Thursday, January 10, 2008

The Pointy Haired President

Here’s the news: the Pentagon and the Bush Administration have changed the goal posts in Iraq yet again. This time it is actually to their credit I have to admit and that is only thanks to Ambassador Crocker, who has scrapped all previous lofty goals and brought in the new one: “Iraqi solutions for Iraqi problems.”

Hey! It’s that simple. What some people have been preaching for years has suddenly dawned on the Bushies. As the Washington Post reports it's a far cry from the original targets set out by this administration:

In many cases -- particularly on the political front -- Iraqi solutions bear little resemblance to the ambitious goals for 2007 that Bush laid out in his speech to the nation last Jan. 10. "To give every Iraqi citizen a stake in the country's economy, Iraq will pass legislation to share oil revenues among all Iraqis," he pledged. "Iraqis plan to hold provincial elections later this year . . . the government will reform de-Baathification laws, and establish a fair process for considering amendments to Iraq's constitution."

This is actually the fifth time that the language has been changed to suit the situation on the ground which means that either:

a) the original goals, that of creating a free westernized Iraq with free elections, a democratic process and a state of the art stock exchange and a non-corrupt government which has the power to provide security in its own country, which the Neocons pronounced as the reason for going in there in the first place after the WMD myth evaporated, were completely out of synch with reality (as many prophesied), or

b) the Bush Administration is incapable of fulfilling the benchmarks it had set out to achieve.

The truth is that both of these are correct. So along comes plan F: “let the bleedin’ Iraqis do what they want as long as we get the oil.” But actually it is the first time that they’ve said something sensible and something that could actually work.

So the Baathists are regaining control of the oil and are being re-armed by the US and a blind eye is being turned to the continuing desperate situations in many of the provinces. A retired British General is quoted as saying:

"The new phrasing is both the dawning of reality, and the cynical use of language and common sense to camouflage past errors, hoping to avoid the audit of flawed logic that got us to this point,"

It is actually the first time that language has predicated that the situation in Iraq is actually entirely different to what one had hoped. It avoids anyone having to say: “We lost the war,” and tries to imply it was won in a different way.

That was the news. I could have spared myself writing all that by showing you today’s Dilbert cartoon:

Brought to you by George Bush: running the country like a pointy-haired boss.

1 comment:

Todd Dugdale said...

I have to agree with you on this.
Bush wrote his own benchmarks and then cried how unfair it was that people actually held him to them.
Now he's just pushing the whole thing off on the Iraqis. The levels of violence are the same as before the surge, which was bad enough to propose the surge, right? Still, we're moving ahead with handing over full security responsibilty to the Iraqi 'government' in March.

Everyone will be so glad to get out that nobody will use the words 'cut and run', and everybody will just keep quiet about how bad things are there. Still, the majority in this country think it was a mistake to go into Iraq in the first place, so it will be hard for Bush to paint this as a big 'victory'.

I'm not even sure we're going to get the oil. Some small-scale agreements have been worked out with the Kurds, but those are contested by the 'government'. Things are set to blow up soon, and I think that an oil law that gives most of their revenue to foreigners will be the least of their concerns.