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Bush is Cutting and Running

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    Republicans New Plan for Withdrawal from Iraq Nothing More than Another Election Year Scam? Bush is Cutting and Running by Dave Lindorff
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 26, 2006
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      Republicans' 'New' Plan for Withdrawal from Iraq Nothing More than
      Another Election Year Scam?

      Bush is Cutting and Running
      by Dave Lindorff

      The Bush administration, losing the war in Iraq, has come with a "new"
      strategy: setting a timetable for Iraq's puppet regime and its
      fledgling army to "stand up" to the task of running the country so
      that the U.S. military can "stand down."

      If you think this brilliant "new" plan sounds remarkably like the one
      proposed earlier this year by many Democrats, who were accused at that
      time of "cutting and running" for proposing just such a withdrawal
      timetable, you're right.

      It also sounds like yet another one of those Bush/Rove scams that are
      pulled out at each election to trick gullible voters into thinking the
      president is actually going to do something dramatic when he is really
      just talking. The truth is this plan is no more serious than Bush's
      early announcement of a plan to send Americans to the moon and on to

      That plan, of course, was a joke from the start. The president didn't
      offer any money for a Moon or Mars project, and never had any
      intention of doing so. It was just more of the same at NASA, blowing
      money on the giant white elephant in the sky called the International
      Space Station. And of course, we don't hear anything about Mars anymore.

      The new Iraq plan being touted by the administration, which notably
      involves doing nothing for a year, and then calls for a phased
      drawdown of U.S. troops over subsequent years, basically shoving off
      any significant change in Iraq until after Bush is safely out of
      office and holed up somewhere in Paraguay, behind a barricade of
      defense lawyers.

      On its face, this "new" plan also would require remarkable cooperation
      and forbearance on the part of the Iraqi resistance, which has shown
      no inclination to ease up on its attacks on U.S. forces and on Iraq's
      puppet regime, and which moreover has no incentive to ease up, since
      it is the resistance's increasing success at attacking and killing
      Americans that is driving the administration to talk about withdrawal.

      What we actually have here is an election gambit: if the
      administration tells the voters that it is changing course and making
      plans to get out of the quagmire in Iraq, maybe at least some voters
      will reward them by voting for embattled Republican congressional

      But it is in fact all just a scam. Saying that the government of Prime
      Minister Nauri Kamal al-Maliki must start effectively cracking down on
      sectarian killings, must clean up its police forces and get them to
      stop behaving like gangsters and death squads, and must turn its joke
      of an army into a dedicated fighting force that will stand up to the
      forces of rebellion and revolution arrayed against it and the U.S.
      military is not going to make it happen. After all, that's supposedly
      what the Iraqi government has been trying to do now for two years,
      right? And the situation has not improved at all. In fact the
      situation in Iraq for the government has gotten noticeably worse. Why
      anyone would think that giving this pathetic colonial regime some kind
      of a "timetable" for doing those things would make them accomplish
      something that they have been congenitally unable to accomplish to
      date is beyond me.

      But then, that's not the point.

      Like most of what this administration offers up in the run-up to
      national elections, this is all about appearances, not about substance.

      This is an admistration that knows all about fooling some of the
      people some of the time.

      What Karl Rove long ago figured out is that it doesn't matter that you
      can't fool all of the people all the time, or even some of the people
      all of the time. All you have to do is fool some of them enough of the
      time to get through an election cycle with a narrow win. Then people
      move on to other concerns and forget what you promised. By the time
      the next election cycle rolls around, you can come up with some new
      promises and fool some of them again.

      It's a question whether the scam will work this time, though.

      People seem to be waking up to the reality that there is a serious
      disaster in Iraq, that it is not going to be solved by continuing to
      slaughter Iraqis and by continuing to let American kids get chewed up
      and sent home in boxes or with parts of their bodies missing.

      People seem to be waking up to the fact that "staying the course" is
      just another way of not having to say, "We're sorry, but we f***ed up."

      What we all need to be doing now is demanding some answers from this
      administration and its enablers in Congress:

      Why hasn't the US been demanding action from the Iraqi government for
      the past two years?

      Why did some 2000 Americans have to die over that period of time, if
      all we are doing is something we could have done two years ago?

      Why are Democrats "cut and runners" for proposing a phased withdrawal,
      but Republicans are not "cut and runners" for proposing the same thing?

      If the success of this plan involves negotiating with the insurgents
      and giving them--including the Baathists we supposedly overthrew in
      2003--a role in the future Iraq, doesn't that mean we lost the war
      after all?
      If not, then why weren't we negotiating with them a long time ago?

      If so, then what did the other several hundred Americans die for in
      the early days of the invasion and occupation?

      If the US has been "stupid and arrogant" in its Iraq policies, as
      administration sources are finally admitting, just who are the stupid
      and arrogant people we are talking about here?

      If those "stupid and arrogant" people are the president, the vice
      president, the secretary of defense and the national security
      adviser/secretary of state, what is to be the consequence of their
      stupiditdy and arrogance--particularly given that this stupidity and
      arrogance has caused the deaths of as many as 600,000 innocent Iraqi
      civilians and 3000 Americans? Enough of the game playing.

      It's time for a little truth and consequences in America.

      Dave Lindorff is co-author, with Barbara Olshansky, of The Case for
      Impeachment: The Legal Argument for Removing President George W. Bush
      from Office (St. Martin's Press, June 2006). His work is available at



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