Mar
4

How are we all not dead?




Posted at 0:05 by Brad

Jesus H.! This account of the Bush administration’s attempt to engineer a coup in Gaza is more terrifying than anything I’ve ever imagined. Let’s look at the gory highlights:

[Palestinian national-security adviser Muhammad] Dahlan says he warned his friends in the Bush administration that Fatah still wasn’t ready for elections in January. Decades of self-preservationist rule by Arafat had turned the party into a symbol of corruption and inefficiency—a perception Hamas found it easy to exploit. Splits within Fatah weakened its position further: in many places, a single Hamas candidate ran against several from Fatah.

“Everyone was against the elections,” Dahlan says. Everyone except Bush. “Bush decided, ‘I need an election. I want elections in the Palestinian Authority.’ Everyone is following him in the American administration, and everyone is nagging Abbas, telling him, ‘The president wants elections.’ Fine. For what purpose?”

The elections went forward as scheduled. On January 25, Hamas won 56 percent of the seats in the Legislative Council.

Few inside the U.S. administration had predicted the result, and there was no contingency plan to deal with it. “I’ve asked why nobody saw it coming,” Condoleezza Rice told reporters. “I don’t know anyone who wasn’t caught off guard by Hamas’s strong showing.”

“Everyone blamed everyone else,” says an official with the Department of Defense. “We sat there in the Pentagon and said, ‘Who the fuck recommended this?’”

And since the elections didn’t go as the Boy King planned, guess what he did then? That’s right, he tried to undermine them:

Washington reacted with dismay when Abbas began holding talks with Hamas in the hope of establishing a “unity government.”

[...]

At their joint press conference, Rice smiled as she expressed her nation’s “great admiration” for Abbas’s leadership. Behind closed doors, however, Rice’s tone was sharper, say officials who witnessed their meeting. Isolating Hamas just wasn’t working, she reportedly told Abbas, and America expected him to dissolve the Haniyeh government as soon as possible and hold fresh elections.

Apparently, Condi believed that having an American-backed leader dissolve a democratically-elected government would warm the Palestinians’ hearts to American aims.

You can see where this is headed:

Weeks passed with no sign that Abbas was ready to do America’s bidding. Finally, another official was sent to Ramallah. Jake Walles, the consul general in Jerusalem, is a career foreign-service officer with many years’ experience in the Middle East. His purpose was to deliver a barely varnished ultimatum to the Palestinian president.

We know what Walles said because a copy was left behind, apparently by accident, of the “talking points” memo prepared for him by the State Department.

[...]

The memo left no doubt as to what kind of action the U.S. was seeking: “Hamas should be given a clear choice, with a clear deadline: … they either accept a new government that meets the Quartet principles, or they reject it The consequences of Hamas’ decision should also be clear: If Hamas does not agree within the prescribed time, you should make clear your intention to declare a state of emergency and form an emergency government explicitly committed to that platform.”

Authoritarian shadow governments, a.k.a., the Linchpin of the Freedom Agenda.

Long story short: the US government decides to bolster Fatah by sending them a bunch of arms. Word of these shipments leaks to a Jordanian newspaper. All hell breaks loose, Hamas and Fatah start a civil war. Hamas wins the war and proceeds to use the American-supplied arms it confiscated from Hamas Fatah against Israel. Now, here’s the punchline:

“You know,” says [Khalid Jaberi, a commander with Fatah’s al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades], “since the takeover, we’ve been trying to enter the brains of Bush and Rice, to figure out their mentality. We can only conclude that having Hamas in control serves their overall strategy, because their policy was so crazy otherwise. [...]

Now that it controls Gaza, Hamas has given free rein to militants intent on firing rockets into neighboring Israeli towns. “We are still developing our rockets; soon we shall hit the heart of Ashkelon at will,” says Jaberi, the al-Aqsa commander, referring to the Israeli city of 110,000 people 12 miles from Gaza’s border. “I assure you, the time is near when we will mount a big operation inside Israel, in Haifa or Tel Aviv.”

