Thursday, March 27, 2008

~Waves Hand In Air. "Oh Ms. Pelosi! Ms. Pelosi! I Have An Idea!"

The Democrats never listen to me, but they could, at one fell swoop, eliminate the pernicious meme that they are "weak on national defense" and get rid of George Bush. Today, it's even more clear than it ever was that Bush has been criminally negligent in his management of the war into which he dragged America.

The NYT reports that the Green Zone is, to be honest, about to fall to Shia militia gunmen. That would be "our" Green Zone, the only safe place in Iraq, many years and billions of dollars after Bush declared "Mission Accomplished."

Iraq’s Prime Minister was staring into the abyss today after his operation to crush militia strongholds in Basra stalled, members of his own security forces defected and district after district of his own capital fell to Shia militia gunmen.

With the threat of a civil war looming in the south, Nouri al-Maliki’s police chief in Basra narrowly escaped assassination in the crucial port city, while in Baghdad, the spokesman for the Iraqi side of the US military surge was kidnapped by gunmen and his house burnt to the ground.

Saboteurs also blew up one of Iraq's two main oil pipelines from Basra, cutting at least a third of the exports from the city which provides 80 per cent of government revenue, a clear sign that the militias — who siphon significant sums off the oil smuggling trade — would not stop at mere insurrection.

Much of Basra's problems can be traced back to Britain’s failure to commit the necessary forces
In Baghdad, thick black smoke hung over the city centre tonight and gunfire echoed across the city.

The most secure area of the capital, Karrada, was placed under curfew amid fears the Mahdi Army of Hojetoleslam Moqtada al-Sadr could launch an assault on the residence of Abdelaziz al-Hakim, the head of a powerful rival Shia governing party.

While the Mahdi Army has not officially renounced its six-month ceasefire, which has been a key component in the recent security gains, on the ground its fighters were chasing police and soldiers from their positions across Baghdad.

Rockets from Sadr City slammed into the governmental Green Zone compound in the city centre, killing one person and wounding several more.

Losing a war ought, by itself, to be enough to get a president impeached. You take our troops to war and lose, you're out. It would make presidents think a bit before putting Americans in harm's way. But the Dems wouldn't have to push that "radical" notion. Bush didn't just lose this war; he lost it due, at least in part, to criminally negligent mismanagement. Case in point:

the NY Times reports that: Col. Abbas al-Tamimi, media officer for the 14th Iraqi Army Division operating in the city, said he expected the fighting to escalate. “The gunmen have heavier and more sophisticated weapons than we have,” he said.

As Atrios, asks, "How'd that happen?" Well, here, from the war Bush lost in Afghanistan because he was so hot to invade Iraq, is a pretty good explanation:

Since 2006, when the insurgency in Afghanistan sharply intensified, the Afghan government has been dependent on American logistics and military support in the war against Al Qaeda and the Taliban.

But to arm the Afghan forces that it hopes will lead this fight, the American military has relied since early last year on a fledgling company led by a 22-year-old man whose vice president was a licensed masseur.

With the award last January of a federal contract worth as much as nearly $300 million, the company, AEY Inc., which operates out of an unmarked office in Miami Beach, became the main supplier of munitions to Afghanistan’s army and police forces.

Since then, the company has provided ammunition that is more than 40 years old and in decomposing packaging, according to an examination of the munitions by The New York Times and interviews with American and Afghan officials. Much of the ammunition comes from the aging stockpiles of the old Communist bloc, including stockpiles that the State Department and NATO have determined to be unreliable and obsolete, and have spent millions of dollars to have destroyed.

In purchasing munitions, the contractor has also worked with middlemen and a shell company on a federal list of entities suspected of illegal arms trafficking.

Moreover, tens of millions of the rifle and machine-gun cartridges were manufactured in China, making their procurement a possible violation of American law. The company’s president, Efraim E. Diveroli, was also secretly recorded in a conversation that suggested corruption in his company’s purchase of more than 100 million aging rounds in Albania, according to audio files of the conversation.

This week, after repeated inquiries about AEY’s performance by The Times, the Army suspended the company from any future federal contracting, citing shipments of Chinese ammunition and claiming that Mr. Diveroli misled the Army by saying the munitions were Hungarian.

Mr. Diveroli, reached by telephone, said he was unaware of the action. The Army planned to notify his company by certified mail on Thursday, according to internal correspondence provided by a military official.

But problems with the ammunition were evident last fall in places like Nawa, Afghanistan, an outpost near the Pakistani border, where an Afghan lieutenant colonel surveyed the rifle cartridges on his police station’s dirty floor. Soon after arriving there, the cardboard boxes had split open and their contents spilled out, revealing ammunition manufactured in China in 1966.
More here.

I'm sorry, but it is criminally negligent for this administration to mismanage the war that way. The Constitution says: Section 4

The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States,
shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason,
Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.

If this administration's conduct of the war doesn't constitute Treason, and I think that it does, it certainly qualifies as a high Crime and/or Misdemeanor. The Dems ought to start impeachment proceedings tomorrow based upon Bush's mismanagement of the war and let the Republicans filibuster or argue that losing and mismanaging a war aren't impeachable offenses (now, who's weak on defense, assholes?) or argue that Bush hasn't mismanaged the war (which would lead to the introduction of so much evidence of his war profiteering, negligence, wrongheadness, etc. that no Republican, anywhere could get re-elected this Fall).

But they never listen to me.


Thinly Veiled said...

They never listen to me, either.


xan said...

intriguing albeit probably meaningless element: I see on first reference the Times is now using the phrase the Mahdi Army of Hojetoleslam Moqtada al-Sadr

Is this the Arabic form of "radical cleric"? Can we start applying the term to Hagee, Parsley, et al? I didn't see the full article yet so don't know if they offer any explanation for this descriptor (is it a religious title? Full form of his name? What?) but it's a new one on me.

Militarily at least, nobody listens to me either. I have been saying since we went in to this godforsaken debacle that the first thing to think about is guarding your line of retreat.

Ours is fucked six ways from Sunday. There won't be any "last helicopter off the roof" option either because it's too far to the coast/any safe haven and the copters are mostly shot anyway.