Saturday, October 22, 2005

`The Greatest Strategic Disaster in U.S. History'

This article appears in full in the October 14, 2005 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.

`The Greatest Strategic Disaster in U.S. History'

by Michele Steinberg


The Administration's fanaticism, including Bush's Oct. 6 call for further wars against Syria and Iran, makes the intervention by the military against the Iraq War all the more urgent.

'Why Not Cut and Run?'

On Sept. 28, retired Lt. Gen. William Odom, the ex-head of the National Security Agency (NSA), joined Rep. Walter Jones (R-N.C.), Rep. Neil Abercrombie (D-Hi.), and other members of the House of Representatives, at a news conference in Washington, to support their bipartisan legislation to withdraw from Iraq.

Odom not only supported the legislation; he called the invasion of Iraq "the greatest strategic disaster in United States history." Odom added, "We need a broad coalition of Europeans and our allies in Asia to put things in order.... We cannot do that as long as we are in Iraq. The precondition for a serious and effective strategic engagement to stabilize this region requires withdrawal and admittance to others that we may have made an error."

But that was not all. On Oct. 3, General Odom wrote an article titled, "What's Wrong With Cutting and Running?" (See "If I were a journalist," he wrote, "I would list all the arguments that you hear against pulling U.S. troops out of Iraq, the horrible things that people say would happen, and then ask: Aren't they happening already? Would a pullout really make things worse? Maybe it would make things better."

Odom refutes in a devastating way, the arguments that the Administration usually puts forth as its only reason for "staying the course." For example: Leaving would "risk civil war," and would "encourage terrorists."

...There is a similar groundswell against the Iraq War, in Britain. On Oct. 2, the London Sunday Telegraph published a chilling article, citing British military historian Col. Tim Collins (ret.), who says that British forces have been decisively defeated in southern Iraq, and may soon be chased across the border into Iran.

Collins, described in the article as a respected officer whose "eve of battle address during the Iraq war has been praised as among the greatest in British military history," warned that the "incompetence and lack of direction" of the political leadership has created a situation in which "the danger is that we could face defeat in the field. We could be overwhelmed. The Army could be chased over the border into Iran." Asked how humiliating that would be for Britain, he answered, "It would be historic." He called on Prime Minister Tony Blair to "fall on his sword" for presiding over a "right rollicking cock-up."

These two military leaders are just the latest voices of warning. On Sept. 15, at an informal hearing called by Rep. Lynne Woolsey (D-Calif.), Gen. Joseph Hoar (USMC-ret.), and former Sen. Max Cleland (D-Ga.), a decorated Vietnam War vet, testified that not only is the situation in Iraq getting worse and worse, but the Army itself is "broken," and the United States is going bankrupt, paying for the no-win war.

After the four-hour hearing, in which about 30 members of Congress questioned Hoar, Cleland, and other expert witnesses, the Administration could be likened to Hitler in the bunker in the early part of 1945, when World War II was lost for the Nazis, but Hitler dreamed up ever wilder expansions of the war...

There is no longer any area where the U.S. military is in control.

The British have withdrawn from Basra, the largest city in the south, and cannot control the region.

Even worse, there is a likelihood, with the continuing threats by Cheney to attack Iran, that the Iraqi Shi'ites will launch their own insurgency against the United States, in the event of a U.S. and/or Israeli attack on Shi'ite Iran.

It is already an ugly civil war. U.S. Marines who recently returned from Anbar province in Western Iraq, say that the U.S. is facing a "widespread, hard-core, nationalist insurgency," which should be understood as analogous to the French resistance to the Nazi occupation.

...The brutality of the civil war—with the U.S. clearly involved in allowing pro-occupation gangs to carry out mass murders—is beginning to find its way into media reports. On Oct. 5, the website noted recent reports by CBS News and the Chicago Tribune, about Iraqi Shi'ite commandos, working for the new Iraq government, who have targetted Sunnis, terrorizing families in the middle of the night, and killing Sunni men on a mass scale...

The Shi'a forces involved in targetting of Sunnis are officially working for, and trained and equipped by the United States, in the name of stability.

Meltdown in the Washington Command

On Sept. 28, at a hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee, all hell broke loose, when U.S. Army Gen. George Casey, Commander of the U.S. and coalition forces in Iraq, said that there is only one battalion of "fully capable" Iraqi troops...

According to media reports, and EIR's sources in the Washington intelligence community, there were high-level meetings at the White House that were a combination of damage control, and flight-forward planning for attacks on Syria, to be conducted in "hot pursuit" of "terrorists" who would be fleeing an American offensive in the western Anbar province of Iraq. U.S. military strikes against Syria, and the overthrow of Syrian President Bashar Assad, remains high on the agenda of Cheney and his neo-con cabal.

While no military action has been announced against Syria, as of Oct. 6, the speeches by Cheney and Bush indicate that they fully intend to expand the Iraq war to Syria and Iran...

There is no question that Bush and Cheney feel the walls of reality closing in on them, as the multiple criminal investigations are coming to a head, particularly the possible indictments of top White House personnel for the revenge leaking of the identity of covert CIA agent Valerie Plame Wilson, and the indictments of House Republican Majority Leader Tom DeLay.
But, feeling the political squeeze, Cheney and Bush, are planning new wars to get themselves a little "Lebensraum."


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