ricks is the Washington Post’s senior Pentagon correspondent who interviewed “an extraordinary number of American military personnel, including more than one hundred senior officers” and had access to more than thirty thousand pages of documents. He’s written a sympathetic, but factual, account of the military’s “tragic” undertaking in Iraq.

Readers of Fiasco will feel the passion with which many of America’s senior military leaders (both active and retired) opposed both the very reasons for invading Iraq as well as the now demonstrably crackpot strategy to be employed there. They’ve been vindicated on both counts. In fact, after reading Fiasco, I was forced to ponder how close America came to a military coup d’etat.

The case of retired Marine Corps General Anthony Zinni is especially instructive. Shot three times in Vietnam, Zinni went on to become the chief of Central Command in 1997 and, thus, was the military man responsible for Iraq. And, as he told Ricks, “We contained Saddam…We watched his military shrink to less than half its size from the beginning of the Gulf War until the time I left command, not only shrinking in size, but dealing with obsolete equipment, ill-trained troops, dissatisfaction in the ranks, a lot of absenteeism. We didn’t see the Iraqis as a formidable force. We saw them as a decaying force.” [Ricks, p. 13]

Yet, while in charge of Centcom, Zinni completed plans for a possible war with Iraq. His war plans required approximately 350,000 troops. Why so many? Because, as Zinni told a group of Marine commanders in November 2002: “If you guys don’t go through the enemy in six weeks, we’ll disown you…But then the hard part begins….We have lit a fuse, and we don’t know what’s at the other end – a nuke, a hand grenade, or a dud?” [Ricks, p. 71]

As he told Ricks: “I was worried that we didn’t understand the importance of maintaining order, that we had come in with sufficient forces to freeze the situation, to understand that when we’re ripping the guts out of an authoritarian regime, you’ve got responsibility for security services, everything else. You have to be prepared to handle all that.” [Ibid]

Zinni also was one of the first Americans to suspect that the Bush administration was lying to the American public about Saddam’s so-called weapons of mass destruction. In fact, Zinni was sitting on the stage at the VFW national convention in Nashville, Tennessee on 26 August 2002 – sitting on the stage behind Cheney as the vice president told the audience: “the Iraqi regime has in fact been very busy enhancing its capabilities in the field of chemical and biological agents, and they continue to pursue the nuclear program they began so many years ago….Many of us are convinced that Saddam Hussein will acquire nuclear weapons fairly soon.” [Ricks, p. 49]

Zinni subsequently asserted that he nearly fell off his chair: “In my time at Centcom, I watched the intelligence and never – not once – did it say ‘He has WMD.'” As Ricks adds: “Since retiring he [Zinni] had retained all his top-secret clearances, he was still consulting the CIA on Iraq, he had reviewed all the current intelligence – and he had seen nothing to support Cheney’s certitude.” [Ibid, p. 50]

By the fall of 2003, Zinni “began speaking out…bitterly denouncing Rumsfeld, criticizing the Iraq occupation and saying it lacked a coherent strategy, a serious plan, and sufficient resources.” In the fall of 2003 – and thus months before May 12, 2004, the date that Gen. Richard Myers, Bush’s chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told a Senate committee that “there is no way to militarily win in Iraq” – Zinni told a gathering of the U.S. Naval Institute and the Marine Corps Association that “We’re in danger of failing.”

He also said, “We can’t go on breaking our military and doing things like we’re doing now.” Then, invoking parallels with Vietnam, Zinni asserted: “My contemporaries, our feelings and sensitivities were forged on the battlefields of Vietnam, where we heard the garbage and the lies, and we saw the sacrifice…We swore never again would we allow that to happen. I ask you, is it happening again?” As Ricks notes: “There were hundreds of Marine and Navy officers present, and many of them arose to give his denunciation of their civilian leaders a standing ovation.” [Ricks, pp. 241-42]

Matters have worsened significantly since then. Last year, retired General Colin Powell observed that the U.S. Army is “about broken.” Lt. Gen. Clyde A. Vaughn, chief of the Army National Guard, complained, “we have absolutely piecemealed our force to death.”

