Bush Resurrects the Domino Theory to Rationalize Iraq War

Discussion in 'Politics' started by ZZZzzzzzzz, Sep 2, 2006.

  1. September 2, 2006
    News Analysis
    Bush’s Shift of Tone on Iraq: The Grim Cost of Losing

    WASHINGTON, Sept. 1 — President Bush’s newest effort to rebuild eroding support for the war in Iraq features a distinct shift in approach: Rather than stressing the benefits of eventual victory, he and his top aides are beginning to lay out the grim consequences of failure.

    It is a striking change of tone for a president who prides himself on optimism and has usually maintained that demeanor, at least in public, while his aides cast critics as defeatists.

    But in his speech on Thursday in Salt Lake City — the first in a series to commemorate the Sept. 11 anniversary — he picked up on an approach that Gen. John P. Abizaid, Vice President Dick Cheney and others have refined in the past few months: a warning that defeat in Iraq will only move the battle elsewhere, threatening allies in the Middle East and eventually, Mr. Bush insisted, Americans “in the streets of our own cities.”

    “We can allow the Middle East to continue on its course — on the course it was headed before September the 11th,” Mr. Bush said, “and a generation from now, our children will face a region dominated by terrorist states and radical dictators armed with nuclear weapons. Or we can stop that from happening, by rallying the world to confront the ideology of hate and give the people of the Middle East a future of hope.”

    It is reminiscent of — updated for a different war, and a different time — President Lyndon B. Johnson’s adoption of the “domino theory,” in which South Vietnam’s fall could lead to Communism’s spread through Southeast Asia and beyond. In the case of Iraq, Mr. Bush’s argument boils down to a statement he quoted from General Abizaid, his top commander in the Middle East: “If we leave, they will follow us.”

    There have been elements of such themes before, of course. But Mr. Bush’s previous efforts to bolster public support for the war have focused more on the positive — on an argument, crystallized in his address at his second inaugural, that it was the mission of the United States to spread democracy and freedom.

    Last Nov. 30, in the start of a series of speeches intended to quiet calls for withdrawal, Mr. Bush turned out a 32-page “National Strategy for Victory in Iraq,” and he argued that Iraq could eventually become a shining example of democracy’s power.

    “Advancing the cause of freedom and democracy in the Middle East begins with ensuring the success of a free Iraq,” he told midshipmen at Annapolis, Md. “Freedom’s victory in that country will inspire democratic reformers from Damascus to Tehran,” he said, “and spread hope across a troubled region.”

    Mr. Bush’s aides say he still fervently believes that, and they insist that the new tone is simply to make the stakes clear. Indeed, he referred in the Salt Lake City speech explicitly to the prospect of victory. But his aides, speaking on condition that their names not be used, acknowledge that the message of optimism no longer fits the moment.

    “The problem with stressing the benefits of democracy is that they take a long time to mature, and it’s no sure bet that it will ever happen,” said a senior official who has participated in formation of the administration’s message since the war’s start. “The consequences of failure, though, are right in your face.”

    No one has been more willing to set out the new domino theory than the administration’s chief hawk, Mr. Cheney. In private meetings with foreign visitors and members of Congress, according to several participants in those sessions, he raises the prospect that if America fails in Iraq, Saudi Arabia will be the next target and then maybe Pakistan — which, he notes, has a good-sized nuclear arsenal. No one would benefit more from an American withdrawal, he continues, than the Iranians.

    For Mr. Cheney, this is a major rhetorical reversal. In the prelude to the war, he argued that ousting Saddam Hussein would usher in a new era of stability in the Middle East.

    Missing from Mr. Bush’s latest speeches, at least so far, is detail about the progress of his previous plan, the “Strategy for Victory” of November, billed as the product of a review and rethinking of what had worked and what had failed.

    One of its most notable features was Mr. Bush’s willingness to acknowledge past errors, from failing to anticipate the rise of the insurgency to focusing the early reconstruction effort on big infrastructure projects, which will take years to deliver benefits to the Iraqi people, if they are completed at all.

    The Pentagon’s latest report to Congress about progress on that strategy painted a mixed but largely grim picture, especially about the rise of sectarian violence and the failed effort to create an effective Iraqi police force. So why not announce a new change of strategy? A senior official said this week that the president could only talk about a change of strategy so many times, without looking as if he is constantly casting about for solutions.

