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March 27, 2007

Why Bush Will Never Leave
Posted by Ilan Goldenberg

There are a lot of great analyses out there on why Presidents continue to pursue a failed strategy, throwing additional troops into an unwinnable war long after it is lost.  The best is probably the Irony of Vietnam:  the System Worked by Leslie Gelb and Richard Betts.  If you read one book about Vietnam that will teach you something about Iraq this is it.  Their recent article is also OK.

Anyway, for my money the main reason we will still have over 100,000 troops in Iraq in January 2009 is that George Bush is a human being.  I can’t imagine any human being who would ever be capable of saying to themselves “The biggest decision of my life was a catastrophic mistake.  It cost our country 3,000 lives, 25,000 wounded, $500 billion and God knows how many Iraqi lives and now it’s time to give up.”  He’ll never admit it to himself.  It is too much of a psychological burden.  Neither will Rumsfeld, Condi, Cheney, Hadley or Wolfwitz.  For their own mental well being they have to be convinced that they were right.  It’s not a coincidence that the leaders who get us into ill conceived wars aren’t the ones who get us out of them (See Johnson and Truman). 

Better to run out the clock, give the problem to someone else, watch them make of a mess of it and convince yourself that it’s their fault and that if only you had had stayed in office things would have turned out OK. 


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I think your analysis is correct, although it is worth adding that Bush's oldest friends have often descibed him as peculiarly obstinate and ungracious when it comes to winning and losing.

But given this dynamic, it is absurd to think anything is going to be accomplished by the Congress through the establishment of easily manipulable "benchmarks" and reporting requirements of various kinds. If Democrats really want to end the war, they are going to have to do something serious and dynamic to take control of US Middle East policy. If, however, their goal is only to let the war drag out until mid-2008, piling up more war dead, so that they can then run on the war, then of course the current approach makes sense.

I am a 2 tour Vietnam Veteran who recently retired after 36 years of working in the Defense Industrial Complex on many of the weapons systems being used by our forces as we speak.

Politicians make no difference.

We have bought into the Military Industrial Complex (MIC). If you would like to read how this happens please see:

Through a combination of public apathy and threats by the MIC we have let the SYSTEM get too large. It is now a SYSTEMIC problem and the SYSTEM is out of control. Government and industry are merging and that is very dangerous.

There is no conspiracy. The SYSTEM has gotten so big that those who make it up and run it day to day in industry and government simply are perpetuating their existance.

The politicians rely on them for details and recommendations because they cannot possibly grasp the nuances of the environment and the BIG SYSTEM.

So, the system has to go bust and then be re-scaled, fixed and re-designed to run efficiently and prudently, just like any other big machine that runs poorly or becomes obsolete or dangerous.

This situation will right itself through trauma. I see a government ENRON on the horizon, with an associated house cleaning.

The next president will come and go along with his appointees and politicos. The event to watch is the collapse of the MIC.

For more details see:

Who says Bush has failed?

The oil wars are paying off big time to corporations. Wartime annual profits have increased dramatically in four years from their previous levels (2002 to 2006): Top five US banks, up 109%; top five armaments, up 139%; top three oil, up 490% (!!!). Exxon Mobil, for example, enjoys quarterly profits of almost ten billion dollars; that's $108 million per day or $1,250 per second!!!

The price of a barrel of oil has escalated from $18 to $60 under Bush, and with the recent naval maneuvers in the Persian Gulf it went as high as $68!!

The rest is a quote from my Texan guru Ian MacLeod: "And yes, Bush is using the military to fight for American corporate profits and hegemony. If you could set yourself up to become a billionaire, would you do any different? True, he has all the empathy of a retarded carrot for the poor and the borderline poor (aka what used to be the middle class, half of whom he's got totally bamboozled). Just where do you think he'd learn empathy coming from that background? At least he goes to church; shoot, he talks to God and God talks back! That alone would get anyone else a stay in a rubber room. On top of that, he says God gave him the job! What more can you want? Besides, nobody's perfect.

"So in summary, Dubya is doing a fine job. What frogs, krauts, Californians and all those other foreigners want or think doesn't matter; they'll fall in line when they smell enough money. They always do. Besides, we'll always have a bigger stick. As for Dubya, well, there's an old Texan term that's so perfect - here, I'll write it so you can pronounce it properly: he's what we call a "line-sakuh-SHE-it".

"I mean that in the nicest possible way, of course."

Don Bacon's got it right - it's success on steroids in Bushland, this war. Maybe for some of the hardcore neocons who don't necessarily care about corporate profits (Addington, Libby, Feith) it's not a raging success (they'd probably file it away as "incompetently managed"), but if you follow the money you end up in a place that's totally amoral and full of smiley faces. Like a post-car bomb fire in a Baghdad neighborhood, it's a raging conflagration of successes.

But for the rest of us...

Bullshit.What a bunch of sick idiots making up lies because of you political views.

Take the Pledge

All Presidential Candidates should make pledges like those below. If they refuse, then you should refuse to vote for them.

1. No More Oil Wars.

2. Work for independence from foreign oil on day one.

3. No more wars for corporate profit.

4. No more secret deals for $4 per gallon gas.

5. No more Chicken Hawks promoting wars of choice when they themselves avoided combat.

6. Make government green--if you can't make what you have the most control over green, I don't care about your plans to make the country green.

7. No more torture.

8. No more lying about torture.

9. No more re-defining torture.

10. No more drunken hunting.

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