Monday, November 27, 2006

Mission Accomplished? Iraq Won't Turn Around Unless The Bush Administration Stops The Spin, And Starts Recognizing The Reality On The Ground

The spin from the Bush Administration about Iraq is that Americans shouldn't pay attention to the violence they see on their televisions (read: blame the "liberal" media), because the fledgling Iraqi democracy was about to turn the corner.

"The situation in Iraq is still tense, and we're still seeing acts of sectarian violence and reprisal," Bush said in a March speech. "Yet out of this crisis, we've also seen signs of a hopeful future."

Even as the Iraq Study Group report makes recommendations on what to do next in Iraq, the U.S. needs the Bush Administraton to take an important first step.

Stop trying to spin us. It isn't working. And continuing to not accept the situation on the ground can only make matters worse.

As Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) said recently: "Hope is not a strategy."

This has nothing to do with exit strateiges. It's catch-phrase partisan politics to turn every conversation into whether the Democrats want to "cut and run," or whether the Republicans have a better understanding of whether U.S. troops begin redeploying now, a year from now, or three years from now. The American people made it clear at the polls this month: they aren't buying the spin anymore.

What's most important is the administration recognizing, understanding, and admitting that there is a steady and possibly unending drumbeat of death and destruction in Iraq, and that Iraq's Shiites and Sunnis are engaged in Civil War. It has to do with the realization and admission that without rapid change, the vacuum of leadership that is being created by the U.S.-led coalition will push the Iraqis to turn to the all too willing arms of Iran.

Still believe the spin that there's a "hopeful future" in Iraq if we "stay the course"? Here are some recent items from the news.

-- Thousands of Iraqis are believed to have died from shortages of medicine, vital equipment and qualified doctors, despite an infusion of nearly half a billion dollars from U.S. coffers into this country's healthcare system, Iraqi officials and American observers say.

-- Exacerbating the crisis, hundreds of doctors have been killed, and thousands have fled Iraq. The child mortality rate, a key indicator of a nation's health, has worsened since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003, according to Iraqi government figures.

-- More than 250 academics have been killed since 2003, targeted by so many warring factions that it seems to be the only issue they can agree on. To date, not one person has been arrested for these murders. Fanatics targeting Iraqi academics are wreaking havoc on the educational system by threatening, kidnapping and killing innocent professors.

-- The Iraqi insurgency is now self-sustaining financially, profiting from oil smuggling, kidnapping, counterfeiting, corrupt charities and other crimes that neither the Iraqi government nor the U.S. have been unable to prevent.

***

How about the spin of the successful Iraqi reconstruction?

As the Washington Post notes: The U.S. has committed $38 billion to reconstruction, and most of the money has been spent. "Yet tallying finished projects can be a misleading way of measuring success."

For example:

-- The United States has finished repairs on 86 of 98 railway stations. But few trains run because of security concerns.

-- In the oil sector, while production capacity has nearly returned to prewar levels, the country had a severe fuel shortage this summer because of high demand and sabotage.

-- More than 100 health-care facilities that were scheduled to be finished by now instead are empty because the contractors assigned to build them did not get their jobs done.

-- The U.S. claims it has restored access to water, and return electricity to pre-war levels. But Iraqis interviewed by the Post say that Iraqis are drinking untreated water, and that electricity only works two hours each day.

***

We need U.S. leadership willing to accept the reality on the ground, and speak to the American people like adults.

Until the Bush Administration stops spinning how it's "full speed ahead" in Iraq -- as Vice President Cheney said this month -- the situation in Iraq can only get worse.

12 Comments:

Blogger thewaronterrible said...

Thanks for pointing out that the first step towards solving a problem is the recognition that there is one, something the Bush Administration has repeatedly and stubbornly refused to do.
Such "leadership", explains quite simply why the U.S. continues to be hopelessly mired in the Iraq quagmire.
But the Bush Administration does not deserve the full blame. It can be shared between the main stream media, the rubber-stamp Republicans in congress, and even the Democrats for refusing the adequately challenge the spin or perform appropriate checks and balances as required for by the Constitution.
The reason?
All have been swept up into the MASS PARANOID HYSTERIA instigated by the fringe PNAC Republicans under the direction of the Bush Administration post 9-11, where to to challenge Bush spin on Iraq is both anti-patriotic and pro-terrorism. In reality, the exact opposite is true, to NOT challenge Bush propaganda in this instance is anti-patriotic and pro-terrorism.
The History books will look upon the Bush years as one of the largest, would-be criminal propaganda campaigns to ever be perpetrated upon a society.

Excuse me if I am being too obvious. But it needs to be stated again and again until it cracks through the skulls of dwindling numbers of Bushie, stay-the-course-in-Iraq conservatives.

12:46 PM  
Anonymous Crankie Avalon said...

I guess they think the status quo can go on for another two years and that it'll then become some other administration's problem.

1:37 PM  
Anonymous niceypoo said...

Have they ever admitted anything?
Don't hold your breath. Admitting the obvious would be admitting failure.

1:37 PM  
Anonymous leftchick said...

He needs to quit calling anti-occupation Iraqis "Terrists" and quit calling Iraq "The central front in the "WaronTerra" It is all BS.

1:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

bush is trying to put band-aids on amputations

the spin is that getting rid of rumsfeld means he gets it.

but actions (on the ground in iraq) speak louder than words (spin from the administration)

1:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And what would you Generals do?

1:45 PM  
Anonymous rob of wilmington, del. said...

i would assume it would follow that the bush administration should do what everyone is telling it to do: take a regional approach, even if that means sitting down with iran and syria.

that doesn't mean appeasement. it does mean putting politics aside.

2:58 PM  
Blogger thewaronterrible said...

"He needs to quit calling anti-occupation Iraqis "Terrists" and quit calling Iraq "The central front in the "WaronTerra" It is all BS."

So very true. Unfortunately those two completely BS propaganda statements might as well be "white is the color of the new-fallen snow" in that hardly anyone will forcibly challenge them.

A howling red signal of what has happened to our Democracy after 6 plus years of Bush.

3:35 PM  
Anonymous trinity said...

leftchick said...
"He needs to quit calling anti-occupation Iraqis "Terrists" "


Indeed. I think he should call them what they are. Murderous radical Muslim bastards who just happen to use terrorist tactics to blow up their own countrymen.

I guess they're confused, and think that their fellow Iraqis are the "occupiers". Idiot.

8:15 PM  
Blogger thewaronterrible said...

What about a imperialistic dominant power that invades a country without any plan for the aftermath, and consequently causes the deaths of thousands of innocent women and children, levels entire cities, sweeps up innocents in a campaign of shame and torture, allows destruction of precious century old temples, fails to restore order, leaves the infrastructure in shambles, stupidly enflames and even arms the forces of the conquered dictatorship, and overall leaves a trail of death, destruction, civil war and chaos everywhere.
That would not be a "terrist" now would it, Trinity?

You've so far steered off the path of the conversation that your car is stalled off in the ditch.

8:44 PM  
Blogger thewaronterrible said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

8:45 PM  
Anonymous alias: "cutiepie" johnson said...

but actions (on the ground in iraq) speak louder than words (spin from the administration)

>>

This is very true.

My fear is that no matter what Bush does now, the die is cast. Iran will become a regional force, emboldened by our lack of diplomacy and our name-calling ("axis of evil"). That's bad for the U.S., bad for Iraq, bad for Israel.

It also has the potential of propping up Syria, which is also bad for Iraq, Israel and Lebanon.

It just doesn't look good.

1:54 AM  

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