Thursday, June 08, 2006

The Way of the Bush

Sidney Blumenthal's latest article for Salon is all over the place, and that's a good thing. The hook is his revelation that Former President George H. W. Bush campaigned to replace Rumsfeld and even selected a possible replacement. President Bush rejected the deal, which is his perogative as the decider.

But Mr. Blumenthal doesn't stop there - moving on to discuss Haditha and how President Bush's illusions of victory have led him into fighting this war in a less effective way.
The Bush way of war has been ahistorical and apolitical, and therefore warped strategically, putting absolute pressure on the military to provide an outcome it cannot provide -- "victory." From the start, Bush has placed the military at a disadvantage, and not only because he put the Army in the field in insufficient numbers, setting it upon a task it could not accomplish. U.S. troops are trained for conventional military operations, not counterinsurgency, which requires the utmost restraint in using force. The doctrinal fetish of counterterrorism substitutes for and frustrates counterinsurgency efforts.

Conventional fighting takes two primary forms: chasing and killing foreign fighters as if they constituted the heart of the Sunni insurgency and seeking battles like Fallujah as if any would be decisive. Where battles don't exist, assaults on civilian populations, often provoked by insurgents, are misconceived as battles. While this is not a version of some video game, it is still an illusion.

. . . Above all, the Bush way of war violates the fundamental rule of warfare as defined by military philosopher Carl von Clausewitz: War is politics by other means. In other words, it is not the opposite of politics, or its substitute, but its instrument, and by no means its only one. "Subordinating the political point of view to the military would be absurd," wrote Clausewitz, "for it is policy that creates war. Policy is the guiding intelligence and war only the instrument, not vice versa."
I particularly like that last paragraph because I hadn't thought of it like that before. Let's be blunt; the Limbaugh Conservative wants war and conflict, and sees anything less than war and conflict as unmanly and futile. So they see foreign policy as the servent of the war machine, not war as the servent of our foreign policy. This mentality has hurt us in Iraq and it's hurting us in Iran. For, make no mistake, on this issue, President Bush, Vice President Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld are Limbaugh Republicans.

Anyway read the article - if you aren't a member of Salon, you will have to watch an ad to read it, but it's quite good.

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