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09 November 2006

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Michael D. Adams

"The Band, Elwood, the Band!"
--Jake Blues 1978

Hell, they may as well dig up William Casey while they're at it. Yeah, let's
put the "I ran Contraband" "back together and do a Reunion Cover-up tour.

Nothing is going to change but the office assignments in Congress.

"Saddam, Now More Than Ever!" Like Bill Lind says, "He's tanned, rested, and ready to go."
MDA

John in LA

It is tempting to think that we may turn a corner and that sanity may prevail. But the return of the Bush 1 advisors, retired from their careers and frankly out of the loop (14 years out of the loop)doesn't promise great things.

--Do we see anyone who can get us out from under the Zionist cabal?

--Do we see anyone who looks at Arabs/Muslims with anything more than contempt and disdain?

--Do we see anyone with a vision for what American foreign policy needs to be in an era of acute pressure on oil resources and spiraling violence in the Muslim world?

Some things aren't going to change -- certainly, the Taliban are still one bullet away from the bomb.

Kim Il Jong is goin to drive us crazy, holding a gun to the head of the Japanese.

Global warming is still going to throw of hundreds of millions of migrants.

HIV runs unchecked through Africa and, increasingly, Asia.

The American economy is still wholly dependant on foreign oil and foreign loans.

The Chinese are still shorting the dollar.

Jim Baker? Bob Gates? And...George Bush is still as stupid as ever.

Oh, The Israelis just slaughtered 18 civilians in Palestine.

Going to be some payback, don't you think?

Robert in SB

Bushes body language with Pelosi today spoke volumes. Her sitting back, spine straight, extending only her forearm out to shake. 43, in contrast, leaning forward,out, arm stretched out all the way, a grimace on his face, his body turned sideways protectively. She has his balls in jar on her trophy shelf, and he knew it.

clif

Pat could you be saying "Trust but verify", what Bush says?

zanzibar

I am not holding my breath that we will see a magical transformation in DC and the Decider's attitude. I am not sure it is in his DNA to compromise. Rather his whole political ethos from Texas on has been to demonize his opponents character. Note that just a week ago he was telling Americans that if they elected Democrats the terrorists would win.

It was not many minutes after all the comity at the White House today that the Decider decides to send back Bolton's nomination. He pushed the Military Commissions Act in 11th hour before the elections. Now he wants to send controversial legislation to the lame duck Congress.

If Jim Baker presents publicly anything contrary to what the Decider wants I would be very surprised. I know the Democrats at this juncture are hiding behind the ISG recommendation while they come to terms with their new found power after all these years in the wilderness.

In any case there is no easy way out in Iraq? How are we going to get Sadr and Hakim to come to terms let alone the myriad Sunni factions?

Hopefully the Decider is chastened by the verdict of the American people. This was a monumental decision by the American electorate repudiating the Decider's politics of division and his judgement as well as the corruption in Congress. Not only did the Democrats win the House and Senate, they won several governorships all across the country. States as diverse as Colorado, Ohio and New Hampshire flipped completely. The Decider has got a decision to make - will he share power as required under our constitution or will he succumb to his self-righteousness? Will the Democrats misread their mandate? I hope that the fresh blood and influence of people like Senator-elect Jim Webb and others will cause the Democrats actions and behavior to be measured.

Walrus

Col. Lang,

I think you are absolutely right. Nothing has changed.....yet. I'm not sure that change is going to be for the better either, because the unholy allaince of the military/Industrial complex is still lobbying and to some extent controlling the Republicans and if anything the Israel Lobby has even more clout with the Democrats than they did with the Republicans. For this reason, an attack on Iran is still on the cards in my opinion because both these groups have a vested interest in entangling the U.S. in a major shooting war in the middle east - not the sideshow that is Iraq now.

The resulting violence in Iraq and elsewhere after such an attack would see the Dems Co-opted into supporting a real shooting "war on terror", the draft and more "anti terror" measures.

We will only have a rational foreign policy and the chance of peace when someone puts a stake through the heart of the "Project for the New American Century" - a project that is really calling for a rerun of the "old" American century and a maintenance of the status quo.

Before WWI, Kaiser Wilhelm II used his foriegn policy of advancing Germany's claim to "great Power" Status as a similar excuse to head off rising pressure from the working classes for democratic and social reforms. Look what happened to him....and to Germany as a result.

