The Bush Legacy


The Bottom Line
Where previous books I’ve read on the Bush adventure have taken us to and briefly beyond our initial occupation, Fiasco takes through 2004, with in depth analysis of the insurgency.

The brand new book by Thomas Ricks’– Fiasco, provides the reader with an informative assessment of the conception, planning, prosecution and aftermath of the unprovoked invasion of Iraq. Intentional or not, Fiasco ends up as an indictment of, not only the Bush Administration, but the military itself for extremely poor judgment at the least and malfeasance at the most.

Ricks goes into some detail lining out to chain of events, naming the patrons of the war and their motives, along the way, which led to the war. He also describes the planning, or mis-planning if you wish, of the war, but the majority of the book centers on the immediate aftermath of the invasion, from April of 2003 through 2004. Ricks lays out the argument that during this period, Phase IV of the war (the aftermath) was so bungled that we were within an eyelash of turning victory into defeat. He also maintains that this mishandling was so endemic and pervasive that the outcome is still in doubt.


Ricks postulates that the Iraqi war was contrived by neo-conservatives led by Paul Wolfowitz, justified by handpicked intelligence, much of which had been discounted. He goes on to say the military planning was altered time and again by the overbearing Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfield, who at one time proposed an invasion force of ten thousand men.

Then after the successful invasion, despite a flawed plan, which totally by passed the ultimate enemy and the backbone of the future insurgency — the Fedayeen, our troops throughout the country stood by as witnesses to the greatest act of thievery in the history of the world, as looters stole Iraq. This was the result of having too few boots on the ground, a fact that haunts us (the military) to this day. A result of the widespread looting of Iraq, besides requiring billions to replace, was that it set a tone for lawlessness in Iraq. It also made our troops appear indecisive, which they were.

Ultimately, the biggest sin the military committed was a sin of omission. Purposely or not, they refused to recognize the character of the war they were in (with Rumsfield’s help) as an insurgency and act accordingly. The lessons of the insurgency we fought in Viet Nam seem to have been lost as a bad dream and the military insisted on fighting a brutal conventional war. This was a major error in strategy.

Last but not least, the tactics used by our military lost the backing and respect of the Iraqi people and fueled the fire of the insurgency, which the generals refused to fight as such.


As a newspaper reporter, Ricks’ writing takes on a news reporting style of writing — very compelling, very smooth and very easy to read. While the writer does perform an occasional analysis, the book seems to center around hundreds of quotation bites and the author’s attendant explanations and elaborations.

Of course, this means that there are many opinions mixed in with the reported facts and history. Still, I give these opinions credence for two reasons — the high quantity of similar views within the book and the fact that these views mirror conventional wisdom and other publications.

Being an opponent of the war, this book was a vindication, of sorts, for the deductions I had arrived at. The Bush Administration took us to war with a marginal war plan and no plan whatsoever for reconstruction, disengagement or exit. I find it incongruous that the Administration is constantly saying the Democrats had no plan for Iraq, when they, themselves, had no plan.

By the way, according to this book, Jay Garner the one time reconstruction czar, who was unceremoniously dumped after two weeks, originally voiced the one plan the Administration keeps harping on — “we’ll stand down when they stand up,” in an unapproved speech: a speech for which he was chastised, but from which their big plan evolved. The plan of course was poorly implemented and has yet to bear fruit.

The true irony of the war was that the approach the Administration took toward the war. The parsimonious use of troops, telling the generals to expect redeployment in a matter of months and trying to fight the war on the cheap, actually had the opposite effect by adding to the longevity of the war and running the cost into the hundreds of billions.

I give this book a five star rating.

November 18, 2007. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . attack, Baghdad, Cheney, George W. Bush, Iraq, Islam, liberators, lies, politics, President Bush, Rumsfeld, Saudi Arabia, Shiite, slam dunk, Sunni, Syria, Terrorism. Leave a comment.

Is it Okay to say Viet Nam Yet?

The war in Iraq is now the longest declared war in the last century, having surpassed WW1, WW 2 and Korea.

I remember in the early days of the Iraq incursion how a progression of administration sycophants, military analysts and elected officials hit the air waves, denying any similarities to our only armed humiliation – Viet Nam. I’d like to say that I was prescient and suspected better, but no, I was right there foolishly nodding my head and saying darned right, Iraq’s totally different, they don’t have a jungle. They have a desert and it’s hard to hide in a desert. Instaed they hide in cities.

