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Playing Texas poker, Bu$h bets all on Iraq

A senior Bush official privately admits what his administration cannot declare publicly. The stagnant economy, a dagger aimed at the heart of George W. Bush's second term, will not immediately respond to the president's economic growth program. The economic engine will not be revived until the war against Saddam Hussein is launched and won.
Playing Texas poker, Bush bets all on Iraq

March 6, 2003

BY ROBERT NOVAK SUN-TIMES COLUMNIST
 http://www.suntimes.com/output/novak/cst-edt-novak061.html

A senior Bush official privately admits what his administration cannot declare publicly. The stagnant economy, a dagger aimed at the heart of George W. Bush's second term, will not immediately respond to the president's economic growth program. The economic engine will not be revived until the war against Saddam Hussein is launched and won.

Military victory is anticipated inside the Bush administration as the tonic that will prompt corporation officers and private investors to unleash the American economy's dormant power. Although it is impolitic to say so, the fact that the United States will be sitting on a new major oil supply will stimulate the domestic economy. That puts a high premium on quickly gaining control of Iraq's oil wells before they can be torched--a major uncertainty in an otherwise strictly scripted scenario.

''This is Texas poker, with the president putting everything on Iraq,'' a Republican senator (who thoroughly approves of this policy) told me. The extraordinary gamble by Bush leads to deepening apprehension by Republican politicians as they wait for the inevitable war. They consider the Democratic Party divided, drifting to the left and devoid of new ideas. Yet, Bush's re-election next year is threatened by two issues: the economy and the war on terrorism. Success on both is tied to war with Iraq.

Few Republicans discuss even in private whether the president had to make this bet. The usually unasked question: Was it really necessary to focus on Saddam's removal from power? With U.S. troops ready to head into harm's way, patriotic politicians do not want to speculate whether this war was avoidable. Any suggestion that the present course largely echoes policies of the Israeli government risks accusations of anti-Israeli and, indeed, anti-Semitic bias.

Ever since the Six Day War of 1967, my late partner Rowland Evans and I have faced such accusations whenever we questioned the wisdom of a joint U.S.-Israeli policy. Most recent was the column in the Washington Post of Feb. 18 by Lawrence F. Kaplan, a New Republic senior editor. He cited me and several other journalists in alleging that ''invoking the specter of dual loyalty'' (to the United States and Israel) by Jewish Americans was ''toxic,'' polluting and even nullifying ''public discourse.''

Two days later on CNN's ''Crossfire,'' I asked Kaplan to name one instance when I had suggested dual loyalty by anybody. He could not, because I had not. But more than misrepresenting me is involved. Origins of the decision to wage the war against terrorism by removing Saddam has nothing to do with the ethnic origins of its supporters, but constitute something that should be explored without being attacked.

On July 7, 1996, the Institute for Advanced Strategic and Political Studies issued a paper by six ''prominent opinion makers'' laying out ''a new vision for the U.S.-Israeli partnership'' that urged an end to ''land-for-peace'' concessions. Among many suggestions was to ''focus on removing Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq.''

The ''study group leader'' preparing the report was Richard Perle, who as chairman of the Pentagon's part-time Defense Policy Board has put priority, ever since the 9/11 terrorist attacks, on changing the regime in Baghdad.

The group also includes two current full-time administration officials: Douglas Feith, the undersecretary for policy at the Iraq-first Pentagon, and David Wurmser, a State Department senior adviser.

While removing weapons of mass destruction from Iraq was always cited as the primary reason for Saddam's ouster, the broader vision of Democratic Arab states throughout the Middle East--laid out in the 1996 report--was painted in Bush's speech last week to the American Enterprise Institute. Endorsing Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's repeated contention, the president predicted ''the passing of Saddam Hussein's regime'' will dry up financing of Palestinian suicide bombers.

The senator who told me the president is playing ''Texas poker'' is delighted to march with Bush in a crusade for democracy in the Arab world, a goal that colleagues well-versed in diplomacy view as unrealistic. That is the heart of George W. Bush's gamble, with his presidency and the course of the nation at stake.

homepage: homepage: http://www.suntimes.com/output/novak/cst-edt-novak061.html
address: address: Chicago Sun-Times


when the commies quote novak, its bad. 06.Mar.2003 22:12

sf

you know things are getting bad for the commies when they start to quote Bob Novak as a credible source of information..

