Monday, September 20, 2004

Buried in the Sand: the Deception of America

Look for this coming out tomorrow.

Host: Mark Taylor
Audio: Dolby Stereo
Video: Full Frame 1.33:1
Studio: CYHL Pictures
Features: Factoids, Trailer
Length: 72 Minutes
Release Date: September 21, 2004


Wild Bill said...

I saw this on Fox tonight. I have most of the videos on my computer, but I would love to see this DVD and see how well it is put together.

Ghost Dansing said...

It's hard to identify any major urban areas outside Kurdistan where the U.S. and its allies exercise effective control. Insurgents operate freely, even in the heart of Baghdad, while coalition forces, however many battles they win, rule only whatever ground they happen to stand on. And efforts to put an Iraqi face on the occupation are self-defeating: as the example of Mr. Allawi shows, any leader who is too closely associated with America becomes tainted in the eyes of the Iraqi public.

This Republican administration's insistence that it is nonetheless "pleased with the progress" in Iraq - when his own National Intelligence Estimate echoes the grim views of independent experts - would be funny if the reality weren't so grim. Unfortunately, this is no joke: to the delight of Al Qaeda, America's overstretched armed forces are gradually getting chewed up in a losing struggle.

The Bush administration fostered the Iraq insurgency by botching the essential tasks of enlisting allies, rebuilding infrastructure, training and equipping local security forces, and preparing for elections. It's understandable, then, that John Kerry - whose speech yesterday was deadly accurate in its description of Dubya's mistakes - proposes going back and doing the job right.

But John Kerry should not allow himself to be trapped into trying to fulfill neocon fantasies. If there ever was a chance to turn Iraq into a pro-American beacon of democracy, that chance perished a long time ago.

Can the insurgency be crushed? It's widely believed that in November, a few days after the election, and assuming an Republican win, the Bush administration will launch an all-out offensive against insurgent-controlled areas. Such an offensive will, for all practical purposes, be an attempt to conquer Iraq all over again. But unlike Saddam's hapless commanders, the insurgents won't oblige us by taking up positions in the countryside, where they can be blasted by U.S. air power. And grinding urban warfare that leads to heavy American casualties and the death of large numbers of innocent civilians will simply enlarge the ranks of our enemies.

But if the chance to install a pro-American government has been lost, what's the alternative? Scaling back our aims. This means accepting the fact that an Iraqi leader, to have legitimacy, must be able to deliver an end to America's military presence. Unless we want this war to go on forever, we will have to abandon the 14 "enduring bases" the Bush administration has been building.

It also means accepting the likelihood that Iraq will not have a strong central government - and that local leaders will end up with a lot of autonomy. This doesn't have to mean creating havens for hostile forces: remember that for a year after Saddam's fall, moderate Shiite clerics effectively governed large areas of Iraq and kept them relatively peaceful. It was the continuing irritant of the U.S. occupation that empowered radicals like Moktada al-Sadr.

The point is that by winding down America's military presence, while promising aid to those who don't harbor anti-American terrorists and retaliation against those who do, the U.S. can probably leave behind an Iraq that isn't an American ally, but isn't a threat either. And that, at this point, is probably the best we can hope for.

STCA said...


You should read Robert Novaks latest piece where he paints the same scenario you do...but under a Bush administration.

Anonymous said...

more propoganda, and more propoganda:

What WOULDN'T Jesus Do?

Paul Santos said...

Hey Anonymous,

It is not polite to be a link whore. I learned the hard way from Wild Bill. I suggest that you do the same.

-Paul Santos

Ghost Dansing said...

STCA, in theory Dubya could proceed with and do the right thing. However, due to his entire approach and his "miscalculations", including his actually proceeding with the military intervention without the UN's blessing, he has "poisoned the well" from which he now expects all to drink deeply. Put another way, he has "pissed (urinated) in everybody's cornflakes", which he now expects everybody to eat. He has lost international bonefides. And while Republicans may think concerns about good international citizenship are droll and "weak", Dubya is now reaping the benefits of a bellicose and belligerant foreign policy. He needs to be removed in order that good things might spring from a very very bad situation.

STCA said...


I would agree with you if Bush had done something wrong and that the protests from other nations were based on moral grounds--but they were not.

The most significant find in the Iraq war was NOT the lack of weapons of mass destruction, it was the Oil-for-Food Scandal that will show that billions were being laundered for terrorists.

See, when you do the right thing, you will be blessed with unexpected blessing--even if you are confronted with obstacles.

Bush BELIEVED WMD were in Iraq and acted as he should.

Ghost Dansing said...

Oops. I spelled bona fides incorrectly.

bona fi·des n.
(used with a sing. verb) Good faith; sincerity.
(used with a pl. verb) Information that serves to guarantee a person's good faith, standing, and reputation; authentic credentials: “Sakharov's bona fides within the Soviet system... have given added weight to his message” (Christian Science Monitor).

Ghost Dansing said...

