Belaboring the Obvious

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Cutting and Running on "Stay the Course"....

Now that election time is near and the polls show Bush being a net drag on his party's chances in the election (at this point, that's like saying, "a little bit pregnant"), Bush is claiming in an interview with George Stephanopoulis, "we were never 'stay the course'...."

As usual, Dear Leader is full of shit and playing to the polls he never reads (others do that for him). This is a Republican fourth down on their own twelve and their quarterback's been sacked so many times he's gotten gimpy and dizzy and taken to changing plays on audibles no one else knows. Others have outlined all the instances where Bush and his minions insisted that he was "staying the course," so there's no need for me to do so again (and those instances are legion).

What I want to do is to remind everyone of a little recent history. Bush's dad, Poppy, hustled the Saudis to permit U.S. troops on Saudi soil. He told them Iraq was going to invade them after taking Kuwait. It wasn't true. Now, there had to be a reason for that, because the troops didn't leave after Hussein's forces had been removed from Kuwait. They stayed, to the great consternation of Saudi clerics and certain Saudi fundamentalists of whom we are all familiar.

Those U.S. troops didn't leave until the start of the invasion of Iraq. Now, they are in Iraq, and Qatar and Bahrain and the UAE. But, they're off Saudi soil and still are in the Middle East.

I would say, from that, that the U.S. intends to have troops strategically situated in the Middle East for as long as they can create circumstances to justify having them there, one way or another.

That presents a conundrum. The Iraqis don't want U.S. troops permanently stationed in Iraq. Saudis certainly won't take them back now. Bush/Cheney don't want them moved. And yet, there's silly talk in the press about those troops eventually leaving? That there really is a timetable?

Context is everything. There's an upcoming election. Repugs are getting their asses handed to them in the polls precisely because they've been parroting "stay the course," just like their dear leader. U.S. policy for approaching twenty years is to have significant numbers of soldiers in the Middle East, even though they are not wanted by the people there.

Either the Kuwaitis are going to be happy having 150,000 troops permanently stationed there (not bloody likely), or the Bushies think they can create peace in Iraq and still have an occupying force in place there forever--against the will of the population, or it's a scam by the Bushies until they can get past the election with their Congressional hides intact.

Let's put it even more simply--if U.S. policy has been to keep troops in the Middle East for the last sixteen years, even when people in the Middle East are dead set against permanent installations (except, perhaps, for the Israeli government), then what's the chance of Bush removing U.S. troops now?

Which is more likely? One gets extra points for any answer solidly grounded in cynicism.


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