Les Izmore

Mass delusion is what got the US where we are today in Iraq and as you point out it seems to be continuing. The situation in the Middle East has always been very complex. The Bush/neo con crew sold the American people, and many others, a bill of goods by promising easy quick solutions to historical dilemmas. Now those same people believe a change in direction will end the war to the satisfaction of all the players. This is not going to happen. It will take many years and much effort to repair the incredible amount of damage that has been done by this reckless adventurism. Already Richard Perle and his warmongering cohorts are extracting themselves from their deep responsibility for these morally bankrupt policies. One side effect of the change in Congressional power is that now the Bush/Cheney cabal has a scapegoat to point at in 2008. "We told you, stay the course and it would have all worked out. The appeaser Democrats have failed in Iraq." This shift in power does open a window of opportunity to redirect our foreign policy but I fear both parties remain more concerned with increasing their domestic advantage than addressing the problems created by our self serving imperialism. We can only hope to make long term changes for the better in the Middle East by involving the people of the region at all levels to fix this very broken wagon. Personally I see the replacement of Rumsfeld by Gates as a sideways step in this project. God help us all.

Green Zone Cafe

Well, I am glad about the return of balance and accountability in government. Especially Webb winning - Sic Semper Tyrannis, indeed.

As for Iraq, I am of mixed feelings about all this. I worked with many Iraqis who bought into our bullshit about democracy, etc. To leave now would put them in an uncomfortable situation. On the other hand, muddling through will sap American strength for decades.

Reminds me of what an Army captain told me - "What, they never heard of the old American bait-and switch?"

Will Raiser

The reaction of one with reasoned experience.

Trent

Stratfor suggesting the ISG will call for direct talks with Iran. Can't imagine the Decider listens to that while trying to push Bolton through.

anna missed

I can't imagine how Bush is going to make through the next couple of years. The common assumption that Bush prefers living in a "bubble" is most likely a misnomer for his predilection for happy talk and yes men, and not so much a will toward solitude or reflection. The problem for Bush now, and from now on, is that he will be living in a "bubble", except this time it's the fishbowl variety "bubble" -- with all its attendent implications, investigations, innuindos, and most of all blame. This cowboys goinna ride that final two miles into the sunset, all, all, alone.

arbogast

There is not a lot to add to Col. Lang's assessment.

George Bush is a fundamentally corrupt man. The war in Iraq was, for him, a means to an end: political dominance in the U.S. With political dominance came the opportunity for him and his cronies to loot the national treasure. The looting will continue until he is out of office.

The war, which has been his political trump card, has turned against him. In fact, he has become the most hated man in America, because people now see him as the plutocrat opportunist that he is.

If the investigative arm of the House (led by Dennis Kucinich, a name we will be hearing more often) starts turning over the stone of the Republican Party, George's last two years in office should be almost what he deserves.

But will sanity prevail? Will he start an orderly withdrawal from Iraq? Will pigs fly?

blowback

It is probably a good thing that the boy Bush doesn't read the newspapers otherwise he might have read something like this:

One by one, Daddy's wise men are coming back to rescue the struggling son.

I shudder to think what it would have done to his over-inflated ego.

However, the more important issue is what this portends for Iraq. Will we see the US military being used to "put down" the Shiites? It was beginning to look that way before the elections with the lockdown of Sadr City and the pressure on Maliki to use the Iraqi army to liquidate the Shiite militias.

Johnek

President B and Rumsfeld are just marionetes in the marionete theater.
The real actors Richard Perle, Paul Wolfowitz etc are no longer to be found in the media.
Why?

arbogast

I do have a possible career move for George, however.

Now that Israel is conducting mock bombing raids on French troops in Lebanon, I would say that the possibility of a conquering Israeli army marching down the Champs Elysee cannot be ruled out as the backdrop for a new version of Casablanca starring George and Condi.

I admit that Condi as Ingrid Bergman is a stretch, but George as Humphrey Bogart is clearly within the realm of possibility. They both went to Andover, for starters.

arbogast

Israeli troops marching down the Champs Elysee could be the backdrop for a new Casablanca starring George and Condi.

Hollywood would probably want to bring the name up to date, though, and just call it White House.

