Colonel Robert E Bartos (Ret US) on GWBush Summer 2008
Author at Shrapnel writes good military and political related comment. I copied and pasted his post below. He writes weekly, candid, "bitting" reports with the wisdom granted by time and experience. He was a columnist for Col David Hackworth before Hackworth passed away.
As you may have heard me say, it is important to follow politics to outperform the market, because the government is so inept and corrupt that they drive the markets. ie gold, oil, defense contractors etc....
Odds and Ends; GWBush Summer 2008
"What do you know? Coincidental with the end of GW Bush's presidency, we see the end of the US occupation of Iraq. This withdrawal has nothing to do with victory; it has everything to do with failure. The US intended to depart Iraq with a strong democratic central government in place that was favorably disposed to US policies. There is nothing of the kind existing, or on the horizon.
Reality and the ending of a UN mandate has forced Bush out. Seventy percent of the Iraqis demand YANKEE GO HOME. US ground forces are exhausted and face a rapidly decaying security situation in Afghanistan and now Pakistan as the costs of Bush blunders mount. US presidential elections will bring Democrats into power who want to spend three billion a week on US domestic priorities, so Bush has to cut a deal soonest; he hopes at least to award his US oilmen pals some sugar. It is interesting, in this context, that the Iraqis recently invited the Russians to bid for petroleum contracts.
Bush has over sold the success of the surge. It has reduced US casualties as the US bribes Iraqi tribesmen at $200.00 dollars a month not to kill US troops. There are over 100,000 Sunni tribesmen that the US pays and has armed. These were to be integrated into central Iraqi defense forces. To date only about 5,000 have been. On the contrary, the central Shiite controlled government is now trying to disband them. What a set up for bloody future civil war – where is SAVEUS PETRAEUS on this one? He created the problem for short-term political gain in Washington. In the process, he has set the stage for long-term chaos in Iraq.
As far as the Shiite part of the security problems, the Iranians have decided to put all their money on Maliki and disbanded El Sadr's Mehdi militias. El Sadr himself is in Iran now piously studying to be an ayatollah. Remember that snake Ahmed Chalabi, the neocon plaything who boasted he was the midwife for the US invasion? You can bet he is up to his eyeballs in the Shiite situation angling for Maliki's job. He is the only guy who even managed to screw the neocons.
As far as the Kurds, the US is torn between keeping them part of the central government or independent, so they can be exploited by US oilmen and Israelis. The oil rich city of of Kirkut is the big prize; its control is key to a greater Kurdistan – the Sunnis, Turkomen and Shiite elements will permit this only over their dead bodies. Should the Kurds go independent, the Turks and Iranians will make certain that this independence has a short life.
Apart from the serious security problems, Iraq continues to be a political, economic and social basket case. Major cities have been religiously and ethnically cleansed. Property ownership is in disarray. There are about 2 million refugees, mostly in Jordan and Syria. Most of these people are former Baathists or US collaborators whose throats will be cut if they return home. They are precluded from working in Syria or Jordan. Most live off UN refugee handouts. They most certainly act as an internal security flash point for the destabilization of each of these small countries.
The US has so far avoided serious responsibility for these displaced persons. Excuse is they need background checks. So far about 800 Iraqi refugees have been admitted to the US. Under international pressure, US has promised to admit 17,000 next year – that should keep the FBI and Home Land Security busy in the US for the rest of this century.
With Senator Biden on the Democratic ticket, depending on his influence in the new administration, he envisions an Iraq plan which, like Caesar's Gaul, divides Iraq into three parts, along ethnic/religious lines. It would be an Iraqi confederation with a weak central government, probably with only the power to print postage stamps. Biden is an unabashed interventionist who believes Uncle Sam always morally knows best. He voted for the Iraq war and subsequent funding; another of his dubious achievements was the permanent US basing in three of former Yugoslavia states. He must fancy himself as an Ottoman Turk. As far as his dream Iraqi confederation, pure nonsense; it will be a bloody last-man standing affair and Petraeus will have been the enabler.
The selection by Obama of Biden as VEEP was a mistake. As VEEP, blowhard Biden is old wine in a new bottle. Historically, since 1973, he is part of the debacles in foreign policy suffered by the US. He has stated idiotically that there is no difference in US foreign policy goals and those of Israel. If Obama intends to change the equations in US foreign policy, Biden will undermine him. Obama will find he paid a high price for the Jewish vote in the Northeast and Florida.
By now even the dimmest Republican should have figured out that General Petraeus did not save us. There is of course one exception and that is Bomb Bomb McCain, but he does not know the difference between Shiite and Sunni or the boundaries of Iraq. His lucid intervals seem fewer and fewer.
By the way Bomb Bomb, this American resents you calling me a Georgian. Never thought the US would find a goofier President than GW Bush, but the Republicans have one on deck for the '08 presidential elections. Colonial Robert E Bartos USA Ret"