Retired U.S. Army Colonel and scholar Andrew J. Bacevich has provided some of the details that would support Powell’s conclusion: “One third of the regular Army’s brigades qualify as combat-ready. In the reserve components, none meet that standard.” The Army “is currently short 3,000 commissioned officers…young West Pointers are bailing out of the Army at a rate not seen in three decades….The stress of repeated tours is sapping the Army’s lifeblood.” [Bacevich, “Bushed Army,” The American Conservative, June 4, 2007]

But, rather than respond to this dire situation, Republican smacked-asses, like Senator Saxby Chambliss, place party loyalty to Bush’s lost war over country and soldiers. Thus, when Senator Jim Webb, a combat veteran of the Vietnam war, attempted to introduce legislation (S. 2012) that would provide some relief to U.S. troops, chicken hawk Chambliss felt the need to chastise Webb for not knowing America’s military history.

What Senator Webb didn’t understand, according to blowhard Chambliss, was that “during World War II and other wars of this country, service members participating in those wars deployed for 3 and 4 years with little or no break.” [Bob Geiger, “GOP’s Chambliss Compares Iraq Troop Relations to WW II,” Huffington Post, July 13, 2007] Yet, had the smacked-ass party loyalist from Georgia taken the time to seriously inform himself about this issue, he might have learned what retired General William E. Odom knows.

According to Gen. Odom, “No U.S. forces have ever been compelled to stay in sustained combat conditions for as long as the Army units have in Iraq. In World War II, soldiers were considered combat-exhausted after about 180 days on the line. They were withdrawn for rest periods…In Iraq, combat units take over an area of operations and patrol it daily, making soldiers face the prospect of death from an IED or small arms fire or mortar fire each day. Day in and day out for a full year, with only a single two-week break, they confront the prospect of death, losing limbs or eyes, or suffering serious wounds.” [Odom, “‘Supporting the Troops’ Means Withdrawing Them,” Neiman Watchdog, 5 July 2007]

Some have argued that Webb’s bill was an unconstitutional constraint on the president’s war-making authority, even if it had survived a presidential veto. But, then, the question remains: “Why hasn’t the Bush administration taken similar steps to support the troops?

Why? Because such relief would jeopardize Bush’s plans to “string out the war until he leaves office, in order to avoid taking responsibility for the defeat he has caused and persisted in making greater each year for more than three years.” [Odom] Ever decreasing combat readiness and the death of a few hundred more soldiers and Marines can be offset temporarily by a “surge” in troop strength.

Unfortunately, in a regime where such losses seem but a small price to pay, in order to assure that Bush can claim that Iraq wasn’t lost during his presidency, “support for the troops” becomes synonymous with the support that a noose provides a hanging man.

Walter C. Uhler is an independent scholar and freelance writer whose work has been published in numerous publications, including The Nation, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, the Journal of Military History, the Moscow Times and the San Francisco Chronicle. He also is President of the Russian-American International Studies Association (RAISA).

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. This material is distributed without profit.

Earth to Bush: “The Chaos in Iraq You Now Decry was Caused By You!” by Walter C. Uhler

Dandelion Salad

by Walter C. Uhler
Posted 13 July 2007

Having watched our pathetic president’s July 12th news conference concerning the “Initial Benchmark Assessment Report,” I felt the urge to applaud Helen Thomas for verbally assaulting George W. Bush for the war criminal and mass murderer that he is. God bless her for asking: “Mr. President, you started this war, this war of your choosing, and you can end it alone, today, at this point…Don’t you accept – don’t you understand, we brought the Al Qaida into Iraq?”
Bush, of course, lied to Ms. Thomas when he claimed Saddam Hussein “chose the course” compelling Bush’s invasion by ignoring the warning from the UN Security Council: “Disclose, disarm or face serious consequences.”

But, “disclose, disarm” what? As virtually every individual on planet earth now knows, Saddam had no weapons of mass destruction to disarm or disclose. More significantly, had it actually been left to the UN Security Council to enforce its resolution – which is to say, had the Bush administration not violated a legally binding international treaty, the UN Charter -Saddam Hussein probably would be alive today and still ruling Iraq, like it or not.

