Dec 7, 2006
By Mike Whitney
The hearings for Robert Gates were about as weird as it gets.
Gates wasn’t asked one tough question the whole time. It was all a meaningless formality. Besides, Gates had all the qualifications the senate was looking for. In other words, he wasn’t Rumsfeld and that’s all that mattered.
For Gates it was more like Coronation Day than a serious inquiry into past indiscretions. Did anyone care about his involvement in Iran-Contra and his propensity to “fix the intelligence to fit the policy” or were they too busy showering him with praise?
And, what happened to our tough new Democratic majority? Did the midterm elections really change anything?
Oh, yeah; we traded a rubber-stamp Republican congress for a rubber-stamp Democratic congress. Now that’s progress.
No one bothered to ask Gates how he felt about military tribunals, although that will be one of his many responsibilities as Secretary of Defense.
And, no one asked him about Guantanamo Bay, or habeas corpus, or extraordinary rendition, or deploying the military inside the US, or covert assassination programs, or collecting information on American citizens, or placing propaganda in the foreign press.
Not one senator was even curious to know if he would continue to spy on Quakers, antiwar protestors or peace activists. And what about terror suspects; will he give them a fair hearing in front of a federal judge or run them through Rummy’s Star Chamber?
These are important questions, but they never showed up on the senatorial radar.
Because the rights of “We the People” don’t amount to a hill-o-beans and the politicians don’t give a hoot if we know it or not.
What really matters is Iraq, Iraq, and Iraq. That’s why Rep. Steny Hoyer muscled out John Murtha as House Majority Leader. And that’s why the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Rep Silvestre Reyes, wants to send another 30,000 troops to the Iraqi sinkhole.
The Democrats won’t get us out of Iraq. They’re already arming the war-donkey for another 4 years.
And it’s no different with the Baker group either.
Sure there’s plenty of gloom and doom in the report, but its all window-dressing. We’re not pulling-out. Heck no! Baker just wants to reduce troop levels to patch up the army and bolster public support for the next big bloodbath.
“Let’s talk to our enemies,” Baker opines. “Let’s talk to Iran”.
Okay. But, I’ll tell you what they’ll say. They’ll say:
“Your time is up, George W. Bush. You just did us the biggest favor anyone could ever dream of. You crushed our enemies in Afghanistan and destroyed our arch-rival, Saddam Hussein. You’re army is overextended, your people are fed up, and you’ve spent zillions of dollars that you’ll never see again. On top of that, you’ve thrown your support behind our main agent, Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, who runs the most feared death squad in all of Iraq; The Badr Brigade”
“Thank you, Great Satan. How can we ever repay you?”
Baker is a smooth-talking attorney and a good diplomat, but he won’t get us out of this mess. His hands are tied. Besides, there’s nothing he can do. There’s nothing anyone can do. Its not a matter of whether we keep 70,000 or 140,000 troops in Iraq. The troop-size is irrelevant.
The place is unraveling!
Why don’t the American people understand that?
Iran can’t fix it. Syria can’t fix it. No one can fix it.
Bush can either follow Baker’s advice or go ahead and do it his own way; it won’t make a damn bit of difference. The outcome will be exactly the same. Events on the ground are outpacing all of the political posturing and decision-making. In fact, the Baker report is probably already obsolete. Bush started a brushfire that’s going to zip right across the entire Middle East taking down all the US puppets on the way.
Yee-hah! Isn’t liberation fun?
But what happens when all of our Arab gas station attendants join the resistance and turn off the oil spigot? Won’t that put a hurtin’ on our economy?
Maybe we should’ve thought about that first?
Baker thinks he can stop this madness; this worm of anarchy that is sweeping through Iraq, but he’s dreaming. “Democracy is on the march!” The entire region is sliding towards chaos. By the time the tsunami hits Saudi Arabia even the impervious Bush will be pacing the deck.
The Baker Commission is just a finger in the dike. They can keep braying about “enhanced diplomatic and political efforts”, but that’s just because they’ve run out of options?
The military option flopped. Now what; flatten every city from Baghdad to the Syrian border? It wouldn’t work anyway; just look at Falluja. The Marines want another 20,000 troops just to maintain order in al-Anbar Province and THEY’VE ALREAY REDUCED THE WHOLE AREA TO RUBBLE.
What’s next; bomb the rubble into finely-ground sand?
Hey, we got beat fair and square. Now, let’s pack it in.
Like the report says: “The ability of the United States to influence events within Iraq is diminishing”. The relentless aerial bombardment and the massive counterinsurgency operations have achieved their objective; the country is in a state of collapse.
Isn’t that what Bush wanted?
Iraq will never recover from this war and neither will America.
Even the strongest country can only suffer the choices of idiots for so long.