    To some of Mr. Bush’s allies, that is a mistake. “Look, the public understands the consequences of not winning,” said David Frum, a former speechwriter for Mr. Bush and now a conservative columnist who has argued for a major widening of the American military effort in Iraq.

    “What they really want to hear is a plan, and a plan that addresses the new problem, the sectarian violence,” he said in an interview. “It doesn’t help to talk about the consequences of failure unless the public thinks some measure of success is possible.”

    Mr. Bush has not been specific about his thinking about what victory might require, in American and Iraqi casualties, in money and in time. The specifics may emerge in two speeches planned for next week, and another in New York, at ground zero on the fifth anniversary of the event that redefined his presidency.

    For now, with a critical election looming in just 10 weeks and nervous members of his own party searching for an argument they can sell back home, he is trying to focus voters not on the high price of winning but on the harder-to-define cost of letting the dominoes fall.

  2. You are like SouthAmerica Z.


    None of this Bush bashing, you are USA bashing.


    BTW, I am tired of young kids spouting off when they don't know shit. Send a PM, and I will give you my phone.

    My name is Jay Halford.

  3. Apparently you confuse a transitory situation, i.e. the Bush administration, as being what America actually is.

    America is dissent, the right to criticize our leadership, etc.

    So sorry for you that you have such a totalitarian mindset...that is fearful of dissent and criticism of the current administration.

    I love America, I don't love what Bush has done to America.

    There is a difference.

    Clinton was not America, Reagan was not America, Nixon was not America, Kennedy was not America, neither was Lincoln, Jefferson, nor Washington.

    Bush is not America, neither will the next president and their administration be America.

    I am not bashing America, I am bashing the current leadership.

    Please use your brain, try to understand the difference...

  4. Well, the fact is that Bush is right this time. I think most anyone woul dhave to agree that he has made a mess of the Iraqi occupation. The inital reaction to lawlessness was a mistake, allowing private militias to proliferate was a huge mistake, adopting a constitution that enshrined islam as the official religion and source of law was another obvious mistake, forcing democracy on a country not remotely ready for it was a mistake, letting the Syrians and Iranians meddle without consequences was a mistake.

    But pulling out and letting the Iranians take over would be the biggest mistake yet. The sunni states of the arabian peninsula would all be vulnerable. We may not like them now, but if Iranian or al qaeda proxies took them over, the outlook for the west would be grim indeed.
  5. A man violently rapes a woman, and drives away her husband, leaving her with no means of support or security.

    Then the man says that the woman, who has given birth to a child as a result of the rape, is in danger of falling into prostitution and selling drugs in order to make enough money to try and support herself and her child.

    He says that he is the best one to come up with ideas of how to take care of the woman....

    You really think the rapist is the best choice to come up with plans to care for this woman and her bastard child of his loins? You think the woman is really going to trust him?

    Bush may or may not be right about the problem, but for sure he and his henchmen are not the ones to solve the problem...

    Bush has destabilized two countries now (Iraq and Afghanistan) and both nation building efforts are failing...

    And now he is concerned about failed states and a domino theory???

  6. That's an absurd analogy. Afghanistan was run by terrorists and was home base for al qaeda. Saddam was hardly an innocent statesman either.

    Bush has made plenty of mistakes, but he's right about the consequences of the democrats' surrender now policy.
  7. bsmeter


    What happened to Mission Accomplished?!! ROTFLMAO!! :D
  8. bsmeter


    Retard alert!!!!!
  9. Bush and company, consistently wrong, consistently staying the wrong course...

    How you Bush apologists even live with yourselves is unimaginable to me...

  10. I posted a long list of mistakes the administration made. I suggested he was a contender for worst president in last 50 years, although I think the consensus still gives that title to Carter. If I'm a Bush apologist, I'd hate to meet someone critical of him. Of course, I suppose my criticism of him seems mild, compared tothe ravings on the moonbat sites. I actually don't think he is Hitler, so I guess I am just a total Bush suck up, right?

    Anyway, other than surrender and beg the islamofacists not to hurt us, does your side have any plan at all?
    #10     Sep 4, 2006