Bush reportedly shielded from dire forecast
WASHINGTON - President Bush's aides did not forcefully present him with dissenting views from CIA and State and Defense Department officials who warned that U.S.-led forces could face stiff resistance in Iraq, according to three senior administration officials.
Instead, Bush embraced predictions of top administration hawks, beginning with Vice President Dick Cheney, who predicted Iraqis would joyously greet coalition troops as liberators and that the entire conflict might be over in a matter of weeks, the officials said.
Dissenting views "were not fully or energetically communicated to the president," said one top official, who, like the others, requested anonymity. "As a result, almost every assumption the plan's based on looks to be wrong."
Top political and military leaders insist that the war to oust Saddam Hussein and neutralize his weapons of mass destruction is on course. Army and Marine units are within 50 miles of Baghdad, troops pour into Iraq, and increasing swaths of Iraqi territory have been taken from the regime's control.
But debate over the war's course roiled Washington on Friday. Confronted with questions, administration officials insisted that they had never promised an easy conflict and accused the media of making snap judgments 10 days into the war.
Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said it was premature to ask whether the administration miscalculated the Iraqis' desire to rise up against Saddam.
But some senior U.S. officials now acknowledge that they might have underestimated the threat from Iraqi paramilitary units, which have engaged in guerrilla warfare against U.S. and British forces and threatened or executed Iraqis trying to surrender.
In southern Iraq on Friday, persistent hit-and-run attacks on U.S. supply lines and positions seemed to substantiate the view of Army Lt. Gen. William Wallace, who told The New York Times and The Washington Post on Thursday that the enemy has proven more stubborn -- and the war more complex -- than expected.
"The enemy we're fighting is different from the one we'd war-gamed against," he said.
Though Wallace's comment reportedly angered many administration officials, Rumsfeld said he had not read it. "People see what they see and say what they say," he said.
The president has been careful to not describe the war as easy or cost-free. "A campaign on the harsh terrain of a nation as large as California could be longer and more difficult than some predict," Bush said in a speech to the nation shortly after the first cruise missiles struck Baghdad.
But some of those predictions came from Bush's own White House. In a televised interview three days before the Bush speech, Cheney said, "I really do believe that we will be greeted as liberators."
Cheney said his assessment was based in part on meetings with Iraqi exiles, many of whom predicted a quick collapse of Saddam's regime after an invasion.
The exiles, led by Ahmed Chalabi, and some U.S. officials proposed that the job be done by a far smaller force than what is now in Iraq. The force would have relied heavily on small bands of U.S. special operations forces linked with U.S. air power and opponents of the regime inside Iraq.
Richard Perle, an influential former Pentagon official who is close to Rumsfeld, reportedly gave a briefing to Wall Street firm Goldman Sachs 10 days ago in which he predicted that the war would last no longer than three weeks. "And there is a good chance that it will be less than that," he said.
U.S. intelligence agencies insist that they warned policymakers and war planners about the risks of Iraqi unconventional warfare.
A Feb. 3 CIA report predicted that Iraqi irregulars might employ hit-and-run tactics and dress in civilian garb, a U.S. official said. It suggested that militias could pose the greatest threat to coalition forces, said the official.
Of all the arrogance! Our men and women are dying on the battlefield and all Bush can think of is to be prayed for? WTF is wrong with this picture? They have something more important to be doing, like trying to stay ALIVE! Perhaps it should be BUSH who is sending our troops daily pledges that HE is praying for THEM!
They may be the ones facing danger on the battlefield, but US soldiers in Iraq are being asked to pray for President George W Bush.
Thousands of marines have been given a pamphlet called "A Christian's Duty," a mini prayer book which includes a tear-out section to be mailed to the White House pledging the soldier who sends it in has been praying for Bush.
"I have committed to pray for you, your family, your staff and our troops during this time of uncertainty and tumult. May God's peace be your guide," says the pledge, according to a journalist embedded with coalition forces.
The pamphlet, produced by a group called In Touch Ministries, offers a daily prayer to be made for the US president, a born-again Christian who likes to invoke his God in speeches.
Sunday's is "Pray that the President and his advisers will seek God and his wisdom daily and not rely on their own understanding".
Monday's reads "Pray that the President and his advisers will be strong and courageous to do what is right regardless of critics".
The following is a two part editorial from Buzzflash:
Part I of "Bombing His Way Into the Jaws of Armageddon"
Of all the Bush Cartel lies and betrayals, of all the breaches of faith, Bush's usurpation of God to advance his political agenda is perhaps the most heinous of his sins. By asserting that he can better discern God's will than the leaders of his own faith (Methodist), his father's faith (Episcopalian), his brother's faith (Catholic), and the leaders of virtually every denomination in the United States, short of the Southern Baptists and Evangelicals, Bush is committing the ultimate arrogance. They all oppose the war that Bush claims is being committed in the name of God and Jesus. Bush stands virtually alone in claiming that God is on the side of his little war.