US Soldier

Unfortunately, I and a strong majority of the country were wrong. It’s of little consolation that I started changing my view over two years ago. It is apparrent that what we have now is worse than Viet Nam. The Viet Cong at least had the support of North Viet Nam regulars and were backed and supplied by China and Russia.

In Iraq, a small disassociated ragtag group of insurgents are holding the most powerful military in the world to a stalemate and time appears to be on their side. Do they have aircraft carriers and fighter planes, bombers, helicopters, satellite reconnaissance and tanks? They don’t have a Stealth bomber or fighter but they have stealth. They are fighting us to a standstill with small weapons (AK47s), RPG’s (rocket propelled grenades), IED’s (improvised explosive devices), suicide bombers and of course fear and terror. Much of the munitions which have been turned against us, were scavenged from Iraqi ammunition dumps that were left unsecurred
by our brilliant administration.

For those who still insist that Bush’s Iraqi adventure is nothing like Viet Nam, I have drawn up a list of similarities:

1] It’s a guerrilla war
2] The enemy looks just like the civilians
3] We’re trying to beef up an unpopular government. (actually, an unfulfilled government)
4] We are trying, with poor results, to train an indigenous army.
5] The insurgents are getting help from outside sources.
6] It is a war with a dubious purpose.
7] There appears to be no exit strategy.
8] The war has left us unpopular, worldwide.

The military commanders must feel frustrated. The stated reasons for the war did not pan out, no WMD, no ties to 9/11, no free democratic Irag as an example and yet we dare not leave, abandoning the Iraqis to the chaos which would ensue such a move. How impotent they must feel, since they have all this technology and firepower which can only be used sparingly. I remember a quote by whom I ‘m not sure, which is most appropriate, it goes something like this, “Those who fail to heed the lessons of history are doomed to repeat them.”

Dead Soldiers

Iraq may not truly be another Viet Nam, it’s just a ‘quagmire.

September 26, 2007. Baghdad, cakewalk, Cheney, Civil War, George W. Bush, Iraq, liberators, politics, President, President Bush, Rumsfeld, Saudi Arabia, Shiite, Sunni, Syria, Terrorism, Vice Persideny. 2 comments.

The Iraq War – A forty Day Party

As a former Reagan Republican, I cannot help but be severely disappointed by the level of incompetence of the present administration. However, it appears there is still a good deal of support among so-called Bush loyalists, a fact that amazes me. Either they are ignoring the mountain of evidence of malfeasance that has been accruing or they pay no attention to the country’s current military and financial situation. Therefore, I will occasionally post a review of one of the many books that chronicle the run-up to and the prosecution of the Iraq War. These are not Left-wing books of anti-Bush propaganda but books written by thoughtful writers, whose only purpose is to present the facts. And to any that bother to read the facts, they are disturbing.

Here is the first review,


COBRA II by Michael Gordon and General Bernard E. Trainor

The Bottom Line:
Cobra II provides a good account of the thinking and non-thinking that propelled us into this never-ending war.

While reading Cobra II – when I wasn’t simmering – I got the impression that the strongest military in the world was being controlled and misused by a modern day version of the Keystone Kops. Not that I’m surprised. I and two thirds of the country (God help the other third) knew something was amiss, but many of the things I suspected were laid out in glaring fashion in this interesting text.

It’s like President “What me worry?” was having his arm twisted by Vice President “Darth Vader” undersecretary Darth Maul (Wolfowitz) to throw a forty day party in Baghdad. That’s right the war that has outlasted both World War I and the Korean War and is fast approaching World War II (It has now surpassed it) was expected to be a thirty to fifty day party and then we all go home with smiles on our faces. Perhaps it would have, except for two things.

First, our Defense Secretary, decided he knew more than all his generals combined. He threw out ten years of military planning for the invasion of Iraq, and proceeded to badger his generals to keep reducing planned invasion troop levels to a number he liked. I guess the secretary is into numerology. The number the generals started with was 380,000. The number the S.O.D. accepted was 140,000 – just enough to get us into Baghdad but not enough to get home.

