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Friday, December 01, 2006

George Bush: The Corvair of Geopolitical Deciders

Ralph Nader's famous book tagged the Corvair of the 1960s as "unsafe at any speed." The events of the week of November 26 seem to indicate that George Bush could accurately be labeled the "Corvair of geopolitical deciders". Every idea in his head and every action of his administration seems to be seriously harming America's immediate and long term interests and security in concrete, incontrovertible ways.

The 45 Minute Summit

I've already commented on the disastrous lead-up to the summit resulting from an attempt by the White House to play hardball with Iraqi Prime Minister al-Maliki by purposely leaking private security reports questioning his abilities.

News about the actual summit indicates the summit was likely even less productive than anyone could have guessed, even given the fiasco of the lead-in to the summit. The first evening meeting between Bush and al-Maliki was cancelled by al-Maliki, ostensibly because it was originally intended to include Jordan's King Abdullah and al-Maliki decided at the last minute he did not feel it was necessary for the three of them to meet. Uh huh.

The morning meeting the next day was originally advertised as a working breakfast and a follow-up meeting. The actual reports on the meeting indicate the ENTIRE face-to-face time between Bush and al-Maliki was exactly FORTY FIVE MINUTES. I guess they must of had Pop-Tarts for breakfast.

Just think about that for a second. Just this week, the war in Iraq surpassed the length of our involvement in World War II (1348 days). America has lost 2885 lives in the conflict. America has spent over $346 billion dollars on this effort. The effort is producing absolutely NO SIGN WHATSOEVER of any benefit to America's short term or long term military, political or economic interests. We have far FEWER leaders of allied countries or even neutral countries who seem willing to actively assist us in undoing some of the damage we've caused.

Our president travels to meet with allies and cannot bring himself to talk for more than FORTY FIVE MINUTES to the man who risks his life EVERY DAY to keep the wheels from falling off the disaster we made? Also keep in mind that translators were also probably involved so that could not have been 45 minutes of actual productive real-time conversation.

What could have POSSIBLY been accomplished in 45 minutes? With George (Mr. Intelligence Deficit Disorder) Bush involved? A transcript of part of the private meeting was leaked to WatchingTheHerd and included the following exchange:


al-MALIKI: Mr. President, thank you for visiting.

BUSH: No problemo, Nouri-boy. Great to be here.

al-MALIKI: Mr. President, we have a great deal to talk about.

BUSH: Yea, like that breakfast. Eggs were ok, coulda used some tabasco like we have in Texas...

al-MALIKI: Yes, Mr. President, the breakfast was...

BUSH: But I just couldn't figure it out. Where was the bacon or pork sausage? It's like you don't have that here.

al-MALIKI: Uh, no sir, you see Muslims don't...Never mind. Mr. President, we have a lot of hard decisions to make and not a lot of time...

BUSH: I'm all about hard decisions. I'm Mr. Decider. Cuz that's what the world expects. Heck, my Secret Service handle is El Decider-o, get it? hee hee, hee hee, hee heeā€¦

al-MALIKI: Mr. President, I really need you to to focus here. We need to make the RIGHT decisions, not just the hard decisions.

BUSH: I tell ya, like I told the American people, this leaderin' and decider'in is hard work.

translator:Mr. Bush, we're wheels up on Airhead One -- I mean Air Force One -- in 30 minutes, we gotta go.

al-MALIKI: Oh #*#(%(^(#(%(#!



If you can find any real summary that's any more likely than the above, I'd love to see it.

More Undermining of the Elected Iraqi Government

Despite the public relations chaos resulting from the leak of the Hadley memo, the Bush Administration appeared clueless to the destabilizing effects of the memo. Immediately upon return to the United States, the White House announced it will have direct meetings with a key Shi'ite leader Monday at the White House and another meeting with Iraq's vice president (a Sunni) in January. (#2)

Put yourself in the shoes of the Iraq people who risked their lives to vote for their current government. If the president of Iran wanted to arrange an official state meeting with "The United States" but met with the chairman of the Libertarian party rather than President Bush, do you think that would be appropriate? Or a better example... If the President of Iran wanted to arrange an official state visit during the middle of a domestic Constitutional crisis like the impeachment of the President and chose to meet with the Vice President or the Speaker of the House instead of the President, would that not be a slap in the face to the American people? That's EXACTLY what George Bush is doing to the Iraqi people by meeting with anyone other than members of the democratically elected government.


Lebanon Nearing Collapse

Within a day of the end of the Bush - Maliki summit in Jordan, nearly 800,000 Hezbollah supporters gathered in a square outside the Lebanese parliament demanding the removal of Prime Minister Fouad Siniora and the "pro American puppet" government Hezbollah supporters feel he represents. (#3) NBC reported tonight that Prime Minister Siniora will spend the night inside his office surrounded by hundreds of military guards due to the unrest. As I commented previously (see News for the Next 30 Years), Lebanon is one assassination away from being forced to reconstitute a parliament per constitutional mandate.

Regardless of whether you believe Hezbollah or Israel sparked the summer 2006 war, the Bush Administration's refusal to weigh in on that conflict to encourage an early cessation allowed the war to progress to the point that proved Israel failed to "win" the war. In the mindset of anti-American forces, the failure of Israel to win any war is by definition a win for the opposition and a defeat for America, the real puppet master behind Israel (in their minds).

The summer war clearly emboldened the pro-Hezbollah forces and at the rate unrest is growing, Lebanon could very well collapse within weeks. Whatever replaces the current government is virtually guaranteed to be more closely aligned with Syria and Iran, more likely to provoke active conflict with Israel, and 100% assured of actively pursuing anti-American policies anywhere they can.

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So there you have it.

  1. Bush undermines the public authority of the only leader open to American policies in a country embroiled in a civil war that America fomented by a failed occupation strategy formulated by the Bush Administration.

  2. Despite spending $346 BILLION dollars on a disastrous war, Bush can only manage to spend FORTY FIVE MINUTES talking with the leader of the government with the most to lose in the absence of viable strategies for mitigating the damage America has caused.

  3. Additional sectarian leaders / war lords within Iraq have taken advantage of the public humiliation of al-Maliki by Bush and hedged their bets by calling for al-Maliki's removal, further de-stabilizing the country, increasing the likelihood of a government collapse, thereby increasing the need for American troops to remain, which further de-stabilizes the situation (ad nauseum...)

  4. A pro-American government in Lebanon is heading closer to collapse after Syrian-supported Hezbollah supporters gained confidence after surviving a summer war with the Israelis that the US failed to quell.

  5. The influence and clout of Iran and Syria, the two nations we claim to be most directly opposed to our interests in the Middle East, continues to grow in direct correlation to our bungling and inability to adapt to changing circumstances.


The direct quote from the now-infamous leaked memo by Stephen Hadley stated

The reality on the streets of Baghdad suggests Mr. Maliki is either ignorant of what is going on, misrepresenting his intentions, or that his capabilities are not yet sufficient to turn his good intentions into action.

At this point, actual events would indicate there is only one mistake in that statement. It should have read:

The reality on the streets of Baghdad suggests Mr. Bush is either ignorant of what is going on, misrepresenting his intentions, or that his capabilities are not yet sufficient to turn his good intentions into action.

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#1) http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061201/ap_on_go_ca_st_pe/us_iraq

#2) http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2006/12/01/america/NA_GEN_US_Iraq_Leaders.php

#3) http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/6197992.stm