Bush proclaims that America is on course for “complete victory” in Iraq
The same old Bush bollocks
As the Iraq quagmire deepens, Bush is trying to bolster his support at home. One such attempt saw him make a speech in which he stated that “our strategy in Iraq is clear... I will settle for nothing less than complete victory.” Those paying attention will know that he declared victory in May, 2003. Since then, the costs in human lives and resources have increased, unlike Bush’s approval ratings.
Not one to let reality get in the way of his rhetoric, Bush proclaimed that America was on course for “complete victory” and he ruled out any firm timetable for the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq. Yet the war was launched, so Bush claimed, to disarm Iraq of its WMD. As such, “complete victory” was achieved before a single shot was fired. This would have been proven by the UN weapons inspectors, which was why Bush launched his invasion when he did. A few more weeks and the world would have proof that the Bush Junta had been lying about Saddam’s threat to America in order to justify a long desired imperialist war. So when Bush asserts that “pulling our troops out before they achieve their purpose is not a plan for victory” the America people should ask what purpose is that, given that the rationale for war has been exposed as a series of lies and spin.
Even the location of Bush’s speech showed his isolation. Standing before a gold and blue banner proclaiming “Plan For Victory”, Bush spoke, as he usually does these days, before a military audience. The obvious benefit is that the military will be under orders not to heckle their Commander in Chief. It also saves his cronies having to vet crowds to so-called “public” appearances in remove non-believers.
Which is just as well, given that the Bush Junta has no Iraq policy beyond a mantra-like repetition of “stay the course.” While Bush likes to portray Iraq as “the central front” in the war on terror, the fact is it is his own imperialist adventure that has made it so. Yet the White House has acknowledged reality to some degree, dropping its insistence that foreign fighters are its main foe in Iraq. It now concedes that terrorists linked to al-Qa’ida are the smallest component of the insurgency.
This means that Bush’s rationale for wasting yet more lives and resources in Iraq is as phoney as his rationale for the initial invasion. He claims US troops remain to fight the “terrorism” his invasion has created. Yet the bulk of the insurgency is fighting against foreign occupation and, consequently, it will continue until those forces leave. Yet Bush refuses to set a timetable for withdraw, which shows the insurgents that the US plans to stay. Which, of course, explains the lack of an exit plan — the US had no plans to exit and planned from the start to have an imperial presence at the heart of the Middle East.
Ironically, Bush himself showed that the insurgents are right to consider Iraq occupied. He stated that as “the political process advances” the US would be able to decrease troop levels. He stressed that decisions about troop levels would be dictated by conditions on the ground in Iraq and the judgement of US commanders, “not by artificial timetables set by politicians in Washington.” Which shows that Bush’s talk of the Iraqi “political process” and “sovereignty” is so much hot air. This is because Bush is not only ignoring the wishes of the majority of his own nation, he is ignoring the persistent calls for a timetable from Iraqis themselves. A recent poll that found “over 80 percent of Iraqis are strongly opposed to the presence of coalition troops, and about 45 percent of the Iraqi population believe attacks against American troops are justified.” Factoring out the generally pro-American Kurds, those figures must be even higher with the Arab areas of Iraq. And it should be noted that a special conference of the leaders of Iraq’s sharply divided Shiites, Kurds and Sunnis called for such a timetable (they also said Iraqi’s had a “legitimate right” of resistance).
So, clearly, the US calls the shots in “liberated” Iraq, as acknowledged by the Iraqi President himself before the UN: “I categorically refuse the use of Iraqi soil to launch a military strike against Syria or any other Arab country....But at the end of the day my ability to confront the U.S. military is limited and I cannot impose on them my will.” So much for the claim that Iraq is free.
Finally, who is this “we” Bush yaps on about? As a good capitalist he should know that society does not exist. He must also be painfully aware that over 60% of his subjects reject his war. He must also be aware that he and his rich corporate backers do not have to fight his war. It seems unfair that those who reject Bush’s war of choice should pay for it. Perhaps we can offer a suggestion which fits well into Republican ideology: privatise the war. Let those who support the war fight it. If they are not fit enough to fight, let them pay the $6 billion a month required to sustain the American military presence in Iraq. Let Halliburton and the other corporations dip into their own coffers to rebuild the country their lackey has destroyed.
If the war were privatised, it would quickly end and Bush’s backers would be at the forefront in demanding an immediate withdrawal. But this will never happen. Capitalism is based on using the state to ensure and enhance the power and profits of the few. While profits are privatised, costs are socialised. The Iraq debacle is a classic example of this, where the imperial interests of the US capitalist elite are being furthered by the blood and money of the many. Until such time the American people turn their vocal opposition to action, the US occupation will stumble on — until the costs to the elite finally outweigh any possible long term gain. Anti-war action on the home front can increase those costs and so hurry a withdrawal, talk will not. The same, needless to say, applies here in Britain.