Bush might “firmly believe that the world is better off without Saddam Hussein in power,” but that’s hardly a justification for committing the worst of all war crimes, unprovoked naked aggression. Moreover, were the world’s population forced to choose between Hussein and Bush, it’s likely that many more millions throughout the world would agree that the world would be better off without George W. Bush in power.

(Imagine our horror, were we to ever find that the world possessed sufficient military power to successfully force its will upon us! Who, then, would be appealing to international law and the protections due to sovereign states?)

But Bush’s lie to Helen Thomas was not the only lie he told during his press conference. Look at the lie he embedded in his discussions about pre-invasion troop strength with General Tommy Franks: “During our discussions in the run-up to the decision to remove Saddam Hussein after he ignored the Security Council resolutions, my primary question to General Franks was: Do you have what it takes to succeed?”

In fact, Saddam Hussein complied with the Security Council Resolution 1441, which afforded Iraq “‘a final opportunity to comply’ with its disarmament obligations, and accordingly it set up an enhanced inspection regime.” [Christine Gray, International Law and the Use of Force, p. 271] As international law scholar Christine Gray has concluded: “The determination of a material breach after Resolution 1441 was unilateral in the sense that it was made by the USA, the UK and Australia rather than by the Security Council.” [Ibid, p. 277]

And, thus, it was the war mongering Bush regime that cut the inspections short, lest UN weapons inspectors demonstrate that Iraq possessed no WMD – or lest the weather in Iraq would become too hot for invading troops.

Bush’s third lie at the press conference was his biggest – and he stumbled while defending it. When Bush asserted, “the same folks that are bombing innocent people in Iraq were the ones who attacked us in America on September the 11th,” one reporter called him to task. “What evidence can you present to the American people that the people who attacked the United States on September 11th are, in fact, the same people who are responsible for the bombing taking place in Iraq…And also, are you saying sir, that Al Qaida in Iraq is the same organization being run by Osama bin Laden himself?”

After asserting “Al Qaida in Iraq has sworn allegiance to Osama bin Laden,” Bush was forced to retreat. “And the guys who had perpetuated (sic!) the attacks on America – obviously the guys on the airplane are dead. And the commanders, many of those are either dead or in captivity – like Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.” Unfortunately, Bush did not retreat to the entire truth.

Had he been entirely honest, Bush would have asserted that U.S. intelligence still has no evidence of operational ties between Saddam Hussein and al Qaida prior to 9/11, that his administration – especially Douglas Feith, Paul Wolfowitz, Donald Rumsfeld and Vice President Cheney — despicably seized upon already discredited shards of evidence to make such a connection and that he and Cheney continue trying to establish a link in order to persuade the American public that the invasion of Iraq was necessary in order to combat international terrorism.

Had he been entirely honest, Bush would have mentioned the intelligence reports, which concluded: (1) the U.S. invasion of Iraq inspired numerous otherwise middle class Muslims to become jihadists and (2) the U.S. invasion of Iraq is creating more al Qaida terrorists than the U.S. is killing in Iraq.

Had he been entirely honest, Bush would have noted that only 15 percent of the average daily attacks in Iraq are launched by al Qaida. Some 70 percent come from Sunni insurgents who are determined to rid their country of a foreign invader and occupier. Shiites militias launch the remaining 15 percent.

Thus, had Bush been entirely honest, he would not have claimed “the same folks that are bombing innocent people in Iraq were the ones who attacked us in America on September the 11th.”

Nevertheless, after devoting much of his news conference to either exaggerating the progress described in the “Initial Benchmark Assessment Report” or resurrecting old lies to defend his indefensible illegal, immoral invasion of Iraq, Bush brandished the astonishing chutzpa to complain about both the chaos in Iraq created by al Qaida and the “tragic escalation of sectarian violence, sparked by [al Qaida’s] bombing of the golden mosque in Samarra.”

Chutzpa? Yes! Experts had predicted such chaos and sectarian violence long before Bush ordered the invasion. Thus, Mr. President, precisely because “you started this war,” which “brought the Al Qaida into Iraq,” you alone are ultimately responsible for all the chaos, death, destruction, dislocation and sectarian violence committed in its wake. It’s a verdict fairly screamed from virtually all points on planet earth and one you’ll never escape.

