As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Monday, September 03, 2007

Preznit Gotta Book Cummin Out

I think I have to elaborate on the nutty Bush biography coming out this week and the quotes released to the press over the weekend, although Vernon Lee did a fine job with it in her own right. The whole thing is pretty surreal, from the boasting that his main goal after his term ends is to make a lot of money giving speeches, to the "fantastic Freedom Institute" (you know, the FFI) that he's totally going to build (right around the time that Jonah Goldberg finishes Liberal Fascism, I'm thinking), and on and on. But a couple things leaped out at me. First, the fact that he can't remember why the Iraqi Army disbanded. In the film "No End In Sight" it was revealed even further what a massive error this was. Not only did Paul Bremer toss 100,000 heavily armed men out onto the streets with no job prospects, but behind the scenes top CPA officials were actually making the contacts necessary to reform the Army within a matter of weeks. There could have been a ready-made security force in place that at least would have been an improvement over starting from scratch. And yet ideology trumped reason and Bremer disbanded it. And Bush doesn't know why.

"The policy was to keep the army intact; didn't happen," Bush told biographer Robert Draper in excerpts published in Sunday's New York Times.

Draper pressed Bush to explain why, if he wanted to maintain the army, his chief administrator for Iraq, L. Paul Bremer III, issued an order in May 2003 disbanding the 400,000-strong army without pay.

"Yeah, I can't remember; I'm sure I said, 'This is the policy, what happened?' " Bush said, adding: "Again, Hadley's got notes on all this stuff" -- a reference to national security advisor Stephen J. Hadley.

What a strong, resolute leader this guy is, huh? That's the great fiction of the Bush Administration - he's actually clearly the delegate-in-chief, as much of a figurehead as Queen Elizabeth, strutting around in flight suits and cowboy boots and different Village People outfits while ideologues run the country into the ground.

The other part that knocks me over, which Vernon Lee actually summed up well, is the part where Bush admits that his goal is to force his successor to stay in Iraq longer.

Bush says the goal of his Iraq strategy is to play it out until “October-November.” That is when he hopes the Iraq troop increase will finally show enough results to help him achieve the central goal of his remaining time in office: “To get us in a position where the presidential candidates will be comfortable about sustaining a presence,” and, he said later, “stay longer.”

So success in Iraq is now measured by a constant military presence. And furthermore, let's view his upcoming policy decisions with this in mind. It seems that the goal would then be to make Iraq MORE dependent on US military support, so that leaving would set off the tragic chain of events that Bush clearly WANTS set off, so that Republicans can blame the outcome on Democrats. Bush, or rather Bush's team, is setting a mousetrap. The lives of millions of Iraqis are the bait.

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