The second thing, which some knowledgeable people foresaw, but not the myopic administration, was that the party might get crashed by some unwanted guests. Who you ask? Why, a bunch of young hot heads driving Toyotas, some wearing towels over the faces, some carrying funny objects on their shoulders or weapons in their arms and all looking for trouble. The first fatality of the war was caused, not by an Iraqi soldier but, a group of these hot heads in a Toyota Pick-up.

Commanders on the ground noticed this effective, unforeseen adversary, utilizing hit and run guerilla tactics and wanted to confront them, but the bigwigs in Cent Com ordered them to bypass these future insurgents and head straight to Baghdad, do not pass Go. Apparently they felt that once Baghdad fell everything. would fall into place. What they got when they took Baghdad was widespread looting. The authors Michael Gordon and General Bernard Trainor go on to speculate that the fediyeen, which the army was ordered to ignore and bypass on the way to Baghdad, became the backbone for the strong insurgency we now face.


Liberal, Conservative, independent – Right wing, Left wing, it doesn’t matter, reading this book will upset you. The book is not a liberal rag. It does not have a political bias, unless you consider a bias toward incompetence political. It just lays out the facts, often in minute detail. That, in fact is one of the books weaknesses. Cobra II reads like a play by play description of the war to date from the rationale though the planning to the prosecution of the war, with it’s attendant mis-steps. The prosecution portion of the war takes up at least two thirds of the book and unless you are a war junkie and despite some interesting parts begins, after awhile, to all sound the same.

The parts of the book I found most interesting were the initial planning stages and those portions dealing with the dissension that developed between Rumsfeld and Franks and later the turmoil between Franks and the generals in the field. The authors also point out how many of the problems that developed in the initial occupation of Baghdad and the aftermath were anticipated by various sources with suggestions, but were discounted or ignored by the administration. In short, the administration didn’t want to hear anything that might disrupt their vision of a forty day party.

Unfortunately the book only takes us through the war itself and the stirrings of the nascent insurgency. Three years later we are seeing what almost everyone agrees is a low grade civil war, verging on civil war.

Author’s Note; This review was written over a year ago. I would say things are pretty much the same, wouldn’t you?

August 17, 2007. attack, Baghdad, Books, cakewalk, Cheney, Civil War, crime, dishonest, ethics, explosions, George W. Bush, Iraq, liberators, politics, President, President Bush, Psychiatry, relationship, Rumsfeld, satire, Saudi Arabia, Shiite, slam dunk, suicide, Sunni, Syria, Terrorism, Uncategorized, Vice Persideny, war. 2 comments.

Career Oppurtunities


Career Oppurtunities 3

Help Wanted:

Urgent; young men needed immediately to fill recent vacancies. Opportunity for education and advancement based upon ability to lead while blindly following orders. Travel around the world, admiring sights of the civilization you are committed to destroy. Meet and live among interesting people whom you despise for their dissimilarity and may be forced to kill. Learn to work with other equally committed individuals to further honorable goals. Make your family proud by killing and maiming hundreds maybe thousands and if you die, be honored as a revered Martyr. Learn to despise mainstream Muslims for their weakness and timidity.

Career Oppurities 5


Job security; for life or until killed.
Income; Living expenses plus little or no salary.
Health care; You’re on your own.
Life Insurance; as a martyr, you will go straight to Heaven, do not pass GO.
Education; In one of our vacation camps, you will learn how to make bombs, kill other humans silently, how to use the weapons of the West against them and become pious.
Advancement; likely as confederates become incapacitated
Fame; See your name in print or mentioned on the air.(If you’re alive)


Must be Muslim (Arabs preferred).
Must be willing to relocate.
Must swear unquestioned fealty to your leader.
Must abandon your humanity, if you have it
Must be willing to tear down of destroy a millennium of human accomplishments.
Must never question the wisdom of your orders, even if it includes sacrificing your life.
Must embrace terrorism and chaos to further our nebulous agenda–the right to kill indiscriminately.
Must hate entrenched Muslim Heads of State and their infidel backers.
Must hate progress, especially of Western origin.
Must blame Western Civilization for the plight and stagnation of Islamic society.
Must hate all secular societies and proponents of such.
Must hate all pretentious non Islamic religions even if they worship the same God.
Must hate, Must hate, Must hate, Must hate, Must hate, Hate,
Hate, Hate, Hate, Hate, Hate, Hate, Hate, Hate, Hate, Hate.

