Tuesday :: Nov 28, 2006

President Bystander

by Steve

AP photo of Bush today in Estonia

“No question it’s tough, no question about it. There’s a lot of sectarian violence taking place, fomented in my opinion because of the attacks by al-Qaida causing people to seek reprisal.”
--Bush, today, placing blame for the ages-old tensions between Sunnis and Shias onto Al Qaeda

Why does Bush’s visit to Estonia sound like a Marx Brothers movie to me?

Bush today said that we won’t leave Iraq until the mission is done, and said that the real problem in that country is Al Qaeda pushing the Sunnis and Shiites to attack each other. That gross inflation of Al Qaeda’s role and minimizing of the sectarian violence by a man who demonstrates his appalling ignorance of the mess he created pretty much sums up why he led the country into this debacle. A simple question for you Mr. President: do you really believe that if Al Qaeda were defeated and removed as a factor tomorrow that the sectarian violence would suddenly end? If Al Qaeda is the main problem, then why aren’t you working directly with the Sunnis to arm them and help eradicate Al Qaeda from the Sunni areas, as they have requested for months?

Bush said again he won’t talk to Syria or Iran, but that Iraq is free to do so, thereby making him President Bystander. He won’t talk to Iran until they suspend their enrichment program thereby tying two different issues together, both of his own bungling, into one reason for not pursuing a regional solution. He is putting the burden of a regional security and economic conference onto the shoulders of the country we are occupying, once again abdicating responsibility for the mess he created. We cannot blow up the country, and then require those running the new government to put the country back together, unless of course we want the al-Maliki government to fail. He doesn’t want to talk with the Iranians or the Syrians, he doesn’t want to talk with the Iraqi factions directly, and he doesn’t want to change course until we have built “democracy” in Iraq, which means we aren’t leaving while he is in office.

Leave it to McClatchy/Knight Ridder’s tremendous team of Warren Strobel and Jonathan Landay to write the truth: Bush has bequeathed to the Iraqi people and our troops a civil war. We no longer can control the situation, even though Bush is telling the Iraqis that he and not the Baker/Hamilton group will decide what the United States does. But by the time Bush “decides” how to deal with his mess, the Iraqis will have moved on without us, and cut their best deal with their neighbors.

The United States needs to have multi-level talks directly with Iraq’s neighbors and with the factions inside the country to fashion a political solution. Blaming the whole mess on Al Qaeda is Bush’s simpleminded way to ignore the civil war, dump this mess onto his successor and avoid doing anything of real consequence, assuming the Iraqis with the Iranians’ strong urging don’t kick our asses out first. There are Iraqis, like the Sunni leadership and of all people Muqtada al-Sadr, who don’t want Iran to take control and who are against partitioning the country. But Bush refuses to roll up his sleeves and get his hands dirty to fix the mess he created.

Where have we heard that before?

Steve :: 8:38 AM :: Comments (39) :: Digg It!