The "We Had to Destroy Them to Save Them" Plan

Iraq Gasps and Iran Coughs
By Dan Lieberman
Feb 18, 2007, 21:02

After bringing Iraq close to destruction, President Bush is trying to rescue his Iraq policy from another: “We had to destroy them to save them” plan.

Considering the lack of expertise of the Iraq security forces and the obvious divided loyalties of its components, it is incomprehensible how Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s government can complement the United States ‘surge’ and severely contain the Iraq Civil War. Bush’s final thrust is destined to be brutal, an all-out and no holds barred military push that takes no prisoners and reduces to dust anyone who gets in the way. The warning to Iran, disguised as preventing the Islamic Republic from supplying support to the insurgents, is actually a warning not to interfere with U.S. plans. The expected results: accusations that Iranian interference has prevented a resolution of the civil strife, diversion of United States resources to settle issues with Iran and, although not immediate, a renewed Civil War that brings Iraq to its last gasp.

The Fallacies

The lies, distortions, and fallacies never end. The proposition that “faulty intelligence” was responsible for the rash actions against Iraq is easily contradicted by the incredibility of the intelligence. Testimonies from responsible government personnel certify that the Bush administration manipulated the intelligence and then tried to blame intelligence agencies for the faulty Iraq operation.

In an April 23, 2006 interview with CBS’ 60 Minutes program, former CIA official Tyler Drumheller said: “The policy was set. The war in Iraq was coming and they were looking for intelligence to fit into the policy.” Former Foreign Service officer Joseph C. Wilson 4th, in a New York Times op-ed, “What I Didn’t Find in Africa,” July 6, 2003, described his pre-invasion fact-finding trip to Niger for certifying the transfer of “yellowcake” to Iraq, and concluded “there’s simply too much oversight over too small an industry for a sale to have transpired.” Wilson accused the Bush administration of “exaggerating the Iraqi threat in order to justify war.”

The latest fallacy has the Bush government ending the sectarian warfare by assisting the al-Maliki government to suddenly become neutral and fight all insurgents with equal ferocity. This maneuver can be temporarily effective, but is implausible in the long run for one simple reason; the root causes of the sectarian warfare, which are the unresolved antagonisms and political ambitions between the three major groups exaggerated by the presence of foreign fighters including those from the United States, are not being resolved. So, what can be the reasons for the ‘surge?’

One reason is to shift the blame from the previous military and defense department officials who managed the conflict to newly appointed military leaders in CENTCOM and Iraq, to new Secretaries in the defense and state departments and also to the hapless Iraqi government. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will have John Negroponte, the newly appointed Undersecretary of State, suffer the political heat from the perceived Iraq failure. Even President Bush has carelessly made himself (or has he been talked into making himself?) a “fall guy.” After always insisting he followed the dictates of his civilian and military advisors in his decisions, he has suddenly revealed that he is the “decider” and like Harry Truman, “the buck stops here.” Secretary Rumsfeld, many Generals, and Secretary Rice couldn’t be more satisfied.

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