Thursday, November 30, 2006

Bush's Unassilable Isolation

Bush Dismisses Calls for Drawdown in Iraq, reports the NYTimes.

NSA Condi Rice stooge Stephen Hadley's leaked memo that questioned the strength of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. Moqtada al-Sadr's political appointees who Maliki is beholden to, has temporarily left the government in protest of Maliki's visit with Bush in Amman, Jordan.

I'm more concerned than I was a week ago that Bush will not listen to any of the recommendations of the Iraq Study Group. He will not, I fear, diplomatically engage Syria and Iran, nor move the American presence towards training and away from insurgency fighting, tamping down of sectarian violence. He will become increasingly isolated, particularly within his own party, and the domestic discourse will turn venomous.

We are at a point where we can not win under the Stay the Course model and any option of drawing down is going to give rise to a massive uptick in violence. I think we are only delaying and the inevitable the longer we stay. And this will be on our nation's conscience.

Whatever the political discourse in the US, our Army is deeply broken as an institution because of this war and can not sustain a 140,000 troop level for another 2 years. For Bush to drawdown means in some way or other he has to admit he was wrong. And I just don't see that happening. The only evidence to the contrary was how days before canning Rumsfield he publicly supported him. Theoretically he could do the same with the drawdown but I just don't see it.

Bush just doesn't f--king get it. He should have fired Condi and Hadley simultaneous to Rumsfield. They have failed and are continuing to fail with their pathetic replay of trying to take down Iran. They give no public anyway, understanding, that the primary issue is the daily rising of violence and instability.

This is one moment where our form of government is not helping the situation. When in an election in whch Bush himself was essentially defeated, he stays in power and technically (other than Democrats pulling the purse strings) can't be held accountable for this failed post-Saddam policy. It is very hard for me to imagine anyone being able to screw things up as badly as Bush has in this second term. The Constiution was written with a powerful legislative and fairly weak and isolationist-intending (George Washington's influence) executive. World events have moved the power to the executive and given that it was not the important branch at the founding, it's roles were not as clearly spelled out. Which has allowed over the centuries the executive to aggregate power unto itself. Bush is simply the (il)logical fruition of that movement. Especially when Congress has passed laws and Bush refuses to follow them with his executive signing orders. He is really unaccountable. He doesn't even care about his own political party which I thought would have been enough to force him to amend slightly. He can't be held accountable in this life.

I'm very very concerned he is going to pass the responsibility off on this one.

Nevertheless back to the events the even greater fear is the fallout from this rising violence. I don't know if even James Baker can prevent that now.

Saudi Arabia has quietly strengthened itself in the recent years but this new violence could upset that new strength. As soon as the US draws down, Saudi Arabia will enter to stem the rising influence of Iran. This could push the two towards war, with Israel acting as an interesting 3rd party.

Syria and Iran have obviously been strengthened, particularly the latter, in the wake of the Hussein and Taliban fall.

The two ME countries that have changed the least and therefore I fear are the most vulnerable are Egypt and Jordan. Hosni Mubarak is getting old and is clearly wanting to pass the reins on to his son who adroitly from a political sense is calling for Egypt to get a nuclear weapon. But Egypt has stayed out of the press recently but they are very vulnerable I think. I think their relative physical distance from Iraq has given them (falsely) the hope that they can keep out of these trends.

And Jordan. Jordan's King Abdullah could very well be their last king ever. He is young and could rule for quite sometime or be a figure of transition. But there also deep questions about Jordan as this recent trip has highlighted.

Of the two I still think Egypt is the more vulnerable, but Jordan has the challenge of being right next door to this Frankenstein's monster that is growing out of control as well as the pincer movement of Israel acting unilaterally and the rising Shia crescent (Hezbollah, Iran, and Syria).


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