Thursday, September 20, 2007

The War in Iraq: The Politics of Delay

The political machinations emanating from General David Petraeus’ progress report on the U.S. troop surge are blatantly obvious if you read between the lines of his testimony. Despite the promises that certain U.S. military units will be sent home in March and July of next year the real thrust of Petraeus’ testimony was his urgent statement that a substantive U.S. military presence be maintained in Iraq indefinitely.

For all the bluster of the “success” of the troop surge the real intent of the surge has been to delay and hamstring those opposing the war in Iraq. For quite some time now the Bush Administration has been fighting a delaying action against its political opponents; trying to buy enough time in order to perpetuate a substantive U.S. military involvement in Iraq and its domestic war on civil liberties in America.

Indeed for all the Bush Administration’s talk that certain U.S. military units will return home in March and July of 2008 there is a pungent smell of politics in the timing of those troop withdrawals. Unless I’m mistaken March is the time for Super Tuesday (the Southern Regional Primary) and don’t forget that George W. Bush’s victory in Super Tuesday in 2000 helped him win the G.O.P. Presidential nomination. What of the troop withdrawal in July? Just in time for the Republican convention.

But is the Bush Administration doing this to benefit those already declared Republican presidential candidates? I don’t think so. Instead I feel these moves are building the ground for an impending Presidential run of President Bush’s brother, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush. During the past several weeks the Bush Administration has been clearing its political impedimenta: the departures of Karl Rove and Alberto Gonzales are prime examples of this. (In the case of Rove, I don’t believe his resignation was sincere at all. I feel that the President is simply granting Rove a two month rest period before he returns for a potential Jeb Bush presidential campaign).

If my instincts are correct I feel that Jeb Bush will declare his candidacy sometime between Columbus Day and Veterans Day this year. I also feel that President George W. Bush wants to maintain a heavy U.S. troop presence because he wants everything to be in place for what will probably be the real policy of a Jeb Bush Administration: a drastic escalation in the fighting in Iraq with the great potential that it will spill over into neighboring Iran.

During the past several months the Bush Administration has been busy coupling Iran to the insurgency in Iraq with the implied threat of a U.S. strike against Iran. It is my belief that the Bush Administration and a succeeding Jeb Bush Administration wants to up the ante in response to its failing policies in Iraq by escalating the fighting in the hopes of salvaging the Bush Family’s political and historical standing.

Just as George W. Bush invaded Iraq in 2003 to make up for his father’s failure to oust Saddam Hussein in 1991 there exists the enormous potential of Jeb Bush escalating the war in Iraq to carry over into Iran solely to salve the wounded pride of his brother George. Such a possibility cannot be discounted. Despite the Bush Administration’s propaganda to the contrary the perpetuation of the Iraq war has been mostly based on image-considerations rather than security considerations.

The surge taking place right now will simply be one of many surges which will make for great political theater but to those brave troops doing the actual fighting will result only in more innocent blood being shed for worthless, ephemeral, selfish objectives.

The worst is yet to come.