Walter C. Uhler is an independent scholar and freelance writer whose work has been published in numerous publications, including The Nation, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, the Journal of Military History, the Moscow Times and the San Francisco Chronicle. He also is President of the Russian-American International Studies Association (RAISA).

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. This material is distributed without profit.

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Bush Press Conference (if you can stomach it) (5 videos; propaganda)

The Bush/Cheney Holocaust in Iraq, Part 3: Desperation unto Bombing Iran? by Walter C. Uhler

Dandelion Salad

Posted 9 July 2007
by Walter C. Uhler

(Note: Part One of “The Bush/Cheney Holocaust in Iraq: Criminality, Immorality, Incompetence and Desperation examined the criminality and immorality underlying the Bush/Cheney regime’s invasion of Iraq (see http://www.walter-c-uhler.com/Reviews/criminal.html ). Part Two, examined the disasters that could have been avoided, except for the gross incompetence with which the invasion was conducted (see http://www.walter-c-uhler.com/Reviews/incompetence.html ). Part Three, below, examines the desperation, which now compels various political actors to contemplate drastic action before the Bush/Cheney regime leaves office.)

Part Three: Desperation unto Bombing Iran?

Thanks to mid-term congressional elections in November 2006 — during which Americans delivered a crushing rebuke to the Bush/Cheney regime’s handling of its war in Iraq — and thanks to the report of the Iraq Study Group, which was delivered a month later, the cowards in the White House finally admitted that a “new approach” was needed in Iraq.

Cowards? Yes! As more than one observer has lamented about this pair of jokers: “People don’t Change.” Neither Bush nor Cheney opposed the war in Vietnam, but neither proved brave enough or patriotic enough to volunteer to fight for their country there, when they had the chance. True to form, in April 2004, a full year into his debacle in Iraq, when our cowardly president was asked whether his administration had made any mistakes, the supposedly honest, forthright and swaggering Bush said he could not think of any.

In fact, neither Bush nor Cheney possessed the courage to level with Americans about what they really had in mind for Iraq. And neither has demonstrated the courage to stand up, like a man, and take responsibility for the criminality, immorality and incompetence that has produced the holocaust in Iraq. Moreover, cowardice richly explains how Bush could dare to challenge the insurgents to “Bring ’em on” in Iraq — but from the safety of the White House in Washington D.C.

Cowardice also explains Bush’s recent commutation of Scooter Libby’s thirty-month prison sentence. Libby simply knows too much about the Bush/Cheney regime’s criminality, immorality and incomptence. Thus, the commutation is a part of a cowardly coverup.

Finally, cowardice also explains why Bush and Cheney ignored advice from their senior military leaders, which recommended against an escalation of the war in Iraq. Simply recall Colin Powell’s June 10, 2007 statements to Tim Russert on Meet the Press. When Russert asked Powell why his predicted troop drawdown in early 2007 didn’t occur, Powell responded: “A different choice was made by the Prsident.”

Elaborating, Powell asserted: “The President received advice from his military advisers last fall that said, do not send more troops.” Moreover, “Gen. Abizaid went before Congress, the commander of Central Command, and said he had consulted with all of division commanders in Iraq and all of the senior commanders, and non of them wanted to send additional troops.” [Robert Parry, “Powell Belies ‘Commander Guy’ Bush,” consortiumnews.com, June, 10, 2007]

Taking such advice would have implied that their war was lost, a matter Bush and Cheney are afraid to admit. So, instead, the cowards sucker-punched the American electorate, the Iraq Study Group and the U.S. military by ordering a desperate, last ditch escalation of the war, which they called a “surge.” Thus, more U.S. soldiers and innocent Iraqis are destined to die for their cowardice.

(Inveterate liar and hypocrite that he is, Bush would subsequently criticize Democrats for attempting to manage the war from Washington, while noting how he listens to his commanders.)

Desperately seizing upon another pipe-dream of the neocons, the Bush/Cheney regime touted the “surge” as a measure which would stamp down sectarian violence in Baghdad long enough to allow the food-fighting politicians in Iraq’s national government sufficient time to reconcile their differences on such critical issues as the distribution of oil revenues, the holding of local elections and the reversal of the de-Baathification process.

