Monday, March 19, 2007

Four years on: right wing lies about Iraq exposed

NEOCONS and other GOP politicians are still in psychotic denial. Interviewed by Tim Russert on NBC's Meet the Press, former House Majority Leader Rep. Tom DeLay and Richard Perle, the former Chairman of the Defense Policy Board still carry the moribund Bush banner, the same old slogans, the same old lies. Most noticeably, they say, pulling American troops out now will create chaos in Iraq. It will embolden terrorists and make terrorism worse. It is better, they say, to fight them in Iraq.

Let's answer those points in turn.
  • Leaving the troops in Iraq creates chaos.
  • Terrorism is, in fact, made worse by our presence.
  • Finally: there is absolutely nothing to be gained by leaving American troops trapped in the crossfire of a civil war.
Clearly, neither Perle nor DeLay understand the nature of the Iraq Civil War. US troops now find themselves in the no man's land between warring factions: Sh'ia and Sunni. The U.S. loses the war when it gives up the role of "honest broker". Bush has painted himself into a corner, "... committed to propping up the government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki".

In the middle of a civil war, the Americans have only two choices: a) Choose one side against the other and hope for the best, or 2) Get out of the way. Some four years ago, I asked: when the civil war breaks out, which side will Bush choose to be on? There are no good choices. Choosing one side over the other puts US troops in harm's war and at war with the other side. Not having good options is the very definition of "losing".

Where were the Iraqi terrorists before the US invaded Iraq and gave them a convenient target? DeLay and Perle will not address that issue. They prefer to regurgitate a tired, old rhetoric that they don't believe themselves.

Bush policies, in fact, make us less secure; we have not engaged terrorists in Iraq; Iraq had nothing to do with 911, most of the violence in Iraq is sectarian in nature.

The opposition to the US is that of a resistance to an illegitimate occupier. I have yet to see convincing evidence that in over four years the Bush administration has done anything at all to make the US safe from terrorist attacks or that a bona fide terrorist has ever been "...brought to justice." By making terrorism worse, we increase the chances of major attacks on US soil.

Nor will pulling American troops make terrorism any worse than our presence there has already done. A recent report indicates that the reverse is true, i.e. the US presence makes terrorism worse.
Washington - A stark assessment of terrorism trends by American intelligence agencies has found that the American invasion and occupation of Iraq has helped spawn a new generation of Islamic radicalism and that the overall terrorist threat has grown since the Sept. 11 attacks.

The classified National Intelligence Estimate attributes a more direct role to the Iraq war in fueling radicalism than that presented either in recent White House documents or in a report released Wednesday by the House Intelligence Committee, according to several officials in Washington involved in preparing the assessment or who have read the final document.

The intelligence estimate, completed in April, is the first formal appraisal of global terrorism by United States intelligence agencies since the Iraq war began, and represents a consensus view of the 16 disparate spy services inside government. Titled "Trends in Global Terrorism: Implications for the United States," it asserts that Islamic radicalism, rather than being in retreat, has metastasized and spread across the globe.

An opening section of the report, "Indicators of the Spread of the Global Jihadist Movement," cites the Iraq war as a reason for the diffusion of jihad ideology.

The report "says that the Iraq war has made the overall terrorism problem worse," said one American intelligence official.

--Spy Agencies Say Iraq War Worsens Terror Threat, Mark Mazzetti, The New York Times

Delay and Perle continue to raise the same tired old GOP strawmen even as , every day, Iraqis will tell you that every day is worse than the day before.

Indeed, the Civil War has begun and no amount of wishful thinking or GOP propaganda will change the facts in Baghdad:
The White House still avoids the label, but by any reasonable historical standard, the Iraqi civil war has begun. The record of past such wars suggests that Washington cannot stop this one -- and that Iraqis will be able to reach a power-sharing deal only after much more fighting, if then. The United States can help bring about a settlement eventually by balancing Iraqi factions from afar, but there is little it can do to avert bloodshed now.

--The United States Can't Win Iraq's Civil War, James D. Fearon, Foreign Affairs
Significantly, Tom DeLay did not get away with trying to tie the US attack and invasion of Iraq to the events of 911. It was Russert who set the record straight. It has been learned, Russert said, that Iraq had nothing whatsoever to do with the events of 911. But how many times have we heard George W. Bush imply that the US presence in Iraq is in response to the events of 911? How many times will Bush try to connect the US created chaos in Iraq to the war on terrorism?

On an optimistic note, Perle and DeLay clearly lost the debate to former Rep. Tom Andrews (D-ME), the director of the anti-war coalition "Win Without War" and Rep. Joe Sestak (D-PA), a retired Vice Admiral of the U.S. Navy who is the highest ranking former military officer to serve in the House.

It is increasingly clear, even in mainstream reports like Meet the Press, that Bush is still playing the wrong game in Iraq. As in Risk and Poker, Bush has tried recently to raise the stakes with renewed attacks on the old nemesis, the "Axis of Evil". Doing so confuses the nature of the American involvement; it ensures our ignominious retreat now or later. Now is the time to think clearly. Now is the time to stop listening to paid psychotics. Now is the time to face cold, hard facts.

Bush saw himself as a conquering hero, just one of his many delusions. By pressing the issues, Bush made of his domestic opposition true heroes at a time when it was not fashionable to "bash" Bush. For too long now, America has been at odds with the rest of the world because America has not seen the world and its role in it clearly. Iraq is the most tragic example. As long as the GOP continues to buy into sloganeering by the likes of Perle and DeLay, there will be no end to American trouble abroad. As I've said so many times: the GOP is not a political party, it was and remains under Bush, a criminal conspiracy.

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