It is becoming increasingly obvious that the US is succeeding in Iraq. The surest evidence is the security agreement that Iraq wants to replace U.N. Security Council Resolution 1546. It envisages a rapid withdrawal of US forces and a substantial US force left to safeguard Iraq’s security, especially vis à vis Iran and Syria.
Bush has many critics with impressive credentials.
President Jimmy Carter has been one of the most vociferous. Yet he failed to protect Iran from the Shi’ite fanatics who took over the country. He failed to secure the release of the US Embassy staff taken hostage by the revolutionaries. He gave the Shi’te wing of radical Islam an oil rich country to use as a bases in their war against the Great Satan. Carter was a complete failure.
Richard Clark was Clinton’s chief counter-terrorism adviser on the National Security Council. Bush kept Clark in that role, but without cabinet level access. Clark has been a fierce critic of the Bush administration. Yet, Al Qaeda grew and metastasized under his watch. The Egyption terrorist group Islamic Jihad, linked to the 1993 attack on the WTC, merged with Al Qaeda in 1998 and declared war on the US. Whenever Clark (and Clinton) had a shot at Bin Ladin they failed to act. Their multiple failures led directly to Al Qaeda’s success on 9/11. If the man had any honor he’d admit his failures and retire to deserved obscurity.
Michael F. Scheuer was the CIA point man on Bin Ladin yet 9/11 was a complete surprise to him. Like Clark, the man was a complete failure. Instead of admitting his failures, he wrote “Imperial Hubris”, a book highly critical of Bush’s war on radical Islam. Here’s a key quote:
The fundamental flaw in our thinking about Bin Laden is that “Muslims hate and attack us for what we are and think, rather than what we do.” Muslims are bothered by our modernity, democracy, and sexuality, but they are rarely spurred to action unless American forces encroach on their lands. It’s American foreign policy that enrages Osama and al-Qaeda, not American culture and society.
Global Security provides a little history for Scheuer:
n August of 1996, Bin Ladin announced publicly his war against the U.S. He tried to persuade Muslims worldwide to unite against their common intruder on the Arabian Peninsula, the United States. One month later in September of 1996, the Taliban, a faction in Afghanistan backed by Pakistan, took control of Kabul. At this time, Bin Ladin began to lay the groundwork for a close alliance. Due to their relationship, the Taliban experienced great outside pressure, UN sanctions, and isolation prior to the September 11th attacks. They did have many gains too including hundreds of fighters, supplies and financial support from al Qaeda.
Not only were there physical gains for the battlefield but there was also a number of ideological ties between the two groups that created a close alliance. Both al Qaeda, under Bin Ladin, and the Taliban wanted a pure Islamic state. It is reported that Bin Ladin even swore his allegiance to Mullah Omar, the Taliban leader.
In 1998, Bin Ladin started to create the foundation for a merger between al Qaeda and another terrorist organization, the Egyptian Islamic Jihad. On February 23, 1998 the leaders of the two groups, Bin Ladin and Ayman Zawahiri, published a fatwa that made public a “ruling to kill the Americans and their allies.” The fatwa not only instructed individuals to kill innocent civilians and members of the military but also stated that it was their duty to do it whenever and wherever possible.
There seems to be a contradiction between what Scheur claims and what Bin Ladin says. But then, Scheur is a miserable failure, while Bin Ladin has had some notable successes in his campaign to kill Americans.
Retired Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez is the latest failure to go on record criticizing the Bush Administration. CNN reports:
Retired Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, coalition commander in 2003 and 2004, called the Iraq war “a nightmare with no end in sight,” for which he said the Bush administration, the State Department and Congress all share blame.
Sanchez told a group of military reporters in Arlington, Virginia, on Friday that such dereliction of duty by a military officer would mean immediate dismissal or court martial, but the politicians have not been held accountable.
He said the Iraq war plan from the start was “catastrophically flawed, unrealistically optimistic,” and the administration has not provided the resources necessary for victory, which he said the military could never achieve on its own.[my bold]
The problems in Iraq — the Sunni/Al Qaeda insurgency and the rise of the Mahdi army — all started when Sanchez was the main charge. It takes massive chutzpa to criticize your leadership because of your failures. General Petraeus has shown what a difference competent leadership makes. If Sanchez had any honor, he’d apologize to the President and to the American people for screwing up so badly in Iraq.
My advise: Before you listen to what Bush’s critics say, look at what they’ve done.