Friday, January 12, 2007

What Do You Call a Fake Bench-Mark?

If not just the most recent lie in a long history of lies and false promises?

John Burns and Sabrina Tavernise in the New York Times report that a Shiite political leader who has worked closely with the Americans in the past said the Bush benchmarks appeared to have been drawn up in the expectation that Maliki would not meet them.

sking that he not be named because he did not want to be seen as publicly criticizing the prime minister, the politician said,
He cannot deliver the disarming of the militias. He cannot deliver a good program for the economy and reconstruction. He cannot deliver on services. This is a matter of fact. There is a common understanding on the American side and the Iraqi side.
This is just another line-of-scrimmage play designed to maintain possession of the football until time runs out in 2009? See below.


  1. It is plain as the nose in my face that Mr.President needs somebody to be the reason for the upcoming failure. That the report from the Baker & Co got used as toilet paper in the Bush's privy comes as a suprise to none of us. There was no way that Bush's fragile ego could withstand the misery of seeing Baker as a hero who saved the junior's political ass as a favor to his papa. As if there really was anything to save.

  2. "What Do You Call a Fake Bench-Mark?"

    Mother and father of all lies as in another Bush-Blair con job.

  3. A major league thanks to Hillbloggers for this alert:

    Michael Smith sees another angle which I propounded in my Football Column. He says the pundits (most of them) are superficial in criticism of Bush for his rejection of the ISG report.

    "Not because pumping what is actually a relatively small number of troops into Iraq is going to help now. Nor is the decision even, as some suggest, the last throw of the dice of a gambler with no way out. Not in terms of improving the situation in Iraq at any rate.

    The commentators are looking at it from the wrong perspective, making the assumption that this “surge” has anything to do with improving the situation in Iraq or – as it ought militarily to be if it were really a "surge" – preparing the way for withdrawal. Bush can’t do that. If he pulls out now he is forever a failure. That’s not what this is about. It is a cynical, calculated move to try to shift the blame for that inevitable failure to the other side.

    The other side isn’t of course the insurgents. Their influence on all this is to a very large extent a myth. The administration keeps talking about the insurgents as if they are the problem. They aren’t. On their own they would be containable. But the repetition of that insurgent threat continues the idea of an America with its back to the wall against the terrorists that has been so politically useful to this administration. The problem in Iraq is not the insurgents, it is the civil war between Sunni and Shia extremists for control of the country. But even they aren’t the other side in this case.

    The other side here is the Democrats. Bush cannot be seen to be doing another Vietnam. He can’t have a repeat of those images like this one of the last few US Marines being lifted by helicopter off the top of the US embassy that had eaten away at the American psyche for years until the false dawn of the 2001 “victory” in Afghanistan, not on his watch. He has to keep going and let the next president take the decision to pull out. If it is a Republican, Bush will have to be the fall guy. But if it is a Democrat, then the Republicans can blame the inevitable carnage that follows on their political opponents and so the game will go on.

    The sheer unbelievable cynicism of that process is truly astonishing, until you remind yourself that it is being carried out by politicians whose interest in the disasters that their usually crass and incompetent decisions produce stop at how it might affect their own chances, and those of their parties, at the next poll. Thankfully for the human race, and our own sanity, the issues that concern most of us in this whole debacle, the only issues that should concern us, are the number of lost lives, grieving families, and lives destroyed that will result from this decision . . . .

    At the end of the day, my fellow citizens, Straussian Neo-Conservatives will always promote policies that promote their own political power instead of the national interest. They can be counted upon to do that.

  4. The both sides in the civil war are Bush's enemies, not America's enemy. Because the the fact of a civil war reflects poorly on all of his decisions. Our enemy - in theory - is al Qaeda in Mesopotamia. But these are foreign trouble-makers of which short work would be made of upon our departure.

  5. Have you noticed how Bush Inc's phrasing has morphed from 'enemy' to 'enemies' and from 'terrorists' to 'extremists'? What does that mean?

  6. If these benchmarks have been drawn up just for the purpose seeing Maliki fail what would stop him from not wanting to play the pasty and fully jump over to Al-Sadr's camp and having his Madi army and other allied militia groups turn on the US and whatever other foreign forces are in Iraq?
    I agree that the only purpose of "surge" is to keep the chaos away until Bush can safely put himself back at Crawford in 2009 and then issue tisk-tisk statements when the bottom completely drops out in the region and he and his likes can say that whomever is then president lost the war.
    I just don't think things are going to work that way for them, nothing in Iraq has. Now add the insane semi-veiled threats to Iran and Syria in the "big" speech along with the movements of Patriot missile batteries, a raided Iranian consultant, and a second carrier group on the Gulf it won't surprise me if we have a Persian version of the Gulf of Tonkin incident.

  7. I think a bench mark is similar to an earmark of special interest money.

    Both are quantified in purely money terms. What will benefit the large corporations that want to control the purse strings in that area , and also this area.
    The entire system is corrupt. Our basic political system is not reformable , but must be changed.

  8. At the rate of the new foreign policy initiatives taken by the Bush Administration, you will soon be the lonliest 300 million people on earth. Right after that, also the most universally hated. Based on this, why is a determend effort to legally challenge your executive branch considered as a time wasting, dividing and fruitless act? Surely, the legistlative bodies have given them ample time to make corrections that are needed. Is there anybody left who thinks that these men in the White House are willing and able to change their cherished ideology for the sake of the American people? No, I don't think so either!

  9. Yeah, you know, that's an interesting question. I don't quite view it as the broken egg; I view it as the cracked egg -- that - where we still have a chance to move beyond the broken egg. And I thought long and hard about the decision, Jim. Obviously it's a big decision for this theater in the war on terror, and you know, if I didn't believe we could keep the egg from fully cracking, I wouldn't ask 21,000 kids - additional kids to go into Iraq to reinforce those troops that are there.

  10. Paul Krugman:

    Escalation won't bring victory in Iraq, but it might bring defeat in Afghanistan, which the administration will continue to neglect. And it has pushed the military to the breaking point.

    Mr. Bush calls his critics "irresponsible," saying that they don't have an alternative to his strategy. But they do: setting a timetable for withdrawal, so that we can cut our losses, and trying to save what can be saved. It isn't a strategy for victory because that's no longer an option. It's a strategy for acknowledging reality.