Monday, November 28, 2005
New Hersh. He writes about three subjects, two of which I think are worth noting here. First off, a bit about Bush:
'Current and former military and intelligence officials have told me that the President remains convinced that it is his personal mission to bring democracy to Iraq, and that he is impervious to political pressure, even from fellow Republicans. They also say that he disparages any information that conflicts with his view of how the war is proceeding.'
'Bush’s closest advisers have long been aware of the religious nature of his policy commitments. In recent interviews, one former senior official, who served in Bush’s first term, spoke extensively about the connection between the President’s religious faith and his view of the war in Iraq. After the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the former official said, he was told that Bush felt that “God put me here” to deal with the war on terror. The President’s belief was fortified by the Republican sweep in the 2002 congressional elections; Bush saw the victory as a purposeful message from God that “he’s the man,” the former official said. Publicly, Bush depicted his reëlection as a referendum on the war; privately, he spoke of it as another manifestation of divine purpose.'
'The former senior official said that after the election he made a lengthy inspection visit to Iraq and reported his findings to Bush in the White House: “I said to the President, ‘We’re not winning the war.’ And he asked, ‘Are we losing?’ I said, ‘Not yet.’ ” The President, he said, “appeared displeased” with that answer.'
'“I tried to tell him,” the former senior official said. “And he couldn’t hear it.”'
My comments in the post immediately below this one apply, so I won't say more here other than to point out that I hope I'm wrong, and that Bush doesn't fit into the group of fundamentalists described by Moyers.
The second point worth pointing out is a bit at the very end of Hersh's piece. I suspect, however, that this will one day merit a longer article of its own:
'. . . the covert war in Iraq has expanded in recent months to Syria. A composite American Special Forces team, known as an S.M.U., for “special-mission unit,” has been ordered, under stringent cover, to target suspected supporters of the Iraqi insurgency across the border. (The Pentagon had no comment.) “It’s a powder keg,” the Pentagon consultant said of the tactic. “But, if we hit an insurgent network in Iraq without hitting the guys in Syria who are part of it, the guys in Syria would get away. When you’re fighting an insurgency, you have to strike everywhere—and at once.”'
And so the mission creeps further from its stated aim of ridding Iraq of weapons of mass destruction and establishing democracy. If my scorecard is correct, this would mean that at least two other countries in the region have seen fighting due to the Iraq occupation -- Iran (via special forces and possibly Kurdish forces trained by Israel) and now Syria. We've heard rumblings before about possible millitary action against both countries. We've now heard about combat missions happening in both countries. How much more will we escalate those conflicts? What are the parameters for pursuing "insurgents" into Syria? All of this makes me very uneasy about U.S. intentions in the region.
Andrew 6:37 AM : |
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