Just days after [US] President [George] Bush unveiled his new war plan for Iraq, the heart of the effort -- a major push to secure the capital -- faces some of its fiercest resistance from the very people it depends on for success: Iraqi government officials.
American military officials have spent days huddled in meetings with Iraqi officers in a race to turn blueprints drawn up in Washington into a plan that will work on the ground in Baghdad. With the first American and Iraqi units dedicated to the plan as part of the new troop buildup due to be in place within weeks, time is short for setting details of what American officers view as the decisive battle of the war.
But the signs so far have unnerved some Americans working on the plan, who have described a web of problems, ranging from a contested chain of command to issues of how to protect American troops deployed in some of Baghdad's most dangerous districts, that some fear could hobble the effort before it begins.
The above is from John F. Burns' "U.S. And Iraqis Are Wrangling Over War Plans" in today's New York Times, front page. What does the above tell us?
The first thing you may notice is that once again diplomacy is nowhere to be found. Why is the US military attempting to sell the Iraqi military and the Iraqi government on a plan for Iraq? Though perfectly in keeping with the bellicose nature of the Bully Boy's administration, it should stand out.
Second, four years later, why are the 'moves' (don't call it a 'plan') coming from DC and not Iraq. Because the puppet government is a puppet government. DC calls the shots. That's why Bully Boy's not about to propose actual benchmarks -- DC has controlled the illegal occupation and the failure to reach 'benchmarks' speaks more to the US administration than to the puppet government that has no real control and has never had any.
To the American people, Bully Boy's selling the latest escalation as a 'plan' that will turn the corner (the corner that never gets turned). Meanwhile the US military has to try to sell the plan to the puppet government and the Iraqi military. The 'plan' is imposed, it's not coming about due to the interests of the Iraqis. There is no 'democracy,' there is no 'liberation' in Iraq -- still, nearly four years after the start of the illegal war.
Antonia Juhasz can (and does) speak very powerfully to the lie of 'liberation' and 'democracy' -- she can show you where the public claims meet the realities of contracts on the ground for Iraq.
That's important but for those who can't follow that (two visitors who e-mailed) try focusing on the obvious -- where is the democracy in the Bully Boy's tenure? The people of America do not want the war to continue -- they've registered that November at the voting booths, they've registered that in poll after poll. (None of which appears to get much traction in the New York Times, has anyone noticed that? Has anyone also noticed that while CBS, the Washington Post, USA Today and CNN have commissioned polls in the lead up to Bully Boy's latest aggressive snit and in the aftermath of the televised speech, the New York Times -- which usually only notes non-officials on the policies of government via polls -- has been strangely silent? This from the paper that turns their own polls into front page stories.) Democracy's bedrock is the will of the people. There is no way that the Bully Boy who repeatedly ignores the will of the American people (his bosses) could ever hope to share any 'democracy' with Iraq.
On the topic of polls, Zogby has a new one of the American people:
Americans long for the leadership qualities of the most popular Democratic and Republican presidents of the modern era to solve what a wide majority considers a national crisis, a new Zogby International telephone poll shows.
The survey of 843 likely voters nationwide was conducted Jan. 5-9, 2007, and carries a margin of error of +/- 3.4 percentage points.
Offered thumbnail descriptions of the presidential qualities, including the names of five of the greatest American Presidents -- George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, and Ronald Reagan -- respondents nationwide said Reagan’s qualities are most sought after, with FDR a very close second. Twenty–eight percent said they would prefer someone like Reagan, whose "far-sighted vision" and who "persevered despite harsh criticism from enemies and was firm in pursuing his agenda." Nearly as many (26%) said they preferred the “pragmatism and hopefulness of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who inspired a nation in trouble and championed the needs of the downtrodden.” Another 21% said they think this is a time for Democrat John F. Kennedy, while 16% reached back to Abraham Lincoln in search of a leader to solve today’s modern problems. Just 6% said they think the nation -- now at war around the world for five years – would be best served by George Washington, the man who led the war for independence.
It comes as no surprise Republican respondents overwhelmingly believe America is most in need of the guidance Reagan would provide -- 57% of Republicans say the nation needs a president like Reagan, while 18% said it is time for a president with Lincoln's attributes. But only 9% of Democrats believe the nation is in need of a president like Reagan. They would instead turn to Democratic presidents of the past to help solve the nation’s problems -- 35% want to have a president like FDR, while 32% believe a president like Kennedy would be best able to lead America today.
Reagan, of course, benefits from the weeks long hagiography that accompanied his state funeral and tributes. He doesn't benefit from reality (attacks on the poor, attacks on women's rights, an ineffective and damaging EEOC, a laughable EPA, the push to declare catsup a vegetable, the refusal to follow up on his campaign promise to end registration with Selective Service for all US males when they turn 18, his covert wars, et al -- things the mainstream media refused to explore in their massive, non-stop glossy coverage). (It should be noted that, on the right, those faults and crimes are seen as 'good.') But it is telling that, right or left, Bully Boy is (yet again) rejected.
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the new york times
john f. burns