Bush's betrayal of the public trust through the manipulation of Americans by the use of fear and lies is a betrayal of men and women. His attempts to use God as an advocate for his pending Guernica bombing of Iraq -- with the resultant deaths of civilian Iraqis -- is a betrayal of the almighty.
It is unforgivable to hijack the government through a rigged Supreme Court vote. It is unforgivable to split the world of nations apart -- to pit ally against ally through threats, intimidation and bribery like a mob enforcer -- in the pursuit of a self-serving war. It is another thing altogether to use God as if he were your personal servant. For that sin, Bush will be held accountable in the hereafter.
The issue of Bush's alleged God and faith are so intertwined with every aspect of his horrifying presidency that BuzzFlash.Com will be running a multi-part series over the next week entitled, "Bombing His Way Into the Jaws of Armageddon."
Part commentary and part reflection, we hope to offer some insight into the disastrous reign we call the Madness of King George.
We hope you learn a bit from this series; we certainly are in writing it.
Part I: "Shock and Awe"
We've already experienced the Bush Cartel "Shock and Awe" here in the homeland. No we haven't been hit with 3,000 missiles and bombs in 48 hours. That's not the kind of "Shock and Awe" inflicted upon us.
No, the "Shock and Awe" that has rained down upon Americans is a bombardment of lies and propaganda that has become so commonplace that is now banal to hear another Bush Cartel politically motivated mistruth.
It is hard to keep track of the morally repugnant use of ginned up terror alerts and the manipulative use of fear to achieve political goals. It is hard to keep track of the ever-changing public relations explanations Bush uses to justify bombing Iraq and setting up a neo-colonial American outpost there. It is hard to keep track of the Grand Canyon gap between Bush's public image of "compassionate conservative" and his actual gutting of the social service support system for the elderly, children, the poor and the middle class in America.
We have been "Shocked and Awed" by the daily avalanche of big and little lies. The administration is the ultimate Hollywood production, where nothing you see or hear represents the reality of what is going on behind the set.
As we said, the very naming of the inferno that will be created by the Bush Cartel in Baghdad -- "Shock and Awe" -- symbolizes how the Bush Cartel is, in its own mind, assuming God like powers.
The claim of "moral clarity" by the likes of Bush, Ashcroft, and Tom DeLay is perhaps the most hypocritical of the hypocrisies of the Republican Party. There is no "moral clarity" to the Bush Cartel: only the assertion of a mandate from what clearly must be a renegade God, who appears closer to the Anti-Christ, as evidenced by the deeds of Bush, than to the God of the Bible.
If this is, as Bush and Blair proclaim, a "just war," then why does the Bush Cartel have to intimidate, threaten, bully and bribe national leaders to support it? This is, as they say in the "juice loan" enforcement racket, a muscle job, not a mission mandated by God. (See "The Muscle Beach Party" at http://www.buzzflash.com/editorial/03/01/23.html)
So it is not surprising that the actual Guernica-style bombing of Iraq is meant to intimidate more than Iraqis and more than Muslim countries. It is meant to be a warning sign to our allies that there's a made-in-the-White-House vehicle loaded with enough firepower to destroy the earth careening down the highway of the world. A dry drunk (GWB) is at the wheel, with a car full of passengers besotted by absolute power shouting instructions into his ear. The display of "Shock and Awe" in Iraq is meant to signal to anybody who might think about crossing Fredo and the Corleone/Bush family that the Bush Cartel truck loaded with nuclear and conventional explosives might speed into any independent-minded country at any time.
The perverse assumption of God-like powers in the "Shock and Awe" attack is also meant to send a chill of fear down the spines of dissenters in America. The Bush Cartel will stop at nothing, the pulverizing attack on Iraq is meant to tell us. "We will assert power absolutely. We will roll over you. We will do what it takes to stay in power." That is what it is meant to show us here in the homeland. When Richard Perle called investigative journalist Seymour Hersh a terrorist on CNN, as he did on March 9th, you know that the arrest of U.S. citizens in the name of fighting terrorism is not far behind. As Daniel Ellsberg warned BuzzFlash.com in our interview with him, we are just one terrorist attack away from a dictatorship-like government being written into law. With its attack on Iraq, the Bush Cartel knows that it will probably provoke at least one or more terrorist attacks in the U.S.
In the election of 2000, the mantra of the Bush post-election Florida team was "bring it on home" no matter what tactics were required -- legal or illegal, ethical or unethical, honest or dishonest. There wasn't a thought about morality or democracy.
Most of us worship a God of justice, a God who urges honesty and compassion.
