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Earworms, Decent Intervals, and Quagmires

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Message Ron Fullwood
"Darling Death shouted in his ear, his ear made to record the least, the most finespun of worm-cries and dragonfly-jubilations" -- Levertov Bush's earworm, Kissinger, finally slithered out from the anonymity already exposed by Woodward's latest rendering - grabbing the remaining threads of justification for the Iraq occupation the administration had left - and effectively unraveled the lame-duck loser's plans for a military victory in Iraq. Kissinger now says that a military victory in Iraq is not possible. "If you mean, by 'military victory,' an Iraqi government that can be established and whose writ runs across the whole country, that gets the civil war under control and sectarian violence under control in a time period that the political processes of the democracies will support, I don't believe that is possible," Kissinger was reported to have said on the BBC's Sunday AM program. It's all too fitting that his comments surface as Bush is sprinting through Vietnam, trying to stay out of harm's way, looking to skirt off to Hawaii if he can successfully the manage the tens of thousands protesting in Jakarta ahead of his visit to Indonesia. Kissinger, a major architect of the deadly military aggression in Vietnam, took the view when advising Nixon on how to withdraw, that if he just left the soldiers in place and propped up the South Vietnamese government instead of pulling our troops out - giving them what was described a "decent interval" - the Nixon administration could weather the presidential election and continue to hold power. Nixon was heard on recently released 1972 tapes saying "South Vietnam probably would never even survive anyway." "We also have to realize, Henry, that winning an election is terribly important," Nixon was heard telling Kissinger. "It's terribly important this year, but can we have a viable foreign policy if a year from now or two years from now, North Vietnam gobbles up South Vietnam? That's the real question." It's no coincidence that Kissinger's "decent interval" ploy looks a lot like the way Bush managed his Vietnam-like quagmire in Iraq in the months leading up to the midterm congressional elections. It was well known almost a year before the elections that Iraq would be a major factor in determining whether Bush held on to his republican enablers in Congress. In June, the military launched what they thought would be a strengthening of the new center of Iraq's fledgling government by combining Iraqi forces with U.S. troops. Well into August, however, 'Operation Forward Together' had no more secured Baghdad than the previous mission, dubbed 'Operation Lightning', did in 2005 where Iraqi militias and U.S. troops waged a campaign of repression against the resisting Sunni populations. The present mission is more of the same, with U.S. forces knocking down doors, kidnapping whoever they choose and holding them indefinitely in one their prisons without charges, basically terrorizing the residents into submission as they paint a target on the military occupied towns. "The Battle of Baghdad will determine the future of Iraq," Zalmay Khalilzad, Ambassador to Iraq had said at the time. In an absent-minded replay of Bush's taunting "Bring them on", Khalilzad stood well behind our soldiers, writing in a Wall Street Journal editorial, inviting the swelling resistance in Iraq to converge on Baghdad as the US forces sat hunkered down in their Green Zone of defense of the failing Maliki government. Yet, the mission to reclaim Baghdad had been going on for months - initiated right after Bush's surprise visit to the Green Zone - without any noticeable reduction in violence outside of the cordons of tanks and armored vehicles that the U.S. forces erect around the towns. Neither had the 'foot patrols' that the Pentagon ordered our soldiers to perform in Iraq as a 'goodwill 'gesture' managed to reduce the animosity the Iraqis feel for our invading/occupying forces. Instead, the attacks on our soldiers in Iraq escalated and the civil war deepened. Five thousand more U.S. troops were added to the Iraq theater in the weeks leading up to the November vote, bringing the total to over 155,000 troops.If Baghdad was the 'center' of any military effort, it failed miserably. In the month of October alone over 100 U.S. soldiers were killed in Iraq. Bush began insisting on the campaign trail that Iraq was the "center" of his "war on terror", because, "bin-Laden said so." Flying frantically around the nation with his fear and smear campaign to keep hold of his republican enabling majority in Congress, Bush told Americans that he intended to keep our soldiers in Iraq until he can manage to declare some sort of victory. He said that he was waiting for Iraqis to unify. He said he was waiting for Iraqis to train their military and police. He said he was waiting for Iraqis to stabilize their government. He said that "the only way to lose in Iraq is to leave before the job is done," but, he also said he wouldn't "put more pressure on the Iraqi government than it could bear." Yesterday, in Vietnam, Bush's bravado was reduced to a feeble acknowledgment of the election which swept away his warmongering republican majority in both houses, as he tried to rewrite the results by declaring all the fuss was merely about getting him to come up with a "plan for success;" now, after three years of mucking around without one. "The elections mean that the American people want to know whether or not we have a plan for success," Bush said in a presser with John Howard. "We're not leaving until this job is done, until Iraq can govern, sustain and defend itself." Apparently Bush thinks he has time on his side in Iraq. The "lesson" Bush said, when he compared the Vietnam War to his own disaster in Iraq, was that the Vietnam war lasted a long time, so, the Iraq war should, as well. "I think one thing -- yes, I mean, one lesson is, is that we tend to want there to be instant success in the world, and the task in Iraq is going to take a while," Bush said to reporters. He made no mention at all of what effect waiting would have on the killing and maiming of our soldiers who are being made to wait until he comes up with a plan to get them out. But, he says he wants victory. So, our soldiers continue to bust down doors in Baghdad and elsewhere in Iraq, fighting and dying on one side of a multi-fronted civil war as Bush looks for some sort of "win" in the "ideological struggle" he's chosen to wage on the backs of the Iraqis. It's almost too much to bear watching Kissinger declare military defeat and still insist our soldiers remain in place, because, as Kissinger claims, if they withdrew, Iraq would collapse into some "disastrous consequence for which we would pay for many years and which would bring us back, one way or another, into the region." It's not as if we weren't already reaping the consequences of Bush's original decision to invade, and our soldiers being made to suffer the deadly consequences of Bush's earworm's advice to leave the troops in place in the vain pursuit of a battle they've already decided we've lost. May justice come swiftly to these nihilistic vampires for their siphoning of wealth, influence, and power from the lifeblood of our soldiers and our nation. May our soldier's ultimate victory be led by the Bush regime's permanent political and public undoing.
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Ron Fullwood, is an activist from Columbia, Md. and the author of the book 'Power of Mischief' : Military Industry Executives are Making Bush Policy and the Country is Paying the Price
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