Blown Away

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Bush Administration, FEMA, Iraq War

Sorry I’ve been a bit scarce today; I wasn’t feeling entirely well.

The most recent news stories say that 19 people are known to have died in the Florida tornadoes. As near as I can tell, President Bush hasn’t bothered even to issue a statement. No surprise; Bush is barely going through the motions of being President any more. Google “President Clinton tornado” and you’ll get no end of old stories about President Clinton visiting the sites of tornado damage and promising to send FEMA.

Speaking of FEMA: Just a couple of days ago, FEMA denied a request for aid for damage to central Florida from tornadoes and other storms that hit Christmas Day. That request was one of the last acts of outgoing governor Jeb Bush. Is the White House still pissed at incoming governor Charlie Crist for dissing the president during the midterm election campaign?

However, today did seem to be just the time for the White House to release bits of a National Intelligence Estimate that the Bushies have been sitting on for quite some time. It’s Friday, and the news media was all over a natural disaster story. Perfect.

Although there has been much commentary today on the NIE’s use of the term “civil war,” I fear this is the finding that we will most need to discuss:

“Rapid withdrawal” of U.S. forces would likely lead to a “significant increase in the scale and scope of sectarian conflict in Iraq”:

Coalition capabilities, including force levels, resources, and operations, remain an essential stabilizing element in Iraq. If Coalition forces were withdrawn rapidly during the term of this Estimate, we judge that this almost certainly would lead to a significant increase in the scale and scope of sectarian conflict in Iraq, intensify Sunni resistance to the Iraqi Government, and have adverse consequences for national reconciliation.

However,

The overall security situation “will continue to deteriorate” in next 12-18 months

Iraqi society’s growing polarization, the persistent weakness of the security forces and the state in general, and all sides’ ready recourse to violence are collectively driving an increase in communal and insurgent violence and political extremism. Unless efforts to reverse these conditions show measurable progress during the term of this Estimate, the coming 12 to 18 months, we assess that the overall security situation will continue to deteriorate at rates comparable to the latter part of 2006.

So if we leave, it gets worse; if we stay, it gets worse. This seems to me to be an argument for leaving, although there’s no reason we can’t take, say, diplomatic measures to mitigate the damage. But be prepared — when we leave Iraq we will live leave a mess behind us, and for the rest of our lives we’ll have to listen to the righties whine that we could have fixed it all had we stayed.

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11 Comments

11 Comments

  1. Bonnie  •  Feb 3, 2007 @12:48 am

    I still believe that the sooner we get out, the less damage will be done. Lives will be saved. I like to think the Iraqi people will do what they need to do to put there country back together. However, I think we should be ready to assist with financial and other kinds of help if asked. This whole operation has been done with the idea that (like the American Indians) the Iraqi people are too stupid to run their own country. Of course, that’s because the righties believe the only right way to run Iraq is whatever way they benefit most–not whatever way would benefit the Iraqi people the most.

  2. Zeus  •  Feb 3, 2007 @2:43 am

    This is the Catch-22 for the left, isn’t it? The righties accuse us of wishing that the US will fail simply so we can say “I told you so”. Yeah, if and when we ‘lose’, I will sleep contentedly knowing that 3,000 (or 4,000,5,000…..) young people gave their lives so I could be on the right side of an issue. The right can’t lose in this situation – if we win, they take the credit, and if we lose, it will be our fault for not hanging in, hence the saying “you can’t win for losing”.

    But the statement that pisses me off more than any other coming from this administration (and that’s saying a lot) is that we are fighting them over there so we don’t have to fight them here. So what are we supposed to do – keep supplying young bodies as a deterrent? Based on this premise (and at the rate our people are dying), we will be supplying our young for generations to come. When is enough enough? How about doing something ‘over here’ so we don’t have to do it ‘over there’, ie spend the billions on things like securing our borders, inspecting incoming cargo, protecting our nuclear plants, railways, etc. And their would even be $ left over for such things as healthcare, infrastructure, NEW ORLEANS, etc.

    Imagine that!

  3. jman  •  Feb 3, 2007 @3:06 am

    It is a sucker’s choice that Bush&Co demand we accept; either stay and fight or withdraw and precipitate a complete and unthinkable catastrophe. For Bush&Co, the sucker’s choice is all they have because they have no inclination or desire for diplomacy, sanity or strategy.

    I am sick and tired of being sick and tired and especially tired of being feed an endless ration of fear. I don’t think it is a good idea to leave this mess to Bush&Co for two more years until we can hire another administration to begin dealing with this fiasco that will likely be many times worse by January 2009.

    I appreciate you and your reader’s ability to find words to rage against this insanity because I’m running low. The Indie/Alt rock stations on Sirius have been playing this song for a while now. It might be familiar for New Yorkers but Kenny White says it for me, How Long…are we gong to put up with this? (the mp3 tune is part of an alblum collection provided by the artist)

  4. Zeus  •  Feb 3, 2007 @3:23 am

    jman –
    Thanks for the link – Kenny White is very Dylanesque. Brings me back to the Vietnam War protest days. Too bad we find ourselves in this position again.

  5. c u n d gulag  •  Feb 3, 2007 @7:13 am

    We’re in a true pickle!