STCA, I don't think he can get the job done at this point. He actually did a lot of things wrong. His Diplomatic preparations for war were abyssmal leaving us far more isolated than we should have been. He ignored professional military advice regarding force requirements. He is paying the penalty now for errors in both these areas. He allowed his neocon advisors, who disdain the UN (even though the United States is largely responsible for what the UN is) rush him into war. He and his people said a lot of things to sell the war to the American People, and justify the war to the international community, and those things proved to be incorrect. It is nice to "believe" certain things, however if what you believe is "wrong", there are consequences.

STCA said...

Look, the press isn't covering it, but if you believe that all the other intelligence agencies are doing major internal audits around the world to try to figure out how the hell they got the Saddam info wrong (not just the US), you're crazy.

A jury or a judge has to make a decision based on the evidence presented...but this war on terrorism isn't about "beyond a reasonable doubt." This isn't a case where the prosecution needs to prove it's case--the terrorist states need to prove they are clean.

If not, they are targets and rightly so.

Ghost Dansing said...

Dubya didn't have any new information since 1998. In 2001 both Condoleeza Rice and Colin Powell were publically stating that Saddam was neither a threat to his neighbors nor to us, that he had been successfully contained. They believed in maintaining sanctions and inspections. Iraq was in a box. It was a military intervention that was one of choice, rather than necessity.

WASHINGTON, Sept. 20 - Representative Porter J. Goss, the nominee to become director of central intelligence, said on Monday that some prewar statements by senior Bush administration officials might well have overstated available intelligence about the threat posed by Iraq.

Under sharp questioning from a Senate Democrat, Mr. Goss, a Republican from Florida, said he agreed that statements by Vice President Dick Cheney and Condoleezza Rice that linked Iraq to the Sept. 11 attacks; to Al Qaeda; and to an active nuclear weapons program appeared to have gone beyond what was spelled out in intelligence reports at the time.

Mr. Goss's concession could fuel Democratic criticisms that Mr. Bush and his advisers overstated the threat posed by Iraq before the war. Democrats failed this year to persuade Republicans to include conclusions related to the administration's use of intelligence in the Senate Intelligence Committee report on Iraq that was completed in July.

"If I were confronted with that kind of a hypothetical, where I felt that a policy maker was getting beyond what the intelligence said, I think I would advise the person involved,'' Mr. Goss said in response to a question from Senator Carl M. Levin, Democrat of Michigan. "I do believe that would be a case that would put me into action, if I were confirmed. Yes, sir.''

Each example on which Mr. Goss commented was raised by Senator Levin. They included a December 2001 statement in which Mr. Cheney said that a meeting in Prague between a Sept. 11 hijacker, Mohammed Atta, and an Iraqi official had been "pretty well-confirmed'' and a separate statement by Ms. Rice in September 2002 saying, first, that aluminum tubes being imported by Iraq "are only really suited for nuclear weapons programs'' and, second, that "we know'' that Iraq provided some training to Al Qaeda in chemical weapons development.

All three of those assertions have since been discredited, and recent reports by the independent Sept. 11 commission and the Senate Intelligence Committee suggested that all three exceeded the intelligence available at the time.

Mr. Goss said that Ms. Rice's Sept. 8, 2002, statement about the aluminum tubes appeared to have been "an exaggeration,'' compared with the findings spelled out in a national intelligence estimate at the same time. He said Ms. Rice's Sept. 25, 2002, statement linking Iraq to training for Al Qaeda, if it were based solely on the evidence that has been made public to date, would have been in a category in which "I would feel obliged to ask the national security adviser what in fact was the basis for that statement.''

Earlier this year, George J. Tenet, then still director of central intelligence, told Congress that he had corrected Bush administration officials, including Mr. Cheney, about several statements, including those linking Mr. Atta to a meeting in Prague.

This Republican administration misused intelligence. An investigation into how the intelligence was misused by the administration was thwarted because the investigating committee had a Republican majority. The administration cherry-picked information to make its case, then overstated the threat, then understated the requirements and force necessary to do the job.

They also diverted assets from the legitimate war on terror, centered in Afghanistan against Al Qaeda, in order to pursue a war of election rather than necessity.

They screwed up and now the lies can be told no more. Yet Cheney continues to lie through his teeth. They should all be kicked out.

Ghost Dansing said...

Oh my. I thought the Republicans wanted to talk about Dubya's great wartime leadership! I have to look pretty far down the list to find the discussion!

The real debate about our mission in Iraq is no longer between those who say it's succeeding and those who think it's failing, but between those who think it's failing and those who think the word "failure" grossly understates the scope of the catastrophe. The same CIA that found ways to rationalize the invasion beforehand has lately had to acknowledge that things are going badly - though not so badly that they can't get worse.

A new National Intelligence Estimate furnished to the president, reports The New York Times, "outlines three possibilities for Iraq through the end of 2005, with the worst case being developments that could lead to civil war," and the best scenario "an Iraq whose stability would remain tenuous in political, economic and security terms."

And here's the bad news: That report was prepared back in the carefree days of July. August was the worst month of the occupation in terms of U.S. casualties. The number of American war dead has passed the 1,000 mark. Bombings, kidnappings and other mayhem have multiplied.

Bookmark Widget