Astute analysts, such as Anthony Cordesman, immediately saw the flaws in this desperate move: “Winning security control of the city (of Baghdad) and losing Iraq’s 11 other major cities and countryside to Iraq’s sectarian and ethnic factions is not victory (in any strategic sense), it is defeat.” Moreover, U.S. policymakers have “completely failed to set forth a strategy and meaningful operational plan for dealing with Iraq as a country even if it succeeds in Baghdad.” [Martin Sieff, “Iraq Surge Strategy Slammed,” UPI, Feb. 22, 2007]

As if to demonstrate the accuracy of Cordesman’s observation, on July 7, 2007, a suicide truck bomber in the village of Amerli killed at least 105 people and injured some 200 more, “leading to fears that insurgents who had fled intense military operations in Baghdad and Diyala are turning to more vulnerable targets nearby.” [New York Times July 8, 2007] In fact, the U.S. simply does not have sufficient boots on the ground to prevent insurgents from exercising classical insurgency strategy – tactical retreat in the face of massed firepower, in order to wreak havoc elsewhere.

The violence has surged to such an extent – in spite of Bush’s “surge” – that “prominent Shiite and Sunni politicians [have] called on Iraqi civilians to take up arms to defend themselves.” [Robert H. Reid, “Iraqi politicians call on civilians to arm themselves,” The Independent, 9 July 2007] So much, then, for the “surge” as a means of stamping down sectarian violence.

In fact, on June 29, 2007, nine days after concluding, “the US is now losing in Iraq,” Cordesman noted that “the level of sectarian and ethnic separation now taking place throughout the country, the weakness of the central government at every level, and the rising power of local authority…are now clearly changing the ‘surge’ strategy.” [Cordesman, “Iraq and Anbar: Surge or Separation?” CSIS Publications, June 29, 2007]

Thus, his conclusion: “Even if security in Baghdad is achieved, it cannot be a bridge to successful national conciliation by a weak central government facing massive nation-wide problems in terms of growing local power and civil conflicts.” [Ibid]

But the Bush/Cheney surge faces another equally insurmountable problem – it relies on a U.S. Army that they’ve virtually destroyed. As retired General William E. Odom has recently noted: “No U.S. forces have ever been compelled to stay in sustained combat conditions for as long as the Army units have in Iraq.” Rather than fix this problem, Bush’s “recent ‘surge’ tactic has compelled the secretary of defense to extend Army tours to 15 months!” [Odom, “‘Supporting the Troops’ Means Withdrawing Them,” Nieman Watchdog, 5 July 2007]

Given that U.S. military leaders, in their expert judgment, opposed Bush’s “surge” from the outset, and given that highly regarded defense analysts found the “surge’ to be strategically deficient, why did Bush go forward with it? Because, as Gen. Odom concluded: “The president is strongly motivated to string out the war until he leaves office, in order to avoid taking responsibility for the defeat he has caused and persisted in making greater each year for more than three years.”

If correct about Bush’s motive, then General Odom was certainly correct, when he observed: By “squandering the lives of soldiers and Marines for his own personal interest” Bush surely has committed an impeachable “high crime.” Were Bush or Cheney genuinely interested in supporting the troops, they would bring them home.

Fortunately, new pressure to bring the troops home has arisen from the ranks of Bush’s own Republican Party, thanks to the speech given by Senator Richard Lugar on June 25, 2007. As the Indiana Republican noted, in a speech from the Senate floor: “Three factors – the political fragmentation in Iraq, the growing stress on our military, and the constraints of our own domestic political process – are converging to make it almost impossible for the United States to engineer a stable, multi-sectarian government in Iraq in a reasonable time frame.”

As the New York Times reported on July 9, 2007, thanks, in part, to Senator Lugar, “White House officials fear that the last pillars of political support among Senate Republicans for President Bush’s Iraq strategy are collapsing around them.” [David E. Sanger, “In White House, Debate Is Rising On Iraq Pullback,” New York Times, July 9, 2007] Thus, the White House is debating the pros and cons of a gradual withdrawal.