French Forces Almost Fired On Israeli Jets
F-15s Dived on Peacekeepers In Lebanon, Defense Official Says
By Molly Moore
Washington Post Foreign Service
Friday, November 10, 2006; A22

PARIS, Nov. 9 -- French peacekeeping forces in southern Lebanon came within seconds of firing missiles at Israeli F-15 fighter jets that repeatedly dived on their positions last week...

Tuli

Exactly!

Nabil

I celebrated with a nice dinner. Bye bye Rummy, you smarmy bastard.

I am not expecting a balanced US mideast policy to come out of this, but I am expecting some inquiries, some real questions, some real answers, and some real accountability.

Byron Raum

Col Lang's description is, of course, astute, as always. If you want to know what Bush is thinking, the last person to listen to is Tony Snow. What he's thinking is, of course, "The American people are complete morons." Rumsfeld has said as much.

Nothing shows that Bush is capable of changing. But the majority of Bush's power came from the fact that he had a supine Congress and Senate. The reason Bush is seething is because his support group has been chastened; he's tried ramming through legislation like he's used to doing, and been told to go away. It is still too early to decide that the Democrats will be spineless. Rather, all the jubilation and excitement is good because it steels people to the possibilities of extreme change. Most pundits and politicians agree that the Democrats have been handed a new mandate and hopefully this will become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Unfortunately, it's not going to be overnight. In fact, it's going to be several months before the Democrats come in, vote themselves in charge, get settled in and start looking around.

John in LA

Voila...

'Gates will uphold solid US-Israel ties'

Departing Ambassador to Washington Danny Ayalon said Thursday that he expected Israel's strong strategic relationship with the US to continue should Robert Gates be confirmed as the next secretary of defense.

Ayalon told The Jerusalem Post by telephone from Washington that Gates would be heading a department which is "very supportive and cooperative with Israel," and that he believed the nominee would continue that tradition.

According to Ayalon, "We always were reaching out to Democrats and Republicans. We develop and cherish bipartisan support at all times, and I think it will pay off now as it always has."

John in LA

We can't get ahead of ourselves. Sure, Rummy was an objectionable old crank; Cheny a dissolving Jaba.

But, as noted in an earlier post, the Beverly Hills set control the Democratic party. And the Beverly Hills set believes only in shoveling money at Israel and shooting into crowds of Arabs... while murmuring emphathetic noises about notching up minimum wages and "caring".

The scary part will be when the Beverly Hills AIPACers and the Beverly Hills "Persians" get to work on the Democratic leadership.

Guthrum

I am writing from England, I admire your writing and candour. Our Prime Minister is on the rack and probably only has a period of weeks to survive for backing Bush. The impression here is that Bush 1 is having to bail out Bush 2, and surround him with 'trusted' advisors and to stop any further rot. This whole episode has been a monumental foreign policy disaster for both of our countries.

Got A Watch

The point of maximum danger may be right now, with 3 carrier task forces staring down Iranian forces around Iran. A manufactured "incident" could occur at any time, and then the real shooting will start. Israel is still pressing for an attack on Iran. If we can get through the Christmas period quietly, then maybe the danger will diminish.

The forces of darkness have been pushed back, but they are still active. Meanwhile in the real world, the economic center of gravity tilts a little more towards Asia every day, and I read of few in Washington who would acknowledge this cold fact in public. America has but a handful of years to begin to turn this trend around, or face irrelevance akin to that of the UK today - a country who continually talks and acts more important than they actually are to any but their own citizens.

arbogast

Got A Watch: You have perhaps implicitly explained in your post why the Israeli's are trying to scare the French. The French have a carrier task force off Lebanon (I believe). That carrier task force would never in a million years become part of a strike against Iran. Conceivably, its presence is a huge thorn in the side of both Israel and the US.

Colonel Lang, do you have any thoughts about this? It certainly goes to the very heart of "What happens next?"

In all the gyrations about "change in Iraq", if my thinking above is correct, we will hear nothing about the UN. But the UN is the only hope for a future for Iraq.

John Hammer

By the time the Democrats take their positions and get their staffs in place, the New Hampshire Primary will be less than a year away. In short, the dems have about nine months of play time before the real battle begins, and they do not have the luxury of running against Bush or Cheney in 08'.

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