Monday, October 16, 2006

Bush Watch: The Saga Continues

Why doesn't Bush buy The Lancet's report that well over 600,000 Iraqis have died a direct result of the American invasion? One reason might be that the death in Iraq is higher under the Bush regime than under Saddam. According to billmon:
But it's hard -- or should be -- for Shrub to take much comfort even in that, because while Saddam ruled Iraq for almost 24 years, the Cheney Administration and the U.S. Army have had the place in their tender care for less than four. Two million divided by 24 equals 83,333 deaths a year. But 655,000 divided by four equals 163,750 deaths a year -- almost double Saddam's annual output.
Or, if you prefer to use more "conservative" estimates for both:
Saddam: 31,250 deaths a year (750,000 divided by 24)
Cheney Administration: 87,500 deaths a year (350,000 divided by four)
But that makes the comparison look even worse.

It's US vs. Them. But who are "them"? Robert Parry suggests that not even Bush knows.
"But I’m never clear who “they” are or exactly what “it” is. If “they” are the Sunni Islamic fundamentalist terrorists of al-Qaeda and “it” is 9/11, U.S. forces could have concentrated on al-Qaeda strongholds along the Afghan-Pakistani border until Osama bin Laden, Ayman Zawahiri and their followers were captured or killed.
Bush, however, expanded the “they” to include the secular dictatorship of Iraq, the Shiite government of Iran, Syria’s Assad family dynasty, Lebanese Shiite militants of Hezbollah, Palestinian Sunni militants of Hamas, and a hodgepodge of other Islamic radicals around the globe.
So, instead of finishing a winnable war against al-Qaeda, Bush veered off into a diffused struggle against a diverse grouping of Muslim leaders, nations and organizations lumped under a terrorism umbrella.
Bush also has offered no coherent strategy for winning what amounts to a global counterinsurgency war against Islamic militants. Beyond vowing to stay on “the offensive” in Iraq and elsewhere, Bush has promulgated a dubious theory that widespread anti-Americanism can be overcome by imposing “democracy,” through force if needed.
But this “democracy” theory has run aground on the hard reality that Muslim hatred of Bush is so intense that almost whenever citizens get to vote they either act on behalf of narrow sectarian interests (as in Iraq) or they vote for people who have earned popular support by standing up to the United States (as in Iran, Palestine and Lebanon).
That means that the only “reliable” U.S. allies are still the “moderate” autocrats, such as the Saudi royal family, the Jordanian monarchy, or the dictators of Egypt and Pakistan. If the popular will in those countries were respected, the likelihood is that the elected governments would join the “coalition of the hostile” against the United States.
In other words, Bush has no real strategic plan for winning the “war on terror,” short of waging a bloodbath against large segments of the world’s one billion Muslims, a global version of the carnage on display in Iraq since 2003 and in Lebanon during the Israeli war against Hezbollah last summer.
Yet, even a bloodbath strategy along the lines of the Iraq War is certain to fail. As the U.S. intelligence community has recognized, the Iraq War has become a case study in how not to conduct counterinsurgency warfare – as well as an example of how wishful thinking and incompetent military strategies can make a bad situation worse."

And why does Bush keep lying about UN inspectors not being allowed into Iraq before the invasion? From
There’s always been the frightening question of what would happen if a President of the United States went completely bonkers. But there is an equally
disturbing issue of what happens if a President loses touch with reality, especially if he is surrounded by enough sycophants and enablers so no one can or will stop him.
At his Oct. 11 news conference, Bush gave the country a peek into his imaginary world, a bizarre place impenetrable by facts and logic, where falsehoods, once stated, become landmarks and where Bush’s “gut” instinct, no matter how misguided, is the compass for finding one’s way.
In speaking to White House reporters, Bush maneuvered casually through this world like an experienced guide making passing references to favorite points of interest, such as Hussein’s defiance of U.N. resolutions banning WMD (when Hussein actually had
eliminated his WMD stockpiles).
“We tried the diplomacy,” Bush said. “Remember it? We tried resolution after resolution after resolution.” Though the resolutions had worked – and left Hussein stripped of his WMD arsenal – that isn’t how it looks in Bush’s world, where the resolutions failed and there was no choice but to invade.
At other news conferences, Bush has filled in details of his fictional history. For instance, on July 14, 2003, just a few months after the Iraq invasion, Bush began rewriting the record to meet his specifications.
“We gave him [Saddam Hussein] a chance to allow the inspectors in, and he wouldn’t let them in. And, therefore, after a reasonable request, we decided to remove him from power,” Bush told reporters.
In the real world, of course, Hussein admitted U.N. inspectors in fall 2002 and gave them unfettered access to search suspected Iraqi weapons sites. It was Bush who forced the U.N. inspectors to leave in March 2003 so the invasion could proceed.
Over the past three years, Bush has repeated this false claim about the barred inspectors in slightly varied forms as part of his litany for defending the invasion on the grounds that it was Hussein who “chose war,” not Bush.
Meeting no protest from the Washington press corps, Bush continued repeating his lie about Hussein showing “defiance” on the inspections.
For instance, at a news conference on March 21, 2006, Bush reprised his claims
about his diplomatic efforts.
“I was hoping to solve this [Iraq] problem diplomatically,” Bush said. “The
world said, ‘Disarm, disclose or face serious consequences.’ We worked to
make sure that Saddam Hussein heard the message of the world. And when he chose
to deny the inspectors, when he chose not to disclose, then I had the
difficult decision to make to remove him. And we did. And the world is safer for it.”


  1. Anonymous11:32 a.m.

    "Why doesn't Bush buy The Lancet's report that well over 600,000 Iraqis have died a direct result of the American invasion?"

    Because the Lancet Study is a proven fraud.

    Reality checks: some responses to the latest Lancet estimates

  2. A check of The Lancet's study revealed that death certificates were checked and and found in 92% of the cases.
    Bush has also accepted as accurate casualty studies using the same methodology for other places such as Darfur.
    Further, the Iraq Body Count press release you cite offers no evidence to discredit the Lancet findings, but does end with this sentence, which really is the point: "[T]otals of the magnitude generated by this study are unnecessary to brand the invasion and occupation of Iraq a human and strategic tragedy."