The Daily Brew

Friday, March 28, 2003:

The Bush strategy seems to have had two main assumptions. First, that with US air and ground support, the majority of the Iraqi populace would revolt against Hussein, and second, that if Hussein were killed, even the Baathist loyalists would give up the fight. We know the first assumption proved wrong. The $64 question is whether the second assumption is also wrong.

If Saddam dies, and hundreds of thousands of Baath supporters, or even tens of thousands of Baath supporters, continue to wage a guerilla campaign against our troops, how on earth are we going to rebuild the country? Remember Lebanon? Can you say "exit strategy"? If any significant number of guerilla fighters remain after Saddam is dead, there is no way Bush is going to be able to get us out of this mess, EVER. The 2004 election will be run with the backdrop of our "peace keepers" (read: 20 year old kids from the heartland) getting killed every two or three weeks in Iraq by truck bombs and whatnot. Bush's only choice will be to try and distract the public once again and extend the war to Iran.

Common Sense // 11:47 AM

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Thursday, March 27, 2003:

In case you were wondering what "liberation" looks like.
Common Sense // 10:35 PM

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The Best Laid Plans
(c) March 27, 2003
The Daily Brew

For months, commentators from both the left and the right have sagely parroted President Bush's solemn assurance that the United States will ultimately prevail in Bush's war against Iraq. The problem with this bit of conventional wisdom is that it is only true if one accepts "prevail" in the narrowest sense of the word. If victory is defined as achieving any objective other than the removal of Saddam Hussein from a position of power, it is becoming increasingly clear that the United States cannot possibly achieve any of the broad and ever changing justifications used by the Bush administration to launch the attacks. Instead, the end of the conflict seems certain to herald an era of increased terrorism and weapons proliferation, and little in the way of true democratic reforms.

The invasion already shows every sign of increasing the prospect of terrorist attacks against the United States and its allies. Just yesterday, 14 leading Islamic clerics from nuclear-armed and supposed US ally Pakistan urged a "jihad," or holy war, against the United States. Included on the list of prominent clerics were Dr. Abdul Razzaq Sikander who heads the Islamic seminary of Binori Town - one of the biggest and most influential religious schools not just in the port city of Karachi, but in all of Pakistan.

The clerics said jihad had become mandatory for the more than 1.2 billion Muslims. "They have to participate in the jihad according to their capacity. This has become mandatory against America, its allies and the Muslim rulers" who are siding with Washington, they said in a statement. "Those who keep a soft corner for America compared to Saddam Hussein, or think that it is not a war of Islam, they are wrong," they said. The United States has used "Saddam as an excuse to attack Iraq." Against this background, both Iran and North Korea have substantially ramped up their capabilities for the production of nuclear weapons.

Daily protests throughout the Middle East demonstrate that the cleric's assessment of Bush's motives are broadly shared, including a much larger segment of the Iraqi people than had been assumed by US military planners. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Vice President Dick Cheney's earlier predictions that the Iraqi people would turn on their despotic leader have proven to be a disastrous miscalculation. Coalition forces have encountered significant resistance in southern Iraq where forces loyal to Saddam have engaged in guerrilla-style hit-and-run attacks. Reports of intimidation, brutality, and summary execution of the local population by Saddam Hussein's fedayeen and paramilitary forces may explain the reticence of the local populations to join with their US "liberators," but it really doesn't change the outcome. In the end, these people will be massacred as a result events set in motion by the US led invasion.

In response to these setbacks, the US military has announced plans to insert as many as 100,000 more U.S. soldiers into Iraq by the end of April, bringing the total U.S.-led force there to about 225,000. While this may or may not have been according to the original plan as claimed by Rumsfeld, it has become increasingly clear that, just as with the cities further to the south, the final assault on Baghdad will be fought against a motivated guerilla army in an urban setting, almost certainly resulting in massive Iraqi casualties.

Thus, given what is now known, it appears that to remove Saddam Hussein from power will require a massive toll in Iraqi civilians. To even attempt to rule such a country after inflicting such carnage will almost certainly require the imposition of martial law. One needs only to look at the almost daily attacks by suicide bombers in modern Israel to imagine the prospects for the coalition forces tasked with rebuilding Iraq. One need only consider the possibility of nuclear weapons supplied by North Korea or Iran added to this mix to understand how badly the Bush administration has miscalculated.

Common Sense // 5:40 PM

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Monday, March 24, 2003:


Blood On Their Hands
© March 24, 2003
The Daily Brew

Any American with access to the internet can see what the American corporate media won't show us; the dead bodies of our American servicemen cut down in the prime of their lives. It is, without question, a disturbing sight. Our kids. Our neighbor's kids. Our future. But just because the media averts our eyes, it doesn't change the facts. Just because Fox News and CNN won't show us the real costs of this war, it doesn't mean we won't be paying them.

Sadly, the war is an all too predictable culmination of lies and omissions by the corporations who control our media dating back for years. While the incompetent and dishonest diplomacy of the Bush administration might remain a mystery to the bulk of the American public, it is well understood by the rest of the world who isn't saddled with our duplicitous press corp. With half of the American pubic still believing the Bush administration's often repeated and utterly false innuendo linking Saddam Hussein to the attacks of September 11, how can any fair minded observer help but conclude that the media has utterly failed in its job of keeping the American public informed? Whether it was the forged evidence presented to the UN security counsel that Saddam tried to buy uranium, or the missing link between al Qaeda and Iraq, when it comes to correcting the lies and misdirection of the Bush administration, the corporate media has been AWOL, just as Bush was with his Texas Air National Guard unit during the Vietnam War. The result of these lies and omissions is that the American public broadly supports a war that is perceived by the rest of the global community as akin to Hitler's advance across Poland.

The apex, perhaps, of this corporate degeneracy are the pro-Bush rallies organized by the radio goliath Clear Channel. How many of the patriotic Americans attending these rallies know that Clear Channel is headed by a long time political patron of President Bush, or that important regulatory issues that will reap Clear Channel millions of dollars are currently before Bush's FCC chair and Colin Powell's son? How many of the patriotic Americans attending these rallies to "support our troops" know that as Bush prepared to send them into battle, he cut federal support to schools disproportionately attended by the their children? How many of them know that as our troops were fighting and dying in Iraq, Bush was cutting the Veteran's benefits they will need when they return? One thing is all but certain; Clear Channel won't be telling them. "Support our troops" indeed.

The genesis of this journalistic malpractice was, of course, election 2000. The corporate millionaires of cable TV, intent on receiving their promised tax cut, ignored Bush's outright lies concerning tax policy, social security, and medicare. Instead, they projected Bush's deceit onto poor Al Gore, inventing clever quotes concerning the origins of the internet. Real journalism, which would have revealed the illegal purging of thousands of democratic voters in time to make a difference in the stolen election, was forsaken for catty stories about "earth tones" and "Love Story."

And so, it has come home to roost. The best of our children are now dying in Iraq in a war that, even if successful, will brand the United States as an aggressor nation in the eyes of most of the world. It is a war that was launched by an illegitimate poseur, in equal parts to secure a congress sympathetic to his right wing agenda, to secure oil for his political benefactors, and as a misguided attempt to remake the politics of an entire region of the globe. The corporate celebrity spokespeople who masquerade as reporters won't let on to these grisly facts. The reason is simple. To do so would be to admit they have blood on their hands.

Common Sense // 7:15 PM

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