Another two articles questioning whether or not President Bush is defiantly standing his ground in the belief that Iraq will soon transform into the democratic example for the Middle East that has come to totally dominate his presidency, or if the president has, in fact, drifted into the arena of the mentally unwell.
There are politics, there are face-saving exercises, there are even misinformation campaigns to buy time and deter the inevitable whilst still praying frantically for a miracle, or divine intervention. But then there is also the abyss of a reality denial so strong, so complete, it virtually defies comprehension.
At least, it defies comprehension by those who still have at least a three finger grasp on sanity.
It is interesting to note just how close these two opinion pieces are in theme and detail, and conclusions reached, though they are published on websites that appear to be worlds apart, as far as the mainstream media is concerned.
The first, by Paul Craig Roberts, was written for a 'alternate' news website that three years ago would have tarnished with the "conspiracy" brush by those seeking to discredit it, despite the fact that 'Information Clearing House' sources virtually all its stories from the mainstream media of the US, Australia, the UK and Israel.
The second story is by New York Times columnist, Frank Rich, one of the most widely read opinionists in the world today. And yet, their thoughts are virtually polarised. This is how clear the reality is that the 'War On Iraq' has failed, that it can only get worse and that President Bush is stonewalling even the most basic facts about Iraq's true reality.
The behaviour of the President of the United States of America has become so bizarre, his reality denial so total, that the thoughts of a writer who was (in 2003) declared a traitor to America by the most popular conservative bloggers in the US are virtually the same as those of one of the most mainstream opinionists writing today.
We're all extremists now.
From Paul Craig Roberts :
Tens of millions of Americans want President George W. Bush to be impeached for the lies and deceit he used to launch an illegal war and for violating his oath of office to uphold the US Constitution.
Millions of other Americans want Bush turned over to the war crimes tribunal at the Hague.
The true fate that awaits Bush is psychiatric incarceration.
The president of the United States is so deep into denial that he is no longer among the sane.
Delusion still rules Bush three weeks after the American people repudiated him and his catastrophic war in elections that delivered both House and Senate to the Democrats in the hope that control over Congress would give the opposition party the strength to oppose the mad occupant of the White House.
On November 28 Bush insisted that US troops would not be withdrawn from Iraq until he had completed his mission of building a stable Iraqi democracy capable of spreading democratic change in the Middle East.
Bush made this astonishing statement the day after NBC News, a major television network, declared Iraq to be in the midst of a civil war, a judgment with which former Secretary of State Colin Powell concurs.
Bush’s astonishing determination to deny Iraq reality was made the same day that the US-installed Iraqi prime minister al-Maliki and US puppet King Abdullah II of Jordan abruptly cancelled a meeting with Bush after Bush was already in route to Jordon on Air Force One.
Bush could not meet with Maliki in Iraq, because violence in Baghdad is out of control. For security reasons, the US Secret Service would not allow President Bush to go to Iraq, where he is “building a stable democracy.”
Bush’s denial of Iraqi reality was made even as one of the most influential Iraqi Shiite leaders, Moqtada al-Sadr, is building an anti-US parliamentary alliance to demand the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq.
Bush has destroyed the entire social, political, and economic fabric of Iraq. Saddam Hussein sat on the lid of Pandora’s Box of sectarian antagonisms, but Bush has opened the lid. Hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians have been killed as “collateral damage” in Bush’s war to bring “stable democracy” to Iraq. Tens of thousands of Iraqi children have been orphaned and maimed. Hundreds of thousands of Iraqis have fled their country. The Middle East is aflame with hatred of America, and the ground is shaking under the feet of American puppet governments in the Middle East. US casualties (killed and wounded) number 25,000.
And Bush has not had enough!
What better proof of Bush’s insanity could there be?
From Frank Rich, New York Times :
As Mr. Bush has ricocheted from Vietnam to Latvia to Jordan in recent weeks, we’ve witnessed the troubling behavior of a president who isn’t merely in a state of denial but is completely untethered from reality. It’s not that he can’t handle the truth about Iraq. He doesn’t know what the truth is.
The most startling example was his insistence that Al Qaeda is primarily responsible for the country’s spiraling violence. Only a week before Mr. Bush said this, the American military spokesman on the scene, Maj. Gen. William Caldwell, called Al Qaeda “extremely disorganized” in Iraq, adding that “I would question at this point how effective they are at all at the state level.”
Military intelligence estimates that Al Qaeda makes up only 2 percent to 3 percent of the enemy forces in Iraq...
The bottom line: America has a commander in chief who can’t even identify some 97 percent to 98 percent of the combatants in a war that has gone on longer than our involvement in World War II.
But that’s not the half of it. Mr. Bush relentlessly refers to Iraq’s “unity government” though it is not unified and can only nominally govern. (In Henry Kissinger’s accurate recent formulation, Iraq is not even a nation “in the historic sense.”)
After that pseudo-government’s prime minister, Nuri al-Maliki, brushed him off in Amman, the president nonetheless declared him “the right guy for Iraq” the morning after.
In truth the president is so out of it he wasn’t even meeting with the right guy.
No one doubts that the most powerful political leader in Iraq is the anti-American, pro-Hezbollah cleric Moktada al-Sadr, without whom Mr. Maliki would be on the scrap heap next to his short-lived predecessors, Ayad Allawi and Ibrahim al-Jaafari. Mr. Sadr’s militia is far more powerful than the official Iraqi army that we’ve been helping to “stand up” at hideous cost all these years.
I have not been one to buy into the arguments that Mr. Bush is stupid or is the sum of his “Bushisms” or is, as feverish Internet speculation periodically has it, secretly drinking again. I still don’t. But I have believed he is a cynic — that he could always distinguish between truth and fiction even as he and Karl Rove sold us their fictions.
Neither he nor his party has anything to gain politically by pretending that Iraq is not in crisis. Yet Mr. Bush clings to his delusions with a near-rage — watch him seethe in his press conference with Mr. Maliki — that can’t be explained away by sheer stubbornness or misguided principles or a pat psychological theory.
The illusion that America can control events on the ground is just that: an illusion. As the list of theoretical silver bullets for Iraq grows longer (and more theoretical) by the day — special envoy, embedded military advisers, partition, outreach to Iran and Syria, Holbrooke, international conference, NATO — urgent decisions have to be made by a chief executive who is in touch with reality...