Sunday, January 14, 2007
"The most dangerous foreign policy blunder in this country since Vietman, if it's carried out!"
By ALEXANDER COCKBURN
"A make-or-break speech by a beleagured American president is usually preceded by a demonstration of American might somewhere on the planet and the run-up to Bush’s address Wednesday night was no exception. The AC-130 U.S. gunship that massacred a convoy of fleeing Islamists on Somalia’s southwestern border, apparently along with dozens of nomads, their families and livestock, was deployed on its mission on Sunday, to make timely newspaper headlines indicative of Bush’s determination to strike at terror wherever it may lurk. Moral to nomads: when the US president schedules a speech, don’t herd, don’t go to wedding parties, head for the nearest cave.
President Bush stuck to his expected script and said he plans to boost America’s forces in Iraq by 4,000 Marines to Anbar province and 5 combat brigades -- 17,500 troops -- to Baghdad, in a new scheme to regain control of the city. Past strategies to do this had failed, Bush explained, because of insufficient numbers. He added ominously, “Also, there were too many restrictions on the troops we did have.”
In other words, the gloves will now be off in the impending onslaught on the areas of Baghdad controlled by Muktada al Sadr and his Mehdi army. In urban counter-insurgency – the specialty of the politically agile and ambitious new US commander Gen. David Petraeus – the unrestricted U.S. response to a sniper attack or a street corner ambush will be to level the block and if necessary, the entire neighborhood, in a reprise of the destruction of much of Fallujah at the end of 2004....."