2005/12/01

Latest Bush speech

The problems I have with the very first paragraph of Bush's "Strategy for Victory":

OUR NATIONAL STRATEGY FOR VICTORY IN IRAQ:
Helping the Iraqi People Defeat the Terrorists and Build an Inclusive Democratic State

  • Victory in Iraq is Defined in Stages
    • Short term, Iraq is making steady progress in fighting terrorists, meeting political milestones, building democratic institutions, and standing up security forces.
    • Medium term, Iraq is in the lead defeating terrorists and providing its own security, with a fully constitutional government in place, and on its way to achieving its economic potential.
    • Longer term, Iraq is peaceful, united, stable, and secure, well integrated into the international community, and a full partner in the global war on terrorism.

The "Short term" of course presumes that "Iraqis" want to "fight terrorists", or that insurgents are even defined as terrorists by the current Iraqi government.

In the "Medium term" the presumption is made that a "constituitional government" would somehow not include any Iraqis who are today shooting at American soldiers. Once, while we were waiting upon the arrival of Bush's second Inaugural parade, A follower of Lyndon LaRouche told me that Hugo Chavez' popularity among Venezuela's voters wasnt really meaningful because Chavez was "mostly popular among the poor, so it doesn't really count." I suppose one could do a similar reading upon native Iraqis who are fighting American soldiers, but I suspect their popularity among Iraqi voters is likely to be quite significant. I and many others noted in mid-2003 that a guerrilla force without followers among the population was like a group of fish out of water. They need peopl supporting them so that they can get meals, places to sleep, places to launch ambushes from, etc. Their popularity is certainly significant enough that they would be entitled to quite a number of seats in a truly free and fair election. Hard to see how that could be squared with a government that was "in the lead defeating terrorists".

"Long term" - Hmm, "peaceful" but busy fighting the "global war on terrorism"? Um, er, okay. Perhaps if all of the "terrorism" were coming in from abroad or from outside the Iraqi "community". That of course presumes that the people currently fighting Americans could be somehow eliminated without causing utter depopulation. In which case, it's hard to see how it's ever going to be "secure". depoulating the Iraqi contryside would demand a major, long-term deployment of American troops, which might make integration into the "international community" a bit difficult.

In short, the latest "plan" is very, very short on realistic assessments and very, very heavy on wishful thinking.

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