    No, I stand corrected, our troops are the pickle’s. Stuffed together, bottled-up, and sealed tight,. Theyr’e just waiting for the hands of hate to unseal their jar and eat them alive.
    It”s a civil war. Madness! And where there’s madness, there is a hunger. And the “other” is the meal…
    That is where we stand today in Iraq. We’re the “other!”
    Our troop’s are MRE’s waiting to be torn open and devoured.

    We need a DC rally EVERY day.
    Tell Congress that they’re in a pickle, too. If they don’t get our troops out, we’ll vote them out. ASAP!!!
    And them we’ll charge them all as War Criminal’s.

    Our politician’s often lecture us about “God and Country.”
    Thier actions have caused one to abandon us, and we’re about to lose the other to blood-thirsty Theocrat’s and hypocritical heathen’s hungry only for money and power…

    ACT!
    Do something! Write. Call.. March. Scream!!!
    Or, are we the powerless puppet’s that Harlan Ellison wrote about in his great short story, “I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream?”

    I don’t feel powerless. Do you?

    SCREAM!!!!!!!

  6. justme  •  Feb 3, 2007 @11:02 am

    Maha,Sorry to hear you are not feeling well…Hope you are feeling better ASAP….

  7. c u n d gulag  •  Feb 3, 2007 @11:11 am

    Maha,
    How rude of me… I hope you’re feeling better!

  8. Donna  •  Feb 3, 2007 @11:17 am

    This post got lost in some filter earlier, so I will try to redo it. Oh, I see…my copy/paste saving of it did work…..

    Let’s go back to square one.
    The Bush administration invaded Iraq using trumped up lies, then inexplicably [‘stuff happens’] the Bush administration created a post-invasion aftermath which worsened and now jeopardizes the very lives and livelihood of a majority of Iraqis. A functional Iraqi society that lived under a dictator and under the crippling of a decade of sanctions now endures chaos and death from civil war.

    How can it be that Iraqis can own the second largest oil reserves in the world and yet be facing daily worsening impoverishment and threat?

    Simple answer: the Iraqi citizenry is irrelevant to the Decider[ the same way that the American citizenry devastated by Katrina is irrelevant to the Decider].
    The only matter relevant to the Decider is wresting oil decisions from Iraqis to be replaced by American corporate control of THEIR national wealth, i.e., their oil fields.

    The Bush plan is ‘whatever it takes’ to be able to stay there long enough to secure that prize. The reasons for staying in Iraq keep changing, depending upon whatever ‘new reason’ will best fool the American public. The latest ‘reason’ fed to Americans is, ‘Oh, it will be a bloodbath if we leave’.
    Meanwhile, the latest strategy for dealing with the Iraqis appears to be, ‘Hey, give it up, let us have those 30 year contracts, and we’ll play protector for your citizens and government in the midst of the chaos we helped bring about’.

    I agree with moonbat. If we take ourselves out of there, the Iraqis have a better chance of reorganizing themselves out of the present chaos which is conflated by our occupation.

    If we grope our way through the cover fog designed by Bush’s psych-ops teams, we should be able to realize that the Bush administration has engaged America in a big heist.

  9. maha  •  Feb 3, 2007 @11:23 am

    I’m sorry about the filtering and moderation waits and all. Something is/was seriously screwed up with my publishing platform in a way that makes me think some files were hacked. The spam onslaught seems to have died down, though, so I hope I’ll have things back to normal soon.

  10. c u n d gulag  •  Feb 3, 2007 @1:23 pm

    I just hope it wasn’t me who spread the virus….

    I hope you (and your system) feel better!

  11. Doug Hughes  •  Feb 3, 2007 @8:03 pm

    Donna voiced my feelings in #8; we are going to stay through as many iterations of ‘democracy’ as it takes to put American oil companies in charge of Iraqi oil. If I may add to what she said so well..

    The outrage over Iran is not just warmongering; Bush is worried Iran is positioned to steal the prize. If it was not so tragic, it would be funny. Thousnds of GIs dead, billions and billions of dollards spent, and Bush’s arch-enemy will the swag. Doin’ a heck of a job, Shrubbie.

    Why do I think Iran will get the loot? When Alexander the Great was conquoring the world, he adopted an effective tactic. Rather than squander his army in battle, he would position his army before the gates of the city-state and parley. Why destroy the city and waste a portion of his army in conflict when it’s easier to strike a deal? The Mayor of the city would be allowed to keep his job (and head), but he would agree to be annexed into Alexander’s empire. He would pay taxes and contribute soldiers to Alexender’s army. Alexander annexed an intact city-state, got the loot and increased the size of his army.

    The first priority for the government of Iraq is the survival of the government of Iraq. If they become a puppet regime of Bush, they won’t survive; the people of Iraq will NOT consent to being occupied by infidels. If they oppose Bush, the regime will be toppled by Bush by an inside coup, arranged by the CIA. If the US was to withdraw – tomorrow – the government could not count on the Iraqi army to protect the government; way too many officers in the army owe first alligience to tribal or religious leaders who are not in the government.

    If Iran was to guarantee the survival of the ‘legitimate’ governement, the PM of Iraq might cut a deal with Tehran. That gives the governement-in-the-green-zone the lattitude to ask us to get the hell out; we have helped as much as they can stand.

    I am not saying this is desirable; but it seems likely. Sadly, no one in Congress is willing to discuss the situation with Iran in Iraq for waht it is; 2 thieves fighting over the spoils of Iraq.



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