17 December 2017

Everyone has an opinion about what’s going on in the world. This is mine.

Persian Gulf

Iran and U.S. elections

While everyone was concentrating on the primaries in New Hampshire, news of an “incident” with Iran nudged it’s way into the forefront of the news shows. Allegedly Iranian patrol boots threatened American war ships. Bush harshly criticized the Iranians, he made it clear that the U.S. would defend itself. Now we hear that this wasn’t the first incident with Iran.

I see this as a continuation of developments that have been intensifying for about one to one and a half years. A pattern is manifesting itself – with contradictions mind you – that seems to indicate an increase in tensions between the U.S. and Iran. There were the arrests of Iranians in Iraq by the U.S. in December 2006[1], Iranians holding British navy personnel in March 2007[2], Tightening of sanctions against Iran by the U.N. Security Council also in March 2007[3], the arrival of a second aircraft carrier in April 2007[4]. Continue Reading »

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Time for a new Course

On October 22nd George Bush told George Stephanopoulos from ABC that his administration has “never been stay the course.” Immediately dozens of video clips showed Bush constantly has constantly been stating that he will “stay the course.” To some he appears to be blatantly lying to George Stephanopoulos and the American public. To others it seems as though Bush is finally considering pulling out of Iraq. More likely, though, he just goofed up what he was trying to say. What he was trying to say was that his administration and the military have always been adapting their strategy and tactics to win in Iraq.

Not only did Bush slip and appear to go back on his standard statement that he would stay the course, but on a closer look he has admitted that he and his administration do not have a functioning strategy in Iraq. He say that he and the military are “constantly changing tactics.” This means things are not working. It seems Bush and the military commanders do not know what their doing.

Just listen to his answer to George Stephanopoulos’ question asking Bush if a change of strategy shouldn’t come before the elections. Bush answers, “The strategy — rememeber, the goal is, like I defined, a government that can defend, sustain and govern itself. The strategy is a political strategy, a security strategy, and a rebuilding the country strategy.”

What? Goal, strategy? What is he trying to say? How can Bush be allowed to lead a country to war, if he can’t even get the difference between strategy and goals straight? He can’t even put together a coherent sentence.
The mid-term elections need to bring about a change. Unfortunately Bush is not on the ballot. His party is, though. Those who blindly support him. It is time for them to go. It is time to start a new course.

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Bush and the Republicans have failed in Iraq

The polls indicating a landslide victory for the Democrats in the upcoming mid-term elections reflect the complete failure of the Bush Administration and the Republican lead Congress in Iraq. This is not just a consequence of the Republican deception and failures it is a necessity. Only a Democratic Congress and a Democratic President can correct the U.S. strategy in Iraq. The Democrats must strike a new course and return to a multinational solution.

The majority of Americans no longer trust Bush and the Republicans to successfully conduct the war in Iraq. The events in the last few week and months reflect the inability of the Bush Administration to bring peace and stability to Iraq. It clearly underestimated the volatility of the country. It is now time for them to be held responsible for their actions.

The war against Iraq and in Iraq was aggressively pursued by the Bush Administration. They fabricated arguments against Iraq to win the support of the American public and the international community. Almost all of these arguments have been proven false. No considerable weapons of mass destruction have been found. Links between the Hussain regime and Al Qaida did not exist. The final argument put forth, that Hussain was a brutal dictator was in fact true but as sole argument for an invasion insufficient. Otherwise, the U.S. would be compelled to invade numerous countries around the world starting with North Korea (which also just conducted a test of a nuclear bomb, which proves it has weapons of mass destruction). When the Bush Administration was unable to convince the international community, it committed an act of aggression against a sovereign nation without explicit approval of the UN security council.

Still if we are to accept the last argument put forth by the Bush Administration – that they sought to free the Iraq people from the suppressive Hussain regime and bring peace, democracy and freedom to the country, we must acknowledge the fact that they have been unable to achieve this. It actually appears, though, that this was never the true goal pursued by the Bush Administration. The fact that corporations such as Haliburton have received government contracts for millions if not billions of dollar gives us an insight into a more probable intention for the war. This is probably the best explanation for Bush’s failure to achieve peace, stability and freedom for the Iraqis.

Even if we assume that the intention to bring a stable democracy to the Iraqi people was sincere, it is obvious that the invasion as well as the occupation of Iraq have not achieved this. Bush, the Pentagon and the military commanders have not even been able to equip the troops deployed to secure Iraq with adequate means to protect themselves. The creation of an Iraqi military and police force to secure the country and provide its citizens with the protection they need has been a disaster. More Iraqis have died in the aftermath of the U.S. invasion and occupation than under the suppressive rule of Saddam Hussain. There are simply no signs of stability, even in the long term, for Iraq.

The Bush Administration and the Republican Congress have failed in Iraq. The first and immediate consequence must be for the Democrats to regain control of Congress in the upcoming mid-term elections. This will give the Democrats control of Congress. The Democrats must then initiate comprehensive investigations into the deception of the American people to achieve the necessary approval for the invasion as well as an investigation into the endowment of contracts to selective corporations and finally the conduct of the military during the occupation of Iraq. The Democrats then need to work out a way to truly bring peace and stability to Iraq. This may even mean creating 3 independent countries with homogeneous religious and ethnic populations. Decisive is the withdrawal of U.S. troops replacing them with a effective multinational UN peacekeeping force.

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Military Action against Iran

The conflict between Israel and the Hisbollah in Lebanon may influence U.S. plans for dealing with Iran. Israel’s difficulty in destroying the Hisbollah in Lebanon shows that a similar strategy, should it be used against Iran, could fail.

On August 31 the deadline for Iran to give up its nuclear program runs out. Should Iran refuse to end work on its nuclear capabilities, action may be taken to force them to stop. The wording of the U.N. Security Council resolution does not rule out the use of military force, which the Bush administration has been openly considering. The use of air strikes, similar to those flown by Israel in Lebanon, will surely make up a large part of any military action. An Invasion by ground troops is not considered an option.

The fact that the massive Israeli air raids were not able to destroy Hisbollah’s ability to hold their position and continue to fire hundreds of rockets into Israel raise doubts that a similar strategy against Iran will be effective. In this case the war in Lebanon may have prevented a military strike on Iran, should the Bush administration reconsider.
A more extensive discourse on this theory was written by Seymour M. Hersh in the New Yorker, which I came across reading Poplicks blog.

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