Career Oppurtunities 6

Apply to Usama bin Laden c/o Al Qaeda, General Delivery Peshawar, Pakistan.

On a Lighter note:
Here’s a funny from one of my favorites, Rodney Dangerfield.

This girl I know calls me up and says, “Nobody’s home. C’mon over.” So I go over and… nobody is home. LMAO

August 2, 2007. attack, Baghdad, cakewalk, Civil War, dishonest, ethics, explosions, George W. Bush, Iraq, liberators, lies, politics, President Bush, satire, Shiite, slam dunk, suicide, Sunni, Syria, Terrorism, Vice Persideny, war. Leave a comment.


George Whopper Bush,


The forty-third President of the United States is George W. Bush. Many citizens think the middle initial stands for Walker after his maternal Grandfather, as in George Walker Bush. However, I postulate that another middle name fits reality better. In my opinion W. really stands for Whopper as in George Whopper Bush. Whopper as I shall call him from here out has spun some dandies. Perhaps you are not aware of this, preferring to believe Whopper instead of your lying ears and eyes. If so, I have some gold mine stock I’d like to unl…er discuss with you.
I have taken the time to edify you to some of the Whopprisms we all have been subjected to, yet you may not be aware of.
Since the buck stops in the Oval office, I have included some of the blatant Whoppers that have been foisted upon us by his so-called advisors.

George Whopper Bush top forty-three Whoppers. (In no particular order)

1. We’ll get Osama bin Laden, dead or alive.
2. Iraq is the center in the War on Terror.
3. Brownie. You’re doing a hell of a job.
4. We’re fighting them there so we don’t have to fight them here.
5. Oil revenues will pay for the Iraqi war
6. Mission accomplished.
7. I’m not into nation building.
8. We don’t want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud.
9. Saddam Hussein tried to obtain uranium from Niger.
10. Aluminum tubes the Iraqis have obtained can only be used for nuclear centrifuges.
11. You go to war with the army you have, not the one you’d like to have.
12. Muhammad Atta met an Iraqi intelligence agent in Prague
13. Iraq is known to have weapons of mass destruction.
14. We will be greeted in Iraq as liberators.
15. The damage that Katrina inflicted on New Orleans was unexpected.
16. We went into Iraq to build a democracy in the Middle East
17. Islam is a peaceful religion.
18. Saddam Hussein was involved in 9/11
19. Iraq was a sponsor of Terror.
20. Abu Musab Zarqawri was an agent of Al Qaeda (not at first)
21. Iraq is a terrorist haven (now it is.)
22. We’re not facing an insurgency.
23. A few dead enders.
24. We give our military all the troops they ask for.
25. Things are not as bad in Iraq as they appear (one of those lying eyes things)
26. Today marks the end of hostilities. (over three years ago)
27. We have a plan.
28. Osama bin Laden is now insignificant.
29. We will stand down when they stand up.
30. The insurgency is in its last throes.
31. The insurgency should slow down now that Iraq has a freely elected government.
32. The insurgency should slow down now that they have a constitution.
33. The insurgency should slow down now that they have an interim government.
34. The insurgency should slow down now that Zarqawri is dead.
35. The insurgency should slow down now that Hussein is in custody.
36. Over 200,000 Iraqi troops are now trained.
37. There is no civil war in Iraq.
38. We should be out of Iraq in six months.
39. We went with the best intelligence we had. (should’ve said we could pick)
40. Congress had the same information we had.
41. We gave the UN all the time we could.
42. The war in Iraq did not distract us from the war on Terror.
43. We didn ‘t start planning the invasion of Iraq until after 9/11.
Bonus Lie: I finished my tour with the Air National Guard.
Extra Big Lie: I would still go into Iraq, knowing what I know now.

Wow, all them Whoppers, sure made me hungry. I think I’ll go to Burger King.

July 26, 2007. attack, Baghdad, cakewalk, Cheney, Civil War, dishonest, ethics, explosions, George W. Bush, Humor, Iraq, liberators, lies, politics, President, President Bush, primary, Psychiatry, Rumsfeld, slam dunk. 1 comment.