Friday, January 19, 2007

Columnists harsh on the Cheney-Bush Iraq policy

Jules Witcover asks if one aspect of the Cheney-Bush plan of adopting the McCain escalation for Iraq may not be The Greatest Deception Yet? Tribune Media Services 01/17/07:

In a Bush war policy marked by one deception after another, the latest may be the greatest - that the war is now being handed over to Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to run.
Witcover speculates whether the notion of giving Maliki's Shi'a-dominated government one more chance may not be a gambit to blame Maliki for the failures and start withdrawing American troops later. It's certainly possible. But given Bush's hair-raising descriptions of the stakes for the US in Iraq, it's hard to see how he could justify such a thing. But something's got to give.

Andrew Greeley in
Bush is a picture of defeat Chicago Sun-Times 01/19/07 gives a succinct answer to the Republicans' stock line that unless the Democrats can propose an Iraq policy that Republicans themselves won't criticize then they should criticize the McCain escalation, either:

Some of President Bush's allies in government and the media (David Brooks in the New York Times, for example) contend the "new strategy" must be tried if only because there's nothing else to do. Republican senators insist the Democrats in Congress must suggest an alternative strategy if they expect to be taken seriously. How are we going to solve the Iraq Problem unless we have a strategy?

There are two answers to such idiocy: 1) There isn't an alternative strategy or any strategy that will clean up the Iraq mess, and 2) the Democrats do have a strategy: phased withdrawal, beginning now.
Joe Galloway in Postponed sacrifices will come due with a vengeance McClatchy Newspapers 01/17/07 comments on war profiteering and the damage to the Army and Marines that the Iraq War is causing, subjects still terribly under-reported by the Establishment press:

Under the triumvirate of Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld, little of the trillions spent on defense over the last six years has gone to those who are bearing 95 percent of the burden of the war of necessity in Afghanistan and the war of choice in Iraq. While those wars ground up tanks and Bradley fighting vehicles and helicopters and Humvees by the thousands, without enough money to repair or replace them, new high-tech Air Force planes and Navy ships ate up the Pentagon budget and padded the bottom lines of the big defense contractors/campaign contributors.

Even if the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan ended tomorrow, the damage that's been done to our Army and Marine Corps is incalculable, and from past bitter experience after Vietnam, it's a good bet that repairing that damage will take a decade or more and cost trillions.

That means that long after Bush and his deputies have retired to their gated compounds and a $500 million presidential library, we'll be less able to defend our nation in a new era made far deadlier by their disastrous decisions.
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