Heckuva job!

How have we survived the last seven years? Through what miracle of God are we not all dead by now? Or is it His cruel sense of humor that forces us all to live through it?

104 Comments »

  1. Malfunctioning Glenn Reynolds Robot said,

    March 4, 2008 at 0:10

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  2. I R Illin' said,

    March 4, 2008 at 0:10

    I blame Obama

  3. gypsy howell said,

    March 4, 2008 at 0:12

    Well, don’t count your chickens just yet – we still have 322 days to go.

    I just love this summation of the whole episode:

    “After failing to anticipate Hamas’s victory over Fatah in the 2006 Palestinian election, the White House cooked up yet another scandalously covert and self-defeating Middle East debacle: part Iran-contra, part Bay of Pigs.”

    …and I also love the fact that Elliot Abrams is once again involved.

  4. kindness said,

    March 4, 2008 at 0:13

    I just figured out Condi’s perfect job….

    Secretary of Incompetency.

    She can’t figure out anything, even with pre-prepared briefings or intel.

  5. SamFromUtah said,

    March 4, 2008 at 0:15

    Wow, they really are running the government like a business. Undemocratic, shortsighted strongman bullshit egged on by yes-men and for which nobody is accountable.

  6. Gundamhead said,

    March 4, 2008 at 0:16

    Evilly trying to create more enemies to justify expanding their power and start more wars? Or just unbelievably fucking stupid and inept? Hard to tell anymore.

  7. OneMan said,

    March 4, 2008 at 0:17

    A very small style point of order plz:

    There must be innumerable pictures of Bush looking stupid (i.e. every fucking one). Please to not be lazy and find other monkey bush pictures to tie into your references.

    There. Now I feel better.

    The fucking incompetence of this administration, top to bottom, never ceases to amaze me. I know, I know…you’d think after seven years I’d be wiser, if also sadder. How many times do we have to hear, “Gee, who knew that would happen?” before we throw thes boobs out on their collective asses?

    Next January Cannot. Come. Fast. Enough.

  8. J— said,

    March 4, 2008 at 0:18

    Who the fuck recommended this?

    A nice summation of the W years.

  9. another jim said,

    March 4, 2008 at 0:18

    Situations like this are yet more evidence to me, that the Bush administration really wasn’t involved in causing 9/11 to happen. (I mean, besides all the evidence, witnesses, and science that also say the same thing.) It fits the same pattern as the way they neglected dealing with New Orleans, with the occupation of Iraq, and with many other policy failures.

    They just somehow feel, as led from the top by Bush with Cheney’s hand up his ass, that hubris and magical thinking are a substitute for realistic planning in reality.

    It would be more comforting to believe that the Bush administration in some way intends to have the horrible results that they produce; but it’s much more likely they *really are* that incompetent and negligent.

    And just incompetent and negligent drivers kill more people than murderers, so do incompetent and negligent administrations.

  10. OneMan said,

    March 4, 2008 at 0:19

    these boobs.

    Sorry, mouth froth got in the way.

  11. pedestrian said,

    March 4, 2008 at 0:19

    Yeah, but she’s black and a woman and a Republican so she must be competent. Republicans are the ones always complaining that minorities don’t qualify for the good positions and only get them through affirmative action, so they couldn’t possibly be guilty of reverse discrimination. That would be hypocritical, and Republicans can’t be hypocrites because they say that Democrats are. And so on.

  12. pedestrian said,

    March 4, 2008 at 0:21

    That was about Condi BTW. I guess it could have also been about Janice Rogers Brown, but thankfully now it won’t be.

  13. Five of Diamonds said,

    March 4, 2008 at 0:21

    “I’ve asked why nobody saw it coming,” Condoleezza Rice told reporters. “I don’t know anyone who wasn’t caught off guard by Hamas’s strong showing.”