Normally this crowd would puke on his shoes, but now they are embracing him as a credible source..

war sure makes strange bed-fellows doesn't it..

the Anti-War Right, in Their Own Words 06.Mar.2003 23:26

repost of Troll-Free Call from DC Indy

hey, "sf"--

"getting bad for the commies [sic--antiquated McCarthyite nomenclature]"

didn't you mean getting bad for Bu$h & Co.?

they *are* in fact taking it from all sides these days, aren't they?

p.s. who's at 'war'?

=============================
 http://dc.indymedia.org/front.php3?article_id=54028&group=webcast

The Anti-War Right, in Their Own Words
by Troll-Free Call 11:02pm Wed Mar 5 '03

This is all about oil. We're destabilizing the region. We're not being told about the costs of war. Wars of aggression are illegal. There could be dangerous consequences. The media are biased towards the pro-war viewpoint.

Voices from the panty-wetting left?

Nope...the voices of Michael Savage, Debra Saunders, Oliver North, Phyllis Schlafly, the Conservative Caucus, and the Cato Institute.

Just to amuse myself, I've excerpted portions of past articles by right-wing figures who opposed military action against Milosevic in 1999. I changed "Clinton" to "Bush," "Serbian" to "Iraqi," and so forth. No other changes were made. It's amazing how sensible, and how rabidly "leftist," their arguments suddenly sound!

Strangely, all of these people have since forgotten these things they once knew. Michael Savage no longer worries about the geopolitics of oil, or the bias of MSNBC. For Debra Saunders, the "law of unintended consequences" is little more than a bad dream. Oliver North no longer agonizes over whether or not the president is taking advice from seasoned military figures. And Phyllis Schlafly's concern about exit strategies is now a leftist sophistry to be sneered at by true Americans.

Links to the original articles appear at the end of each excerpt.

--------------------------

"'I BELIEVE in the long term, the Iraqis will be better off for us having done this than us not having done this,' Seceretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld told the New York Times last week.

May it be so.

Maybe Americans can just swoop down like a superhero....drop a few bombs, suffer few or no casualties, and yet nonetheless save thousands of innocent lives.

Maybe the bombing won't turn the Iraqis against us.

Maybe the bombing of Iraq will stabilize the area, not destabilize it.

Maybe the area just looks more unstable now, but really isn't.

Maybe the law of unintended consequences won't prevail in this engagement.

Maybe George W. Bush hasn't gotten this country into a mire from which there is no clear possible end.

Probably George W. Bush, if he were of draft age again, would like nothing better than to risk his life overseas..."

--Debra Saunders  link to www.sfgate.com

--------------------------

"Iraq is about oil and nothing but oil....And you thought it was to save the poor Iraqis....the poor Iraqis just happened to own the wrong real estate at the wrong time....

"Now it begins to make sense, doesn't it? The reason becomes clear why, of all the ethnic and religious oppression in the world, George W, Bush chose this area...for ground-leveling "humanitarian" aid. And why the One World media places Saddam Hussein, a small-time local tyrant, alongside Hitler and Stalin.

"But the greatest shame must fall upon the tendentious media hacks. ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, MSNBC, Fox, and most columnists of the neo-right all fell in line: "The criminal bombing was just. It was to save the innocent Iraqis from Saddam." Have you now heard one of these hacks apologize or admit they were duped? Used by Big Oil to apologize for, no, to justify, US war crimes?

"Even their "reportage" on the recent demonstrations...was biased. Both by under-reporting the number ("hundreds," blared the San Francisco Examiner) and by ascribing the legitimate protests against Bush's war crimes to "communists" and anti-American sentiment going back to the 1970s!"

--Michael Savage  http://www.newsmax.com/articles/?a=1999/11/30/51335

--------------------------

"U.S. SEEN AS OUT-OF-CONTROL AGGRESSOR REGIME

The war also has strained U.S. military capabilities and tarnished the reputation of the U.S. around the world.

"'More than half the population of the world now regards the U.S. as the single greatest threat to their own countries,' said Robert Hayden, director of the Center for Russian & East European Studies at the University of Pittsburgh."

WHAT GOES AROUND COMES AROUND

'We seem to think we can go in and destroy other people's countries and nothing will ever happen to us,' he said."

--Quoted on the website of The Conservative Caucus  http://www.conservativeusa.org/yugo.htm This site also calls then-candidate George W. Bush "CONSTITUTIONALLY IGNORANT OR INDIFFERENT"

--------------------------

"We still have 6,900 U.S. troops in our $7-billion-dollar-a-year NATO-led peacekeeping project in Bosnia (plus another 350 troops in Macedonia). George W. Bush has no exit strategy for Iraq and no reliable estimates of the war's cost. The Bush Administration pretends to fear that terrorism could spread if we don't act. It is far more likely that, if the conflict spreads, U.S. intervention will be the cause....Sending U.S. troops might actually endanger U.S. security in ways we cannot now foresee."