The Bush administration immediately denied the Times’ report. But, what’s worse, neither Gen. Odom’s interpretation nor the Times’ report addressed the continuing influence of warmonger Cheney. (As Michael Isikoff of Newsweek recently reported, Bush commuted Libby’s jail time because, “If he didn’t, he would have caused a fracture with the vice president.” [Isikoff, “Why Bush Gave Scooter Libby a Pass,” Newsweek, July 16, 2007]

And neither have Gen. Odom nor the Times taken into consideration the recent report of columnist, Georgie Anne Geyer, who’s found evidence that Bush “is more convinced than ever of his righteousness.” [Geyer, “A spreading terror,” Dallas Morning News, May 31, 2007] According to Geyer: “Friends of his from Texas were shocked recently to find him wild-eyed, thumping himself on the chest three times while he repeated ‘I am the president!’ He also made clear he was setting Iraq up so his successor could not get out of ‘our country’s destiny.'” [Ibid]

Given that U.S, ground forces (and their weapons) have been nearly exhausted, the only plausible way for Bush to commit his successor to the war in Iraq would be to “double down” on his first disaster by attacking Iran’s nuclear energy facilities, perhaps with nuclear weapons. As Robert D. Novak recently reported, Marine General Jack Sheehan refused to become “czar” of Iraq operations, because he believed that “hawks within the administration, including Vice President Cheney, remain more powerful than the pragmatists looking for an exit strategy in Iraq.” [Robert D. Novak, “‘Scouting’ the Hill on Iraq,” Washington Post, July 9, 2007]

In addition, we have Seymour Hersh’s expert opinion, recently expressed to an audience at the Campus Progress National Student Conference, that “George Bush’s and Dick Cheney’s wet dream is hitting Iran.” Finally, ask yourself: How did Bush and Cheney respond to rebukes of the November 2006 elections and the Iraq Study Group report? By escalating the war in Iraq!

More to the point, such an attack probably would bring Iraq’s holocaust to the entire Middle East, thereby binding Bush’s successor to “our country’s destiny.” As it is, Turkey already has massed 140,000 soldiers on its border with northern Iraq and al Qaeda in Iraq already has threatened to wage war against Iran unless it stops supporting the Shiites in Iraq.

Thus the question: Given the probable defection by key Senate Republicans, can the feckless (and thus desperate) Democrats that American voters placed in a legislative majority last November limit or end America’s war in Iraq before Bush and Cheney expand it into Iran? Don’t count on it.

Instead, recall the words of a high level Bush adviser to Ron Suskind: “We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality – judiciously, as you will – we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.”

Which is why Americans must insist upon immediate impeachment proceedings against Vice President Cheney and, then, President Bush. Simply put: “The World Can’t Wait!”

Walter C. Uhler is an independent scholar and freelance writer whose work has been published in numerous publications, including The Nation, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, the Journal of Military History, the Moscow Times and the San Francisco Chronicle. He also is President of the Russian-American International Studies Association (RAISA).

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see:
Uhler: The Bush/Cheney Holocaust in Iraq, Part 2: Incompetence

Uhler: The Bush/Cheney Holocaust in Iraq: Criminality, Immorality, Incompetence & Desperation

Uhler: The Bush/Cheney Holocaust in Iraq, Part 2: Incompetence

by Walter Uhler
29 June 2007

Part Two, below, examines the disasters that could have been avoided, except for the gross incompetence with which the invasion was conducted. Part Three, next week, will examine the desperation, which now compels various political actors to contemplate drastic action before the Bush/Cheney regime leaves office.)

Part Two: Incompetence

Last month — more than four years after the Bush/Cheney regime’s criminal and immoral invasion — oil rich Iraq was able to produce only 2 million barrels of oil per day, some 500,000 barrels per day less than it produced on the eve of the U.S. invasion. It also produced but an average of 3,700 megawatts of electricity, or some 300 megawatts less than it produced on the eve of the U.S. invasion. [Jason Campbell, Michael O’Hanlon and Amy Unikewicz, “The State of Iraq: An Update,” New York Times, June 10, 2007]

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