But in the case of the Bush Cartel, given its Orwellian underpinnings, everything about the war on Iraq is the opposite of what is preached by Jesus. In the world of the Bush Cartel truth is translated into lies; humility is translated into arrogance; compassion for the poor is translated into contempt; peace is translated into war.
One of the great ironies of the Iraq war buildup is that the Bush Cartel is betting that Saddam does not actually have any Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD). Yes, the Bush Cartel sell-job to the American public and the world is to claim Saddam is busting his gut with WMD's. But it is one of the great farces of modern times that the U.S. intelligence agencies can't prove or find the location of what they claim exists. So they are banking on the fact that their real intelligence is correct: the madman of Iraq has no or little WMD inventory left. In that case, American casualties will be "minimal" and the Bush Cartel is counting on a decisive victory drowning out any other concerns about the war (such as civilian casualties).
We know that references to Nazi Germany tend to marginalize arguments against Bush among most Americans. But read these quotes and deny that they have relevance to the current Bush Cartel propaganda strategy about the Iraq war:
"I shall give a propaganda reason for starting the war. Never mind whether it is plausible or not. The victor will not be asked afterward whether he told the truth or not. In starting and waging war it is not right that matters, but victory.
"The receptivity of the great masses is very limited, their intelligence is small, but their power of forgetting is enormous. In consequence of these facts, all effective propaganda must be limited to a very few points and must harp on these in slogans until the last member of the public understands what you want him to understand by your slogan. As soon as you sacrifice this slogan and try to be many-sided, the effect will piddle away, for the crowd can neither digest nor retain the material offered. In this way the result is weakened and in the end entirely cancelled out....The function of propaganda is, for example, not to weigh and ponder the rights of different people, but exclusively to emphasize the one right which it has set out to argue for. Its task is not to make an objective study of the truth, in so far as it favors the enemy, and then set it before the masses with academic fairness; its task is to serve our own right, always and unflinchingly."
This was what Hitler said in 1939 prior to invading Poland and his words from Chapter Six of "Mein Kampf." That is not to say that the Bush administration is morally equivalent to the Third Reich, but the fact remains that they utilize similar propaganda strategies.
The Bush Cartel is counting on a "successful" outcome of this war to smash any opposition abroad or domestically to the permanent rule of a right wing government. All of this will be accomplished in the name of "God," of course. But this particular "God" is known only unto George W. Bush and his fundamentalist pals, like John Ashcroft.
Our brilliant Constitution and Bill of Rights was set up to prevent a crisis like the one that we are now experiencing. Our forefathers separated church and state so that we wouldn't be at the mercy of leaders who felt that they were on a mission on behalf of their own personally interpreted God. The Constitution was framed to keep us from a Jim Jones-style of government, replete with Armageddon overtones and fatalism.
We were founded by patriots who believed in God, but a God that existed as the image each American has of the Lord, a universal God. George W. Bush has blurred the lines of church and state. He would have us all worship in the church of the God of George W. Bush -- and have us believe that all other interpretations of God aid and abet terrorism. To be against George W. Bush's personal God is to be for terrorism, which means most of the nation's religious leaders must be aiding terrorism.
Bush's outlook is a betrayal of the Constitution and of America.
What a telling contrast Bush's calculated religious posturing is to the true faith embodied by Nobel laureate Jimmy Carter. Carter uses belief in a God as a motivating force to build homes for families in need through Habitat for Humanity. Carter is a creator, a humble nurturer.
Bush, in contrast, uses his God in a showy way as a justification for destroying women and children, cities and democracy. He pits ally against ally. He divides the world in order to pursue war.
In the name of his alleged God, Bush has become a destroyer.
Part II: The Divine Right of Kings and The Madness of King George
There are millions of Americans praying for King George, according to the King himself:
"I feel the comfort and the power of knowing that literally millions of Americans I'm never going to meet ... say my name to the Almighty every day and ask him to help me," he [Bush] said. "My friend, Jiang Zemin in China, has about a billion and a half folks, and I don't think he can say that. And my friend, Vladimir Putin, I like him, but he can't say that."
Yes, it is a tradition going back to the Egyptian Pharaohs; the subjects of the divinely chosen leader pray for his wisdom and well-being.
As the inimitable Arkansas journalist Gene Lyons recently wrote:
According to Bob Woodward's book, "Bush at War" even in one-on-one interviews, "[t]he President was casting his mission and that of the country in the grand vision of God's Master Plan."
Conquering evil is bin Laden's plan, too. Even fighting beside the "socialist infidel" Saddam Hussein, he hinted in a taped statement Feb. 11, was permissible "to establish the rule of God on earth." Quoting the Koran, he assured his followers that "those who believe fight in the cause of Allah, and those who reject faith fight in the cause of evil. So fight ye against the friends of Satan: feeble indeed is the cunning of Satan."
