Friday, September 14, 2007

Keeping Bush Honest

President Bush's outlook in his eighth speech to the nation on Iraq last night was hopeful and who knows, even possible in a different Middle East. But, his Pollyanna optimism doesn't square with the Mad-Max abyss that is the Iraq occupation.

Dutifully, like a fifth-grader reading a report his dad wrote, he monotoned on, without seeming to grasp the situation staring him, and all of us, in the face.... "The President Asserted Progress on Security and Political Issues. Recent Reports Weren't Often So Upbeat."

The well-drilled Boy George is still stubbornly insisting that Iraq's leaders are getting some things done.... such as sharing of oil revenues.... when in fact a potential deal on the sharing of oil revenues is failing, just like the grade on Bush's benchmark report card.

Of the 18 benchmarks, the nonpartisan U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) reports this month that three have been completely met, four partially met, and no progress made on the remaining eleven.

What kind of benchmarks were met? Well, establishing a committee in support of Baghdad's security plan. Wow.... a committee! And, ensuring that the rights of minority political parties in the Iraqi legislature are protected. But, while the legislators' rights are protected, the GAO noted the minority citizens' rights were unprotected.

What are some of the benchmarks not met? One example.... "Ensuring that Iraqi security forces are providing even-handed enforcement of the law." The GAO findings, "Iraqi security forces engaged in sectarian-based abuses."

Still, the White House said today that Iraq has made "satisfactory progress" toward nine of the 18 benchmarks and promises "a fresh assessment" in March 2008... the next chapter in the Iraq occupation fairy tale.

Barely touching on the unmet benchmarks in his speech last night, Boy George instead thanked the "36 nations who have troops on the ground in Iraq." 36 nations!?!

Let's check the facts. The GAO in their May 2007 report on Iraq, "Coalition Support and International Donor Commitments," states there are 25 countries supplying 12,600 troops to the multinational forces, compared with 145,000 U.S. forces in May... which has now "surged" to 168,000 U.S. forces in Iraq!

One other little statistic from the report that Boy George didn't tell you; "The United States has spent about $1.5 billion to transport, sustain, and provide other services for military troops from 20 countries other than the U.S. and Iraq." So, 20 of the actual 25 countries left in the "coalition" are receiving funds from the U.S. to facilitate their participation.

A suggestion. Maybe, instead of spending time riding his bike, Boy George could take the time to actually read some of his government's reports. But then, that would mean that he actually cares about knowing the truth....

3 comments:

elgringocolombiano said...

TH,

1 thing I'm really sick of is Bush & ReThugs stating the Iraq Civil War as "we're fighting Al Qaeda", as if the whole American public are moron 3rd graders.

Do you have a link to a good article that briefly states the reality of the Iraq Civil War?

The little I know is that
1 the main fighting is Sunni Arabs fighting Shia Arabs

2 Al Qaeda in Iraq is merely 1 of the Sunni Arab insurgent groups, that is not commanded per se by Bin Laden. This group calls themselves Al Qaeda in Iraq for "marketing purposes".

3 Al Qaeda in Iraq is at most 5% of the Sunni Arab fighters

4 Other Sunni Arab tribes are fighting Al Qaeda in Iraq, with guns/money from the US

5 Shia Arabs are fighting each other

6 Iran is funding some Shia Arab tribes

7 Saudi Arabia is funding some Sunni Arab tribes

The Iraq Civil War is much more complex than our dumb American MSM is describing it.

Truth Hunter said...

elgringocolombiano... You're right, al-Qaeda is just a small, although violent, part of the problem.

My dictionary says a "civil war" is a war between political factions or regions within the same country... so by that measure, there is a civil war going on in Iraq.

But, I imagine the "real" civil war won't get under way until we withdraw/draw back, just as when the Brits drew back in Southern Iraq and fighting erupted among Shia factions.

You forgot the Kurds, they are now pretty self-governing and I don't imagine they will ever agree to the yoke of a Baghdad government again.

I think one thing is certain, the al-Maliki government is DOA. I think another fact is that Bush is determined to prop up and use that government to his ends... a lasting presence in the Middle East. He just told us so.

Also dicey is the arms we're giving our new "friends" the Sunnis. While I agree with this action so they aren't ethnically cleansed, I also realize they are only our fair-weather friends and we can expect them to use those arms against the Shia and the US when the time comes.

Various articles I have read said that we have given the Sunnis "wads" of cash to obtain their cooperation. Buying "friends" never ends well.

You have a good handle on the situation in Iraq, some journalists on the ground in Iraq do also. But, the MSM seems to be very lazy, many times just passing on the propaganda handed them by the administration.

I don't expect anything will change until January 20, 2008... if then. Lots can happen, or be made to happen, between now and then. I wouldn't put anything past this administration.

I wish I could point you to one good source.... don't know of one. It's a complicated mess, that's for sure.

Truth Hunter said...

Of course I meant January 20, 2009... guess 2008 was a wishful slip.