Failure Is Not an Option

Robert Gates said, “failure in Iraq is not an option.” The president
told Americans on Wednesday that failure in Iraq would be a disaster
and Condi Rice repeated the mantra in front of a Senate committee with
its hair on fire.

Robert Gates said, “failure in Iraq is not an option.” The president
told Americans on Wednesday that failure in Iraq would be a disaster
and Condi Rice repeated the mantra in front of a Senate committee with
its hair on fire.
So, I guess the natural question to ask (that no one seems to be asking) is, if we find ourselves in a disaster where failure is not an option, who got us there?
Just as the first requirement of an architect is to keep the rain out
of a building, the first requirement of a president is to keep the
country out of failures without options.
George Bush didn’t do that. Now that he feels there is no option but continuing, he has lied (again) about the reasons to continue. From Fort Benning, Georgia the president claimed

[Iraqi] Prime Minister came and said, look, I understand we’ve got to
do something about this violence, and here is what I suggest we do. Our
commanders looked at it, helped fine-tune it so it would work. . . .

commanders on the ground in Iraq, people who I listen to — by the way,
that’s what you want your Commander-in-Chief to do. You don’t want
decisions being made based upon politics, or focus groups, or political
polls. You want your military decisions being made by military experts.
And they analyzed the plan and they said to me, and to the Iraqi
government, this won’t work unless we help them. There needs to be a
bigger presence. . . .

“And so our commanders looked at the plan
and said, Mr. President, it’s not going to work until — unless we
support — provide more troops. And so last night I told the country
that I’ve committed an additional — a little over 20,000 more troops,
five brigades of which will be in Baghdad.”

a total and unforgivable lie. A lie that hands off Bush’s personal
responsibility for failed strategy to the Prime Minister of Iraq and
whoever the latest of Bush’s remaining generals ‘commanding’ in Iraq might be. It’s a cowardly passing of blame by a cowardly, bull-headed and ignorant commander in chief.
Nouri al-Maliki is just waiting (and hoping) to get American troops the
hell out of the way, so his Shiite death-squads, in combination with
Moqtada al-Sadr’s militia, can clean up what Sunni resistance yet
remains. They will turn the country from a perhaps-democracy to a for-sure-theocracy.
Maliki asked Bush to take his troops and go home in September. The
president wasn’t having any. That was our one great shining moment to
take Maliki at his word and get out, but Bush couldn’t bear to leave
the oil, his swagger and the permanent basing behind. This, far more
than any false hope of democracy in the Middle East, is why failure is
not an option. Where the hell would we base our troops?
Well, he’s correct—failure is not an option. An option is the act of choosing or selecting and the time of choice or selection in Iraq is long gone. The enemy there is

  • not Shiite, Sunni or Kurd;
  • not al-Qaeda, Syria or Iran;
  • not the forces of evil,
  • the death squads
  • or even the insurgent roadside bombers

—the enemy is everyone.
We will not be allowed to rebuild anything. There isn’t a contractor in
the world (not even the criminally protected Halliburton) who would be
able to successfully undertake a construction project under fire. We
will funnel more billions into the coffers of the Halliburtons of our
nation, but  we will build no schools, transmit no electricity, treat
no sewage, repair no pipelines and put no wages into the pockets of
We will not be allowed to keep our two ‘permanent bases,’ constructed under the fraudulent rationale of temporary military support.
Meant to base our Middle East contingent of troops for decades to come,
these bases were to be the Middle East equivalent of our client-state
basing in the Philipines.
That particular failure has Saudi Arabia sweating, as well they should. Nor is it welcome news in Israel.
Suffice it to say, the Iraqi oil is and will remain beyond our control.
Iraq is not currently buffering any American costs with their oil
revenues (some 60 million barrels of which conveniently ‘go missing’
each year).
Additionally interesting in that regard, Iran is said to be running dry of oil, the last pump to stop within twenty years.
Thus, we may be able to buy Iraqi oil in future, but probably
through Iran and most probably for Euros. George Bush, incredibly, has
now upset the applecart of world-oil trading in dollars; a former
(1970s) bulwark against a steadily weakening dollar.
This will be his least noticed and least cared about immediate
failure in Iraq, but certainly of the most long-term damage to America.

Failure in Iraq not being an option
takes on an entirely different rationale, when one considers that this
former ball-club-owner president has left America precariously
obligated to single-source oil availability—Saudi Arabia. Among the oil
producing nations of the world (Algeria, Angola, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq,
Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab
Emirates, and Venezuela) we can perhaps count on Saudi, Nigeria
and the United Arab Emirates. One need only scan the political turmoil
within these nations to see how disastrous has been our foreign policy
toward major suppliers.
Small wonder the sweating administration is adamant upon opening up
Alaska and the Gulf to drilling. Small wonder Cheney’s hidden energy
policymakers encouraged the ‘regime change’ in Iraq.
The game is up, the loss attributed to a president hornswoggled by
swagger, greed, avarice and score-settling within a small coterie of
his advisors. Desperately unwilling to walk away from a losing hand,
they have convinced The Decider to double down on two pairs.
That’s a chump-bluff even among the greenest of poker players.
But Bush’s an easy guy for Cheney to manage. George’s career was
built on swagger in the place of ability and, ultimately, bail-outs to
disguise his repeated failures. Now, with failure assured, failure is
no longer an option because this man has never stood up to it. Lacking
that basic requirement of a well-lived life, Bush has subscribed your
and my sons and daughters lives to lay his calamity at the door of the
next president. Which will allow, for the rest of a dishonorable life,
the 43rd president of the United States to blame anyone but himself for
his own lack of integrity, strategic vision and honesty.
The next president of the United States will be blamed by this failed man for not having ‘stayed the course.’
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