Wednesday, January 10, 2007

What a Flaming Turd

I had just finished blogging about my suspicion that Bush has a pathological inability to admit mistakes, when I strolled over to where Sidney Blumenthal confirmed my thoughts:

Informed correspondents of the Washington Post and New York Times related in conversation that Bush furiously called the report "a flaming turd," but his colorful remark was not published. Perhaps it was apocryphal. Nonetheless, it conveyed the intensity of his hostile rejection.

Cheney galvanized his neoconservative allies inside and outside the administration to counter the Iraq Study Group. In order to have their own proposal they put Jack Keane, a former Army vice chief of staff and longtime neocon fellow traveler, in touch with Frederick Kagan, an analyst at the neocon American Enterprise Institute, who urged a massive "surge" of troops into Iraq. Kagan and Keane and a team of neocons at AEI whipped up a PowerPoint presentation, and one week after the ISG report release, on Dec. 11, they were ushered into Bush's presence.

The president had become enraged at the presumption of the Baker-Hamilton Commission even before its members gave him their report. "Although the president was publicly polite," the Washington Post reported, "few of the key Baker-Hamilton recommendations appealed to the administration, which intensified its own deliberations over a new 'way forward' in Iraq. How to look distinctive from the study group became a recurring theme. As described by participants in the administration review, some staff members on the National Security Council became enamored of the idea of sending more troops to Iraq in part because it was not a key feature of Baker-Hamilton."

Donald Rumsfeld had been sacrificed as the secretary of defense, but his replacement, Robert Gates, a former director of the CIA and member of the ISG, turned from skeptic into team player. The Joint Chiefs of Staff; Gen. John Abizaid, head of Central Command; and Gen. George Casey, commander in Iraq, all opposed the "surge" as no answer. Cheney and the neocons saw their opposition as the opening for purging and blaming them. The Joint Chiefs were ignored and sidelined, and Abizaid and Casey forced into retirement. Their dissent, leaked to the Washington Post for appearance in the paper on the day of Bush's "surge" speech, was an extraordinary gesture by the senior military leaders to distance themselves from impending failure.
So, because the Iraq Study Group's report didn't have any mention of a Surge™, Bush and his lackies seized upon a Surge™ as a way to differentiate themselves from the Baker-Hamilton commission?

That's pretty much what I would expect from a man unwilling to admit that he's made mistakes or that other people might have good ideas for fixing the problems he's made. The simple phrase "The president had become enraged at the presumption of the Baker-Hamilton Commission even before its members gave him their report" speaks volumes about the mindset of this man... petty, vindictive, angry at anyone with the temerity to speak out against him.

What a flaming turd.

That article also contains this brilliant summary of Bush's Surge™ Logic:
When the U.S. military commanders in Iraq and U.S. ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad protested against a rush by the Iraqi government to hang Saddam Hussein, Condoleeza Rice overrode their objections and gave the signal to Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to proceed.

Maliki's management and subsequent defense of the gruesome circus surrounding Saddam's execution disabused any illusion that he could act in the larger Iraqi national interest rather than as a political representative of Shiite sectarianism. He is to his marrow a creature of the Dawa Party, founded by Muqtada al-Sadr's father, and his alliance with al-Sadr. While the intent of the surge is to revitalize the Maliki government, that government cannot and does not wish to be reformed. The problem is not merely that Maliki is a weak political leader, or that his political coalition wouldn't permit it, or that his Iranian sponsors wouldn't allow repudiation -- all of which are indisputably true. The irreducible reason is that Maliki exists only to achieve Shiite control, and if he did not he would not exist. There is no other Maliki. Nor can Bush invent one.

Bush's "surge," therefore, is a military plan that cannot produce its stated political outcome and will instead further unleash the forces he claims will be controlled. His offensive to subdue the Sunni insurgents, for example, is already accelerating the ethnic cleansing of Baghdad by the Shiite militias, which, rather than being contained, are further empowered.
Yeah... like he said.

Bush has chosen to aid the Shiite militias in their endgoal: the complete elimination of the Sunni minority. I find it highly interesting that this lasst violent two days in Iraq were spent hunting and killing Sunni "insurgents" (which, y'know, some people call old men, women & children) when the Shiite Death Squads outnumber the Sunni Insurgents by a factor of 4 to 1.

Once those Sunni Insurgents are all dead, yes, it WILL be quite peaceful in Iraq... because Iraq will be a graveyard which shames anything that Saddam Hussein could dream up in his most feverish nightmares.

And we will have helped.