So have we really been transported back to the 12th century A.D. with Bush as Richard the Lionhearted and Osama/Saddam as Saladin in a replay of the Third Holy Crusade?
White House staffers have told journalists that Bush believes God chose him to lead the nation through its hour of darkness. Indeed, shortly after September 11th, Bush used the term Crusade to describe his war against terrorism. In a September 24, 2001, editorial, BuzzFlash.com commented: "Although the White House apologized for Bush's evocation of the 'Crusade,' the propaganda damage had already been done. If we are simultaneously trying to crush extremist Islamic terrorists while minimizing the possibility of the Middle East and parts of Islamic Asia from exploding in an armed uprising, then Bush's use of the word 'Crusade' was like tossing a match onto a tinder box when the use of a fire extinguisher should have been the rhetorical tool of the day."
But the reality is that Bush's notion of being chosen by God implies that he is imparted with divine knowledge that others don't have.
As a divinely chosen leader, Bush believes that he is accountable to no one. He has shown utter contempt for Congress and the democratic election process. That is because Bush believes that they are unnecessary because only he is hot wired into the Lord's intentions.
In Woodward's suffocatingly fawning book, Bush sniffs, "I don't need to explain why I say things. That's the interesting thing about being the President. Maybe somebody needs to explain to me why they say something, but I don't feel like I owe anybody an explanation."
Of course, Kings could make mistakes and they would remain kings. They didn't, indeed, have to explain themselves to anyone. When you lose an election and are appointed by the Supreme Court, maybe you have to a right to view your ascension as divinely inspired.
Bush may, no doubt, believe that he is heir to the great thrones of Europe, when kings viewed themselves as rulers by divine right.
King James VI of Scotland, who later became King James I of England, having ascended to the throne in 1603 following the death of Queen Elizabeth, was one of the better-known proponents of the notion of the divine right of kings.
He wrote: "The state of monarchy is the supremest thing upon earth; for kings are not only God's lieutenants upon earth, and sit upon God's throne, but even by God himself are called gods. There be three principal similitudes that illustrate the state of monarchy: one taken out of the word of God; and the two other out of the grounds of policy and philosophy. In the Scriptures kings are called gods, and so their power after a certain relation compared to the divine power. Kings are also compared to fathers of families: for a king is truly Parens patriae, the politique father of his people. And lastly, kings are compared to the head of this microcosm of the body of man."
When James II angered his countrymen by attempting to restore Roman Catholicism in England, the Glorious Revolution of 1688 put an end to the rule of the House of Stuarts and dealt the notion of divine right a major blow. It still existed in France, however, where the reign of Louis XIV was rooted in the divine-right doctrine; the remark "L'etat, c'est moi" (I am the state) is attributed to him.
It is widely believed that the death of this doctrine occurred in the late 18th century. During the Enlightenment period –- and as exemplified most clearly in the French Revolution –- more democratic ideas held sway and the concept of an absolute monarch, let alone one appointed by God, became part of a mythic past.
And yet the doctrine was once again championed in the early 1900s by the German Emperor Wilhelm II as king of Prussia, and by Czar Nicholas II of Russia. And once again, apparently, by Bush.
Yes, it has taken the madness of King George to restore a concept of divine rule that most scholars thought had been abandoned to the dust heap of history. During his March 6th news conference -- and on previous occasions -- Bush has referred to "my government," echoing Louis XIV ("I am the state"). Citizens of America expressing their opinions are just focus groups to King George. Royal court reporters are vetted for a news conference and escorted in two-by-two to their seats (as they were on March 6th), so as not to offend the king. We also learned that Mad King George wouldn't appear before the common leaders of the European Union unless he was assured of a standing ovation.
"I hug the mothers and the widows of those who may have lost their life in the name of peace and freedom," Bush has said on more than one occasion. He views himself as the benevolent sovereign, sending America's finest off to fight in a war for oil and hegemony, then being the "First Hugger" for bereaved survivors. He hugs them on behalf of his personal Bush Lord, the same one that sends their children off to die.
As for the men and women of the clergy -- representing the religious leadership of every major denomination in the United States, with the exception of the Southern Baptists and Evangelicals -- who believe Bush's little war is a violation of God, Bush won't even meet with them.
Why should King George waste his time talking with these men and women of the cloth? After all, George is busy running his kingdom and has a war to start.
In any case, King George knows that they are all impostors. God has selected only King George to implement God's divine will on earth.
George knows that all of these religious leaders are just hearing voices, so what's the point of wasting time indulging their fantasies?
~Did You Miss These?~
Just a Reminder - Tuesday, Nov. 04, 2003
Ravyne Is Moving - Friday, Oct. 17, 2003
The Mission - Sunday, Oct. 12, 2003
Siege Heil - Thursday, Oct. 09, 2003
Litany Of Lies - Wednesday, Oct. 08, 2003
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