Thursday, December 21, 2006

The Bully Pulpit is mainly bull and so is the New Way Forward

So this week W. & Co. appears to be making their big push for their New Way Forward. A new part of the NWF now includes pushing for more troops for the army and marines -- a policy W. has consistently rejected -- along with the much talked about "surge" of extra forces for Iraq. (That latter part of the plan could be better described as the Same Way Backward, because it's just a rehash of Operation Together Forward, but with more cannon fodder.) W. told the WaPo that he is now "inclined to believe that we do need to increase our troops." It sure has been a long time coming. W. says "there's no question the military has been used a lot" and now it has to be "reset."

Funny, I thought that's what Rummy's big contribution to history was; the transformation of the oversized, lumbering army into the leaner, more rapidly reacting force of the future aided by the wonders of modern technology. What happen to that? Looks like we're going to reset the reset. Building up the army and marines again to fight the "ideological war we're in" to "achieve peace," might also imply that this all isn't just about Iraq anymore. (Or peace for that matter.)

W. told the WaPo that the fundamental question is, "Will Republicans and Democrats be able to work with the administration to assure our military and the American people that we will position our military so that it is ready and able to stay engaged in a long war?" What worries me about this talk of the "long war" and his sudden conversion to building up the military is what's coming down the pike. Part of this "surge" W. & Co. are talking about, includes the deployment of another carrier battle group to the Persian Gulf. The WaPo writes that, "While such a move would certainly send a pointed message to Iran, [an] official said it would also allow additional strike capabilities in Iraq."

Yeah right, I'm not buying it. You don't put two carrier battle groups into the Persian Gulf {Sorry the "Arabian Gulf"] to provide additional strike capability for a war that's being fought street by street. That battle group is going there to provide additional capabilities for a shock and awe campaign against Iran. The notion that we're going to expend those kinds of resources in order to pressure the Iranians to stop enriching uranium and come to the negotiating table is ludicrous.

This build-up of naval forces in their back yard must be adding extra encouragement to the Iranians to work even more furiously to build a bomb and test it before the US navy arrives in full force. W. & Co.'s main rationale for not talking to the "axis of evil" is that it would be rewarding bad behavior. Yet North Korea staged an apparently not so successful nuclear test and -- lo and behold -- now we're having one on one discussions with them, something W. & Co. said they would never do. What "pointed message" does this send to the Iranians?

Meanwhile, the same old rhetoric of an impending war is right out there for all to see if they care to. Tony B-liar said in Bahrain just the other day that Iran was a "deadly" threat and was "openly" supporting terrorism in Iraq, according to the Daily Telegraph. Sounds kind of familiar, doesn't it?

And the neocons are all over the media painting Iran as the great anti-Semitic Satan that must be wiped off the map before they wipe Israel off the map. (Perhaps Ehud Olmert's little atomic slip in Germany wasn't a slip after all?) One text book example of the propaganda being employed to get us into another war was Victor Davis Hanson's command performance on TOTN yesterday. He accused the Iranians of harboring OBL's son, the Taliban and every other bad actor -- regardless of the fact that Arab and Sunni al-Qaeda and the Sunni Taliban are anathema to the Shiite Persians -- and was hardly challenged on any of it, as usual.

What I find especially amusing about the neocon line this time around is citing the example of Moammar Kadafi giving up his WMD and coming back into the international fold as a model for Iran. Seems to me that Kadafi is still resisting fully paying for the Lockerbie bombing, was actively trying to have then Crown Prince Abdullah of Saudi Arabia killed as he was negotiating his disarmament and just this week a Libyan court sentenced 8 Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian doctor to death for giving AIDS to children. Beyond opening up his oil and natural gas fields to Western corporations, I don't see Kadafi as a model citizen that should be held up as a great success of this administration that could be repeated in Iran or Syria.

I've asked this before, but I'll ask it again; why is the media giving these neocons the air time? They have been proven to be wrong about everything they said about the invasion of Iraq. They were wrong about the WMD, they were wrong about a flowering democracy in Iraq, they were wrong about the cost of the war, yet the same old faces are still appearing on the TV now advocating a war with Iran. And people are still listening to them! How many times do you have to be completely wrong about something before people stop listening to you?

And that goes for the man on the Bully Pulpit, too.


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