News Analysis: New World Order, or Delusion?
A BUZZFLASH NEWS ANALYSIS -
Look out, citizens. Here comes George W. Bush's "new world order."
It's the escalation and "surge" that Bush tried to defend in his
address to the nation Wednesday night -- but, it's also, oh, so much
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Secretary of
Defense Robert Gates stood at a podium Thursday morning to put some
meat on the bones of the long-delayed and much anticipated new Iraq
policy that Bush has decided on. In fact, their comments went much
further, giving us an explicit Bush plan of digging in deeper in Iraq
AND expanding America's role in the region further.
Unfortunately, the plan mirrors the ambitions outlined in the "Plan for a New American Century" (PNAC)
which was laid out in September, 2000 by hard-core neo-conservative
think tank members. This plan embraces their military-industrial
expansionist goals and outlines a new strategy that will entrench our
military and private contractors throughout the Middle East
indefinitely. It reflects the view that American military and American
civilians can and should reshape the Middle East, and expresses the
belief that we have already achieved a good start. It proposes a larger
American military, and a permanent presence throughout the Middle East.
It does not address bringing troops home.
To us, it is pure delusion and folly. It is imperialism and a rejection of the American voters' will.
is embracing the six-year-old neocon plan that many of its adherents
have since abandoned, and he thinks he can now implement it using new
strategies that most analysts, including most of the neoconservatives,
reject and fear.
Secretary of State Rice outlined these three points of the Bush plan:
The Iraqis are in charge, and America will play a supporting role.
However, Secretary Rice includes a telling caveat: "... we will support
their good decisions, but ... America's patience is limited." In other words, it is, after all, America's call which
Iraqi decisions will merit our support. Undoubtedly, America would not
support an Iraqi decision to send America packing, for instance. Nor
will America support their decision to set their own timetable, since
that might exacerbate our "impatience."
2. This "surge," which is
not time-limited, includes not only our armed forces, but also American
civilians in Iraq. "... we will further decentralize and diversify our
civilian presence in Iraq ... [and] "get our civilians out of the
embassy, out of the Green Zone and into the field across Iraq ..." Rice
has created a new position in the State Department to oversee
provincial reconstruction teams (PRTs), and there will be 18, no longer
just the existing 10 such teams, spreading out across the country. How
we will keep these Americans safe is not spelled out. Nor is it clear
who will volunteer to join this civilian "surge."
3. Our policy
is now that America's military and civilian forces should expand beyond
Iraq. Rice couched this alarming third point in seemingly docile
language: "Finally, we are anchoring our efforts in Iraq within a
regional diplomatic strategy, as the Iraq Study Group recommended."
However, Rice was being disengenuous. She doesn't intend to do as the
Iraq Study Group actually suggested in relation to Iran or Syria.
Instead, the new policy is to lock Iran and Syria out of the diplomatic
process and intensify our hostile stance towards both countries -- in
direct contradiction to the Iraq Study Group's recommendations.
went on to provide a roster of players, delineating "us" versus "them,"
since it has been an ongoing problem in these hostilities that we never
actually defined "the enemy." The regional "us" now includes Israel,
Turkey, Egypt, Jordan; the regional "them" includes "extremists of
every sect and ethnicity, who use violence to spread chaos, to
undermine democratic governments and to impose agendas of hate and
intolerance." It would certainly help if these enemies would wear
identifiable uniforms to help "us" in recognizing "them" in their
homes, on the streets, and in whatever country they pop up in. And now,
"them" the enemy seems to include the countries, Syria and Iran. Rice
further indicated that our "friends" need our support "in places like
Lebanon, the Palestinian territories and Iraq, and the responsible
governments of the Gulf states, plus Egypt and Jordan, or the
So where will America not be fighting enemies and defending friends?
Secretary of Defense Robert Gates was up next at the podium.
expressed the PNAC and Bush opinion that "the credibility of the United
States is on the line in Iraq." A more realistic view would be that
only George W. Bush's credibility is on the line.
echoed Rice's fear-mongering and threatened that violence "could spread
outside [Iraq's] borders and draw other states into a regional
conflagration." We can be grateful, at least, that our newly minted
secretary of defense avoided the Biblical language of "Crusade" or
Secretary Gates went on to outline new tactics,
to go with new policy and expanding fears. He explained that the
tactical plan "places new emphasis on and adds new resources to the
holding and building part of the 'clear, hold and build' strategy."
Does that mean we aim to invade neighborhoods, then stay in them for
the long term? Doesn't this tactic ignore the reality of sectarian
strongholds? Does it require one (unspecified) sect to be the victor
and arbiter of Iraq's security?
Secretary Gates' presentation
went on to outline goals for the expansion of and deployment of
America's armed forces. He elaborated desirable goals that would
restrict deployments and offer guarantees to our servicemen and women;
but he then clarified that such protections can't go into effect in the
short term. Five years from now we'd like to limit redeployments of troops who have served overseas, but:
"Mobilizing select Guard and Reserve units before this five-year period
is complete will allow us to move closer to relieving the stress on the
total force." So our current troops will be deployed and redeployed,
apparently, until we build up our overall forces in permanent size over
the next five years. Then we'll be ready to fight all our enemies
We have to ask, won't America's enemies also have mushroomed in those five years, just as they have since May, 2003?
W. Bush is deluded. Condoleezza Rice is on a failed diplomatic mission.
Robert Gates has signed on to something bigger than the 44-year-long
We hope the American people, and their Congress, have the will and the means to stop them.
Briefing on President's Iraq Strategy: Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Gen. Peter Pace, Courtesy CQ Transcripts Wire (Washington Post)
A BUZZFLASH NEWS ANALYSIS