Democratic Underground Latest Greatest Lobby Journals Search Options Help Login

Ray McGovern: Bush The Cheerleader - of Bedlam

Printer-friendly format Printer-friendly format
Printer-friendly format Email this thread to a friend
Printer-friendly format Bookmark this thread
This topic is archived.
Home » Discuss » Archives » General Discussion (01/01/06 through 01/22/2007) Donate to DU
kpete Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 11:59 AM
Original message
Ray McGovern: Bush The Cheerleader - of Bedlam
Bush The Cheerleader
Ray McGovern
October 30, 2006

Ray McGovern was a CIA analyst from the administrations of John F. Kennedy to George H. W. Bush. He now works with Tell the Word, the publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in Washington, D.C.

When President George W. Bush was asked at his news conference last Wednesday whether we are winning in Iraq, he answered, "Absolutely; we're winning." The disingenuousness was almost enough to provoke sympathy for the beleaguered president as he lived through another bad week with further diminished credibility.

A letter winner in cheerleading at Andover and Yale, the president knows how tough it is to keep spirits up when it becomes clear that his team is not winning, but the bedlam in Iraq has become the supreme test. Some of his fellow cheerleaders have quit cheering, and even the Fox News Channel is having trouble putting on a brave front.


Bottom line: It seems virtually certain that there will be more violence in "staying the course." That being the case, it can no longer be a moral decision to say, in effect: Let's let those kids from the inner cities and the farms stay the course for us; who knows, maybe they'll be lucky!

I cannot resist the temptation to recall that all of this was entirely predictableand predicted. Almost exactly a year ago we took strong issue with Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's insistence that the war in Iraq was "winnable." We noted at the time that "most of those with a modicum of experience in guerrilla warfare and the Middle East are persuaded that the war is NOT winnable and that the only thing in doubt is the timing of the U.S. departure."

When will they ever learn; when will they ever learn?

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
omega minimo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 12:40 PM
Response to Original message
1. K&R come'on folks! McGovern is a national hero!!
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
omega minimo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 01:50 PM
Response to Original message
2. "There are basically two choices: "
And small wonder. For example, on October19 USA Today put the main challenge succinctly:

The mistaken war and botched aftermath have created such a mess that the only credible course change must be predicated on this painful question: Is there an achievable goal that makes the further sacrifice of American lives worthwhile? With each passing day, that is looking less and less likely. ... What, exactly, is the goal that U.S. forces are fighting and dying for?

Is it to referee a civil war in Iraq? At the press conference Bush said:

Our job is to prevent the fullfull-scale civil war from happening in the first place. It is one of the missions, is to work with the Maliki government to make sure that there is a political way forward that says to the people of Iraq, It's not worth it. Civil war is not worth the effortby them...And so we will work to prevent that from happening.

Is that it? Or is it, as the president let slip, to prevent "terrorists or extremists in Iraq access to vast oil reserves" in Iraq and denying them to the U.S. How often were we told that oil had "nothing to do with it!"?

The president did say that too many children "won't ever see their mom and dad again," and that he owes it "to them and to the families who still have loved ones in harm's way to ensure that their sacrifices are not in vain."


There are basically two choices: (1) "stay the course" (or the same concept with a more felicitous label); or (2) withdraw. Let's look at them both:

(1) Those of us who have "been there, done that" know what is meant by "stay the course"or whatever updated formulation the Bush administration uses that implies action short of withdrawal. Its name is Vietnam. It means more violence month by monthas we have witnessed recentlyuntil there are 50,000 more of our young troops, and a million more Iraqis, dead. From the president's own words we know his intention is to keep our troops in Iraq until the end of his term. A year or two later, our helicopters will be lifting the remainder of the American presence in Iraq off the rooftops of the billion-dollar embassy we are now building in the Green Zone. The name is Vietnam. It is a no-brainer for anyone who knows the first thing about "insurgency"or, more properly, resistance to foreign occupation. More and more violenceguaranteed.

(2) Withdrawal: It is more difficult to predict what will happen if we withdraw our troops from Iraq over the next year or so. A lot depends on how we go about it. The steps outlined below, the result of brainstorming with my colleagues with Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) and others, would in my view hold the promise of much less violence and killing:

(a) Show a modicum of respect for the opinions of the Iraqi people, two-thirds of whom want U.S. forces out of Iraq immediately, according to a recent poll commissioned by our Department of State. It seems the height of hubris and incongruity for U.S. officials to pretend, as they do, that they know far better what would be best for the Iraqis. Another poll had 60 percent of the Iraqi people saying they would shoot an American on sight, if they had the opportunity.

(b) Publicly disavow any intention of having permanentor as the Pentagon now prefers to say "enduring"military bases in Iraq.

(c) Publicly disavow any intention of having special rights over the oil under the sands of Iraq. (These last two steps will be difficult for the Bush administration, since those aims formed the bulk of the motivation for attacking and occupying Iraq.)

(d) TALK. Yes, talk. It is bizarre that the Bush administration does not let the State Department talk with "evil" forceslike North Korea, Iran, Hamas, Hezbollah and (perish the thought) "insurgents" in Iraq. If Ronald Reagan could talk with the Evil Empire, and conclude very important arms control and other agreements, surely the George W. Bush administration can engage resistance forces in Iraq. The Arab League states have shown themselves eager to facilitate such discussions. Indeed, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak did precisely that in October 2005, when he invited all interested states and factions to a meeting in Cairo. The U.S. boycotted those talks, and made it difficult for its clients in Baghdad to attend.

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
DU AdBot (1000+ posts) Click to send private message to this author Click to view 
this author's profile Click to add 
this author to your buddy list Click to add 
this author to your Ignore list Sun Oct 22nd 2017, 11:42 PM
Response to Original message
Advertisements [?]

Home » Discuss » Archives » General Discussion (01/01/06 through 01/22/2007) Donate to DU

Powered by DCForum+ Version 1.1 Copyright 1997-2002
Software has been extensively modified by the DU administrators

Important Notices: By participating on this discussion board, visitors agree to abide by the rules outlined on our Rules page. Messages posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums are the opinions of the individuals who post them, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Democratic Underground, LLC.

Home  |  Discussion Forums  |  Journals |  Store  |  Donate

About DU  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy

Got a message for Democratic Underground? Click here to send us a message.

© 2001 - 2011 Democratic Underground, LLC