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January 12, 2007

Escalating Failure Iran

Conservative Fourth-Generation Warfare expert William S. Lind looks at Bush's proposals and sees the possibility for "disaster on a truly historic scale." Excerpt:

[I]f we look at the President's proposal more carefully, we find it actually...hints at actions that may turn a mere debacle into disaster on a truly historic scale.

First, Mr. Bush said that previous efforts to secure Baghdad failed for two reasons, the second of which is that "there were too many restrictions on the troops we did have." This suggests the new "big push" will be even more kinetic that what we have done in the past, calling in more firepower — airstrikes, tanks, artillery, etc. — in Baghdad itself. Chuck Spinney has already warned that we may soon begin to reduce Baghdad to rubble. If we do, and the President's words suggest we will, we will hasten our defeat. In this kind of war, unless you are going to take the "Hama model" and kill everyone, success comes from de-escalation, not from escalation.

Second, the President not only upped the ante with Syria and Iran, he announced two actions that only make sense if we plan to attack Iran, Syria or both. He said he has ordered Patriot missile batteries and another U.S. Navy aircraft carrier be sent to the region. Neither has any conceivable role in the fighting in Iraq. However, a carrier would provide additional aircraft for airstrikes on Iran, and Patriot batteries would in theory provide some defense against Iranian air and missile attacks launched at Gulf State oil facilities in retaliation.

To top it off, in questioning yesterday on Capitol Hill, the Tea Lady, aka Secretary of State Rice, refused to promise the administration would consult with Congress before attacking Iran or Syria.

As I have said before and will say again, the price of an attack on Iran could easily be the loss of the army we have in Iraq. No conceivable action would be more foolish than adding war with Iran to the war we have already lost in Iraq. Regrettably, it is impossible to read Mr. Bush's dispatch of a carrier and Patriot batteries any other way than as harbingers of just such an action.

The final hidden message in Mr. Bush's speech confirms that the American ship of state remains headed for the rocks. His peroration, devoted once more to promises of "freedom" and democracy in the Middle East and throughout the world, could have been written by the most rabid of the neocons. For that matter, perhaps it was. So long as our grand strategy remains that which the neocons represent and demand, namely remaking the whole world in our own image, by force where necessary, we will continue to fail. Not even the greatest military in all of history, which ours claims to be but isn't, could bring success to a strategy so divorced from reality. Meanwhile, Mr. Bush's words give the lie to those who have hoped the neocons' influence over the White House had ebbed. From Hell, or the World Bank which is much the same place, Wolfi had to be smiling.

No, Incurious George has offered no new strategy, nor new course, nor even a plateau on the downward course of our two lost wars and failed grand strategy. He has chosen instead to escalate failure, speed our decline and expand the scope of our defeat. Headed toward the cliff, his course correction is to stomp on the gas. [Emphasis added]

The November elections and Iraq Study Group report gave Bush political cover for de-escalating, but he's not interested. He doesn't care what the rest of us think. Instead, he's made it clear that he will only settle for "victory," whatever that might mean. He will continue to raise the stakes, doubling down, going for broke, and disaster will lead to ever bigger disasters.

He can't stop himself, so there's no point waiting for him to. He doesn't have it in him. We have to find a way to stop him.

Posted by Jonathan at January 12, 2007 05:57 PM  del.icio.us digg NewsVine Reddit YahooMyWeb


We have to find a way to stop him.

There isnĀ“t any. On a cheerier note, I really enjoy your website. Keep up the good work.


Posted by: Wolf DeVoon at January 12, 2007 08:43 PM

We have to find a way to stop him.

Short of the collective WE doing something like a work stopage - IE NO ONE goes to work/does work for a paycheck....there is no 'we' effort. (Look at how well buy nothing day works out)

There may be a 'he' (or she) who will do something, but the 'we'?

Do you have an actual idea on a 'we' effort?

Posted by: eric blair at January 12, 2007 09:27 PM

I don't think any "we" or "(s)he" will stop this emperor-president. Like Wolf said, we would need concerted action on a grand scale, and the American people are no longer capable of this, being to occupied with their toys and work.
The only option left may be to remove ourselves as much as possible from this madness, and wait for the implosion. There will be damage, but the prepared may fare well.

Posted by: Steven in Maine at January 12, 2007 10:41 PM

Look at it this way - PResident Bush says "America is addicted to oil" and never did a good job of finding oil. So he's gonna break the addiction by removing oil from the American Market.

Posted by: at January 13, 2007 09:57 AM

"So he's gonna break the addiction by removing oil from the American Market"

This is what really astonishes me about imagining an attack on Iran. The oil futures market would go ballistic, whether supply was interrupted or not. I don't understand how the Neocons think they can reshape the Middle East without causing serious upheaval in the American economy...

Posted by: Michael at January 16, 2007 03:06 PM

Americans are occupied with toys and work. Iraq is occupied by Americans. I think Wolf hit the nail on the head even if it isn't for these reasons.

Oil is a means to an end. No one is addicted to oil, only the cozy lifestyle we get from it. There's a difference. Our lifestyle can be maintained without oil in such a way that it doesn't negatively affect our economy. Leaders are idiots, so preparing for damage (change) is a worthwhile effort.

Posted by: Jeff at January 17, 2007 12:43 AM