“Bleak”

Coming from the President’s favorite intel shop, this is not encouraging news.

One day after Bush unveiled a plan to send more than 21,000 additional troops to work alongside Iraqi troops in an increasingly violent war, the head of the Pentagon’s Defense Intelligence Agency said Iraqi forces could not combat the insurgency there.

Lt. Gen. Michael D. Maples said Iraqi security forces have been thoroughly infiltrated by Shiite militias and “are presently unable to stand alone against Sunni insurgents, al-Qaeda in Iraq” or the militias themselves. Negroponte, who was ambassador to Iraq in 2004-05, said sectarian violence had become the greatest problem inside the country.

All you needed to see was the Sadrist chants at Saddam’s hanging. After that display, this recognition that violent militias and the Iraqi security forces are essentially one and the same strikes me as a belated acknowledgment of the obvious. Separating the two is about as productive as splitting the Hydrogen atom. Pointless. Correct me if I’m wrong about this, but doesn’t that make the idea of fighting alongside, and being led by, the same bloodthirsty savages who we want to uproot sound a bit schizophrenic?

***

Also note this from our current intel czar:

Negroponte said stability in Iraq will depend in part on persuading Iran and Syria “to stop the flow of militants and munitions across their borders.”

Unless ‘persuading’ picked up a new meaning since the last time I checked, the President’s intel chief and future deputy Secretary of State is basically saying that our refusal to meet Iran in good faith is wrecking Iraq. That era of lockstep message discipline seems like just yesterday…

***Update***

I was being a bit cute with that last part. Regarding diplomacy I think that this is literally the only form of “persuasion” that George Bush knows or understands. Sadly it seems to me that the idea of violent subjugation as the singular means of imposing our will internationally, the Neoconservative Doctrine if you will, is a defining character point for the President’s dwindling base.






18 replies
  1. 1
    srv says:

    No, it makes complete sense to me. Here’s how I do it:

    1) Determine the worst options available
    2) Determine the worst of the worst
    3) You have arrived at the next Bush policy decision

    The hard part is #1. Sometimes I mess options because I’m biased into believing nobody would do that.

  2. 2
    srv says:

    Is there a single youtube drone video documenting these hordes of Syrian and Iranian arms merchants? Where exactly is all this evidence?

  3. 3
    ThymeZone says:

    Whether the troop surge happens or not, and regardless of the political fight he’s picked for himself on Capitol Hill, the “new strategy” is DOA. Useless.

    As pointed out by Olbermann yesterday, it’s the sixth “surge” of similar size in the war so far. As near as I could tell from the summary, none of the previous surges has accomplished much of anything. Neither will this one, except for possibly getting more people killed.

    Bush has painted himself … and us … into a deep corner now, and I think it’s prudent to assume that he is going to become more and more dangerous as time passes, he gets more isolated, desperate, and crazy. If the absolutely nutty and absurd speechifying by the insane Condi Rice yesterday is any indication, we ain’t see nothin yet. It’s not good policy, she says, to consider what to do if a plan fails. A statement that wouldn’t pass muster at a manager’s meeting inside Proctor and Gamble or Kraft Foods, from the lips of your Secretary of State.

    Seat belts buckled? Please keep your arms inside the car while this ride is in motion.

  4. 4
    Jackmormon says:

    Where exactly is all this evidence?

    Yes, exactly. What exactly is all this alleged Syrian and Iranian “meddling”? What are they doing, and where is the proof? If Bush is going to expand this war, as he seems determined to do, he must be held to a Congressional standard of oversight. And we must demand that our Congress exercise that oversight.

  5. 5
    Jake says:

    will depend in part on persuading Iran and Syria “to stop the flow of militants and munitions across their borders.”

    Persuade: Bust up a consulate in a supposedly independent nation and haul some of the employees away.

    From the Gee Dubya Bush Dictionary (C) 2007.

  6. 6

    Tim — you’ve never “negotiated” with Microsoft, I assume. The term “persuade” takes on new and richer meanings in that case.

  7. 7
    Tim F. says:

    demi,

    Heh. I didn’t see your comment before the update but yeah, we’re thinking along the same lines.

  8. 8
    spluffer says:

    Where exactly is all this evidence?

    You don’t really want more yellowcake and aluminum tubes, do you?

  9. 9

    Georgie believes in magic. Warrior elves are also expected to stand up for Iraqi Freedom, taking to the streets of Baghdad with a fercoity that will stun and dismay terrorists everywhere.

  10. 10
    Zifnab says:

    Is there a single youtube drone video documenting these hordes of Syrian and Iranian arms merchants? Where exactly is all this evidence?

    North, south, east, and west somewhat.

  11. 11
    sglover says:

    Will, steel, fuhrerprinzip. Everything else is just decoration, right?

  12. 12
    Jackmormon says:

    The thing is, Iran would be crazy if it weren’t trying to shape the outcome of Iraq’s present chaos. Looking out for its interests, keeping tabs on various movements and leaders, striking deals—all this is absolutely within Iran’s interests, and I believe they’re probably doing it. It doesn’t necessarily add up to a casus belli, though.

    The rumors that have been floating around for the last three years, about Iranian IED manufacture, Revolutionary Guard bomb training, arms and money shipments, sanctuary for violent militias and terrorists—that stuff could more plausibly be seized upon as a casus belli, and I’ve never seen a lick of evidence for it.

    Nor do I understand fomenting chaos to be within Iran’s interest, frankly. Having the ability to foment violence in Iraq as a response to direct US aggession against Iran–yes, that’s in Iran’s interest. But ability isn’t action.

    All that aside, I’m really worried that the Congress is going to allow itself to get steamrolled again. (Go Feingold!)

  13. 13
    sglover says:

    Where exactly is all this evidence?

    Good question. A related one is: From what I hear, a lot of arms and people flow over the Jordanian border. How come Bush isn’t playing stupid brinksmanship games with Jordan?

  14. 14
    sglover says:

    All that aside, I’m really worried that the Congress is going to allow itself to get steamrolled again.

    Well, Biden (!) and Webb were making pretty pointed comments about that to Rice this week. I’m cautiously optimistic that a consensus is jelling pretty rapidly, on both sides of the aisle, that the Cheney regime has to be neutered because it’s untrustworthy and dangerous.

  15. 15
    Jake says:

    Warrior elves are also expected to stand up for Iraqi Freedom,

    Thus allowing Frodo & Samwise to – no, sorry. I’m getting my insane polititians confused.

  16. 16

    Georgie believes in magic. Warrior elves are also expected to stand up for Iraqi Freedom, taking to the streets of Baghdad with a fercoity that will stun and dismay terrorists everywhere.

    Don’t worry, I’m on it.

  17. 17
    TenguPhule says:

    Regarding diplomacy I think that this is literally the only form of “persuasion” that George Bush knows or understands.

    And the logical path this leads us to for his removal is one nobody wants to think about. But they’re starting to.

  18. 18
    Punchy says:

    How come Bush isn’t playing stupid brinksmanship games with Jordan?

    Because nobody, not even Bush, messes with quite possibly the best basketball player in the history of the NBA.

Comments are closed.