Thursday, January 11, 2007

"New" Iraq plan is to bomb Iran

Well of course the big buzz today is the President's speech last night. I see a lot of talk about major tactical shifts. What bleeping major shifts would those be? The Prez might as well have reading from My Pet Goat for all the reality reflected in his speech. This was just the same old young democracy fairy tale dressed up in new clothes.

I blogged my initial reactions, both pre-speech and post-speech at the Detroit News last night and frankly I found Bush's remarks so far removed from reality that I think we should forget about impeachment and start demanding a psychiatric evaluation of his mental capacity. But I have additional thoughts this morning.

The NYT puts its finger on the real disaster in Iraq. The president had an opportunity to offer the American people a sober assessment of the situation and to put forward some realistic goals towards withdrawing our troops with some small modicum of dignity and grace. Instead he made the usual vague statements about benchmarks being met and threatened the Iraqis with losing the support of our people and theirs if they fail to meet them. Maybe he doesn't know that the support is already long lost, or maybe he thinks he can keep lying about it. Either way, it's no comfort to two nations waiting for the next disaster to befall.

The NYT also touched on the bellicose rhetoric against Iran and Syria, a point Glenn Greenwald expounds about at length in this post. Glenn is right in that this was the most significant and dangerous language in the speech and should be sending up red flags like crazy. A view well borne out by this morning's news that even as the president spoke, our troops raided an Iranian consultate in Northern Iraq and detained six people. This act of overt aggression is disturbing but no less so than the WaPo's coverage. They quote this:

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said that the United States is systematically trying to identify networks of people who bring weapons and explosives into the country -- a central allegation against Iran -- and will move to shut them down.

Improvised explosives have been a key source of U.S. casualties and deaths since the war began.

"We will do what is necessary for force protection," Rice said at a press conference. "Networks are identified. They are identified from intelligence and they are acted upon . . . whatever the nationality."
Somehow they fail to mention an GAO report from yesterday that indicates fully half of the deaths in Iraq were caused by IEDs made from the arsenals of Saddam that were looted during the chaos of the initial invasion. Maybe we should be acting upon the idiots who didn't send in enough troops to secure the country in the first place when we toppled the Saddam. I believe that would our administration.

I wasn't going to bother to watch the speech last night, with all the preleaking, it seemed almost unnecessary but I wanted to see Bush's facial expressions. Oddly, except for the excessive blinking, he didn't have any. He droned on with all the passion of a ten year old reciting his times tables. I was fascinated in a way by his monotone delivery. He appeared to be almost void of emotion, like some android. After a while, I stopped watching and just listened as I scratched the lottery tickets I bought myself for my birthday.

In the final analysis, I think I know why it took so long for Bush to make the speech. Clearly it wasn't because his team was evaluating a new strategy. It simply took him that long to memorize the whole 20 minutes worth and I can picture Karen Hughes, drilling him daily until he got all the words right. But it was painfully clear that even he wasn't convinced his "plan" is going to work.

Bush didn't convince anyone outside of his diehard supporters that this could even be called a plan. Certainly, Blair didn't buy it. He's pulling over half his troops out by the end of May. But for me, the speech wasn't a total loss. I did win $25 on my scratch tickets. I might not have got around to scratching them if I hadn't been so bored.
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Anonymous Anonymous said...

they read those speeches off a teleprompter. He can barely memorize his name. to be fair, the rest are the same.

3:34:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Strangely enough, I bought scratch tickets for the speech too. I knew I couldn't actually watch the whole thing and listen to it at the same time. The combination would prove fatal.

On a somber note, I only won $8.

4:10:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the mahdi or jesus and whomever else have returned: Ron Paul is running for president

^genius, gentleman and ROCK STAR

4:13:00 PM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

Lester, a telepromter shows more emotion than Bush did last night.

And don't tease me about Ron Paul. I love the guy myself. Fabulous stance on the war on some drugs. I would vote for him based on that alone but I like his thinking in general most of the time.

Steve T - nice blog you have there. Sorry you didn't win more.

4:42:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We are currently in 4 wars. Somalia, Iraq, afghanistan and now Iran.

what the hell is going on?

6:36:00 PM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

We're in the hands of lunatics Lester.

8:41:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hell in a handbasket. That's where we're going. I hope someone stops the madness very soon.

2:10:00 AM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

Steve, it's up to all of us to work together to stop the madness. I think every voice raised in protest helps.

8:18:00 AM  

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