--Phyllis Schlafly
 http://www.eagleforum.org/column/1999/feb99/99-02-10.html

--------------------------

"All that Bush seems to be able to do well is send our sons and daughters to far away places -- and leave them there....Worst of all, the Bush-Cheney "national security team" seems to be unwilling to take the advice of seasoned military professionals....The brave men and women who serve in our Armed Forces deserve better from the Commander in Chief.

"Changing the course of America's foreign policy used to be likened to altering the heading of the "ship of state" -- rudder commands, variations in bearing, all took considerable time to take effect. But the analogy no longer fits. In a world where communications are instantaneous, where weapons deliver death in minutes over thousands of miles, our ship is now a high-speed aircraft. With George W. Bush as our pilot and Dick Cheney as co-pilot we should fasten our seat belts, stow our tray tables, put our seat backs in the full upright position -- and pray for a safe landing."

--Oliver North
 http://www.freerepublic.com/forum/a36ffd87c634e.htm

--------------------------

"The President launched an unprovoked war of aggression against a small, distant state. He cynically wrapped his campaign in humanitarianism while ignoring worse slaughters elsewhere. He arrogantly assumed that foreign leaders would genuflect before him. He attacked their nation when they didn't.

"How does George W. Bush justify his war? In a recent speech at National Defense University President Bush likened events in Iraq to those in Nazi Germany....

This is pure cant. The administration has nothing against 'vicious, premeditated, systematic oppression' if committed by allies, like Croatia and Turkey. Or if perpetrated against black Africans."

--Doug Bandow, a scholar at the Cato Institute  http://www.cato.org/dailys/05-18-99.html

--------------------------

"Put bluntly, if President Bush orders an assault on Iraq, the United States will be guilty of committing a flagrant, shameful act of aggression. U.S. forces will be attacking a country that has not attacked the United States, a U.S. ally, or even a neighboring state. That is the very definition of an aggressor.

"[This is] a trigger-happy administration that is creating an image of America as the planetary bully. Decent Americans need to make a stand when it has reached the point of a full-scale war of aggression against a country that has done us no harm."

--Ted Galen Carpenter, a scholar at the Cato Institute  http://www.cato.org/dailys/03-23-99.html
----------------------------------
The anti-war Right is also anti-UN
by exposer 11:16pm Wed Mar 5 '03

A Fateful Moment in the Antiwar.com Movement

Part I Setting the Table

Today's broad-based support for a less aggressive approach to Iraq stems from many diverse elements in our society. Certainly the most important reasons for this public reaction are the genuine humanitarian desire to prevent civilian casualties and needless destruction. Such concerns can be traced backwards in time to Vietnam war protests, President Wilson's desire for neutrality, the Quaker influence on the Founding Fathers, and so forth, but what we see today is largely a product of modern Libertarian action.

In introducing this hypothesis, I will set the table with an overlooked political conference that took place early in the 2000 Presidential campaign season. An assortment of Libertarian cast-offs and hangers-on, like a spent star, met for one brief moment in the brightness of California. The consequence of this singular event, fused by the September 11th attacks, was the intense burst of an underground political super-nova that spewed forth vast quantities of anti-statism, anti-globalism, and anti-multiculturalism - the legacy of which are the stellar winds of the Antiwar movement today

---------------------------------------

Subject: "beyond left & right"
From: Doug Henwood ( dhenwood@panix.com)
Date: Thu Mar 16 2000 - 11:13:30 EST
 http://squawk.ca/lbo-talk/0004/1030.html

[Thanks to Michael Pugliese for sending this. I think I posted something about this earlier, but it bears repeating. Alex C is keeping some very odd company - goldbugs, therapy cultists, crypto-nazis, neo-confederates....]

Antiwar.com Conference
Beyond Left and Right:
The New Face of the
Antiwar Movement

Pat Buchanan ~ Alexander Cockburn
Rep. Ron Paul ~ Lenora Fulani
Harry Browne ~ Srdja Trifkovic
Alan Bock ~ Tom Fleming
George Szamuely ~ Justin Raimondo
Daniel New ~ Jared Israel
Ronald Maxwell ~ James Bisset
Scott McConnell ~ Eric Garris

March 24 - 26, 2000
Villa Hotel
San Mateo, California

KEYNOTE SPEAKER:
PATRICK J. BUCHANAN

see rest of article:  http://sboyle.blogspot.com/
the Anti-War Right, in Their Own Words
the Anti-War Right, in Their Own Words