Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Bush Unhappy With Lack Of Iraqi Appreciation For U.S. Mission

This is a symptom of the type of leadership you get when you elect a president who has a selective ability to empathize with the downtrodden.

President Bush made clear in a private meeting this week that he was concerned about the lack of progress in Iraq and frustrated that the new Iraqi government -- and the Iraqi people -- had not shown greater public support for the American mission, participants in the meeting said Tuesday.

He is probably still wondering why the Iraqi people have been so remiss in presenting our troops with the expected flowers upon their liberation.

More generally, the participants said, the president expressed frustration that Iraqis had not come to appreciate the sacrifices the United States had made in Iraq, and was puzzled as to how a recent anti-American rally in support of Hezbollah in Baghdad could draw such a large crowd. "I do think he was frustrated about why 10,000 Shiites would go into the streets and demonstrate against the United States," said another person who attended.

He must have been really frustrated when he heard the truth that the Baghdad demonstration actually had more than 100,000 participants.

One participant in the lunch, Carole A. O'Leary, a professor at American University who is also doing work in Iraq with a State Department grant, said Mr. Bush expressed the view that "the Shia-led government needs to clearly and publicly express the same appreciation for United States efforts and sacrifices as they do in private."

Bush, a master of pandering to his domestic base, does not understand that such political considerations are common to every country?

Meanwhile, the civil war in Iraq -- which the administration is taking great pains to avoid acknowledging -- is growing worse:

July appears to have been the deadliest month of the war for Iraqi civilians, according to figures from the Health Ministry and the Baghdad morgue, reinforcing criticism that the Baghdad security plan started in June by the new government has failed.

An average of more than 110 Iraqis were killed each day in July, according to the figures. The total number of civilian deaths that month, 3,438, is a 9 percent increase over the tally in June and nearly double the toll in January.

The rising numbers suggested that sectarian violence is spiraling out of control, and seemed to bolster an assertion many senior Iraqi officials and American military analysts have made in recent months: that the country is already embroiled in a civil war, not just slipping toward one, and that the American-led forces are caught between Sunni Arab guerrillas and Shiite militias.

We will see every semantic trick imaginable by the administration to avoid admitting the truth that Iraq is already embroiled in a civil war. Pro-war Sen. John Warner of the Senate Armed Services Committee has been giving hints that a withdrawal will be forthcoming if civil war breaks out.

A withdrawal under less than favorable circumstances would remind the world of America's last big military fiasco.

And make it much harder for the U.S. to insouciantly throw its weight around in the international arena.


Blogger Meatball One said...

Mao never really caught on to the pitfalls of the Great Leap Forward either.

Steel for all for some.
Democracy for all for others.

8/17/2006 5:25 PM  
Blogger Effwit said...


I figure that Mao's briefers had more to lose by telling him the truth than do W's.

8/17/2006 6:24 PM  

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