18.1.07

Americans become Bush’s cannon fodder as political charlatan plays last card

SaudiDebate.com - Americans become Bush’s cannon fodder as political charlatan plays last card:

Digging the hole deeper

The long and short of it is that by going from “staying the course” to changing the course in Iraq, toward a surge, President Bush has made a bad situation worse for everyone – Americans, Iraqis and the peoples of the Middle East.

US forces cannot pacify Baghdad, with or without Iraqi army and police units, whose members, at any rate, in addition to being incompetent, are notorious for placing their sectarian, ethnic and tribal loyalties above their national obligations. Last year two attempts were made at pacification of the capital and both failed.

Involving more military forces, as the lessons of Vietnam attest, is not the answer.

Time and again over the last four years, President Bush resorted to prime-time to address the nation on the situation in Iraq. Each one of those speeches, almost without exception, was replete with misjudgments of the realities on the ground, unwarranted, at times even comical, upbeat assessments, and forecasts of victories that just never materialized.

This week, against the backdrop of over 3,000 Americans killed in the war, and untold numbers of Iraqi deaths, Bush gave yet another speech to the American people whose thrust, effectively, is that their boys in uniform fighting in Iraq will soon be engaged in daily house-to-house and street-to-street combat with Iraqi militants fighting on their turf.

This segues to what the president had told his fellow-Americans in Sept. 2006 about what he thought the war in Iraq was about. “The safety of America,” he said, “depends on the outcome of the battles in the streets of Baghdad.”

Most Americans hope to God that their president will be proven wrong on that count too, for the ancient, mean streets of Baghdad are not a safe place for American boys to be hanging out in at night.