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Iraq more f***ed than we think?


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The following is written by syndicated columnist Paul Craig Roberts. Roberts was Jack Kemp`s chief economist in the 1970s and a former associate editor of the Wall Street Journal editorial page. He was Assistant Secretary of Treasury for Tax Policy in the early Reagan years. He`s also specialized over his long career in political/military issues and was a resident scholar at the Center for

Strategic and International Studies in recent years.


I am reprinting the column in its entirety because I believe it rings of disturbing truth in forecasting where the White House's Iraqi adventure may be taking us.


The column was brought to my attention by Jude Wanniski, a long-time personal friend who is one of the principal architects of supply-side economic theory. Jude's Polyconomics provides policy counseling for many of the nation's top economic and business leaders. His

http://www.wanniski.com web site is a fountain of information and provocative viewpoints.


Surprising coming from a former Reagan guy.


Is Bush Doomed?

by Paul Craig Roberts


January 17, 2004


Fear must be coursing through President Bush`s veins as he realizes the Iraqi trap in which the neocons have placed him. Bush is caught between an Iraqi civil war and a wider insurgency.


Desperate to extricate himself from the weekly carnage well before the

November election, Bush can neither deliver on his promise of democracy via direct elections nor impose his plan for an Iraqi assembly elected indirectly by caucuses.


If Bush delivers on his democracy promise, the Shi`ites with 60% of the population will be elected, and the country will break out in civil war.


If he tries to water down Shi`ite representation with his plan for an

assembly elected indirectly by caucuses, the so far peaceful Shi`ites are likely to join the violence.


If the Shi`ites become violent, the insurgency would be too large to be contained by our present occupying force. Moreover, the outbreak of a general rebellion in Iraq would spill over throughout the Middle East where unpopular secular rulers are sitting on a smoldering Islam. Our puppet in Pakistan would likely bite the dust. Israel would then face countervailing Muslim nukes.


If you think more US troops are needed now in Iraq, imagine how many more would be required to deal with a wider conflagration. Where would they come from? The US military is already so thinly stretched that soon 40% of the occupying troops will be drawn from the National Guard and reservists, resulting in tremendous disruption in the affairs of tens of thousands of families.


Pilots and troops are shunning the cash bonuses offered for reenlistments. The troops recognize a quagmire even if their neocon overlords cannot. The only source of troops is the draft.


A Shi`ite insurgency that brought back the draft would deprive Bush of

reelection. A civil war with the prospect of a Kurdish state would bring in the Turks. On January 14 Turkish prime minister Erdogan said that Turkey will intervene in the event of Iraq`s disintegration.


The Shi`ites and the Turks are forming an alliance as both have the same interest in maintaining the geographical integrity of the Iraqi state. The US could come dangerously close to military conflict with a NATO ally.


All of this was perfectly clear well in advance of the ill-considered

invasion. If Bush wasn`t smart enough to see it, why didn`t his National Security Advisor or his Secretary of State? How did a handful of neocon ideologues hijack US foreign policy?


Bush did not campaign on a neocon policy of conquest in the Middle East. There was no public debate over this policy. The invasion of Iraq was the private agenda of the neocons.


Why have the neocons not been held responsible for their treason in

abusing their presidential appointments to substitute their personal

agenda for America`s agenda?


Bush has been the neocon`s puppet for so long that he is now stuck with responsibility for their horrible mistake. With no way of his own to get out of his trap, his arrogance toward the "irrelevant" UN and our doubting allies has disappeared. Come bail me out, he pleads.


Bush, desperate to be extricated before doom strikes him is experiencing a reality totally different from the chest-thumping of neocon megalomaniacs, such as Charles Krauthammer, who declared the US so powerful as to be able to "reshape, indeed remake, reality on its own."


Bush now knows that he lacks the power to deal with the reality of Iraq. Indeed, Bush cannot even deal with his own appointees.


Can the situation in Iraq really be that bad? Or at least become that bad? I think its an exaggeration, but Im not exactly an expert. :)

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well they said they expected things 2 be bad in IRAQ, but that they wont leave until the job is finished

They could've left six months ago and left a small contingent to help the Iraqi's get back in order but Bush is too damn foolish and prideful. He can't accept that Iraq is a lost cause. Being that I am a supporter of Israel in every way and that Saddam would sponser the suicide bombings, the war still doesn't make sense. The only good thing he has done is get rid of the Taliban which was a just cause.

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Guest Juanky

well they said they expected things 2 be bad in IRAQ, but that they wont leave until the job is finished

hmmm vietnam? Um, no. That's not apples and oranges, that's bananas and pinneapples.

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well they said they expected things 2 be bad in IRAQ, but that they wont leave until the job is finished

hmmm vietnam? Um, no. That's not apples and oranges, that's bananas and pinneapples. not that fact that wed lose lives



the fact that we are in a no-win situation there as in vietnam


we are supporting something because it gives dbya and cronies their oil invrestment. theres no way we can settle this without causing a civil war, and possibly leading to a WW3, middle eastern style. pull out gradually goddamnit, stop killing our boys.


even if the death count is/will be low, they are dying for an unjust cause.







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But guys, we brought Iraq "democracy"! We stopped DANGEROUS "weapons programs", we took out a leader of regime with very remote and or old ties with "terrorism"! Aren't these all important things, even though Iraq is unstable as hell and the streets are now filled with our soldier's instead of saddam's? If I were Iraqi I would love it and totally understand.

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When everyone kept referring to this as a quagmire, they weren't talking about Peter Griffin's neighbor, Glen. We deposed a secularist leader that was able to keep control of the situation over there, and replaced it with anarchy and the evenutal rule of an Islamic government. If we are truly interested in keeping stability in Iraq, we'd have to place that entire country under martial law for the next 3 or 4 years and rule something like Saddam did to keep these Islamic militant whackos in line. The Iraqi people aren't going to accept that, so we've just made everything worse.


Congratulations, Dubya. In trying to rid the Middle East of Islamic rule, you've allowed another country to fall into the hands of Islamic rulers all the while North Korea is busy building nukes to aim at us.

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