    Who else was watching for it? The Secretary of the Interior? The FDA? Isn’t this the IRS’s job to monitor? Why weren’t they paying attention?!

    At least Condi’s Ferregamo collection is well taken care of.

  14. El Cid said,

    March 4, 2008 at 0:23

    At the time I did my bloggy duty by noting that it was a really, really, really bad idea for the U.S. to be attempting to intervene in a Palestinian civil war through covert aid & direction, bad for the U.S., bad for the average non-Hamas leadership Palestinians, and bad for ordinary Israelis.

    Though you have to admit, from the point of view of certain politicians in Israel and the United States who absolutely hate the Palestinians and seek any excuse to undermine peace negotiations and hit them harder, it’s not the worst thing in the world to have a Hamas government in power there.

    Why did Baraka Al Majlis Hussein Osama X let this happen?

  15. Russell said,

    March 4, 2008 at 0:23

    You said: “Long story short: the US government decides to bolster Fatah by sending them a bunch of arms. Word of these shipments leaks to a Jordanian newspaper. All hell breaks loose, Hamas and Fatah start a civil war. Hamas wins the war and proceeds to use the American-supplied arms it confiscated from Hamas against Israel.”

    Did you mean the arms that Hamas confiscated from Fatah? Doesn’t make sense that they would use arms they confiscated from themselves.

  16. mikey said,

    March 4, 2008 at 0:24

    A shining city on the hill, America continues to serve in her role as occupier of the moral high ground, an example to all nations great and small of the kind of fair, honest, transparent government they can aspire to in time, the kind of geopolitical good citizen that can act as a trusted partner to all nations.

    mikey

    Oh, and keep your eyes on the columbia/ecuador/venezuela dustup. With his pathological hatred and fear of chavez, it’s at least possible that bush will do something stupid…

    mikey

  17. another jim said,

    March 4, 2008 at 0:24

    For similar reasons as pedestrian cited, it’s completely unfair to label Condi, Powell, or Thomas as “Uncle Tom’s”.

    I sort of agree. For purposes of clarity I’ll now refer to Condi Rice as an “Auntie Tom”.

  18. Johnny Coelacanth said,

    March 4, 2008 at 0:26

    Hamas wins the war and proceeds to use the American-supplied arms it confiscated from Hamas against Israel.

    You mean to say “Fatah” instead of Hamas there.

  19. Brad said,

    March 4, 2008 at 0:27

    Fixed, nitpickers.

  20. Johnny Coelacanth said,

    March 4, 2008 at 0:30

    I wouldn’t have picked the nit if I had read Russel’s comment first. Blame him.

  21. Gundamhead said,

    March 4, 2008 at 0:30

    Oh, and remember since Liberals have no “plan” on how to instantly fix all of Bush’s screw ups, that means they can’t question anything he does. That would be shrill.

  22. g said,

    March 4, 2008 at 0:32

    “I’ve asked why nobody saw it coming,” Condoleezza Rice told reporters. “I don’t know anyone who wasn’t caught off guard by Hamas’s strong showing.”

    “No one could have foreseen….fill in blank here.”

  23. borehole said,

    March 4, 2008 at 0:38

    I understand why it’s politically expedient for them to oppose the contraceptive “Plan B,” but what makes less sense is that they’re against the very concept itself.

  24. SamFromUtah said,

    March 4, 2008 at 0:40

    “No one could have foreseen….fill in blank here.”

    That is Condi’s tagline, for sure. Like Colin Powell’s “What massacre?” or Cheney’s snarl.

  25. g said,

    March 4, 2008 at 0:42

    Situations like this are yet more evidence to me, that the Bush administration really wasn’t involved in causing 9/11 to happen.

    Yes. I think there was a conspiracy to cover up “what really happened”, but I think “what really happened” was their total and utter incompetence, and that’s what they’re hiding.

  26. Batocchio said,

    March 4, 2008 at 0:43

    When Michael Scott or David Brent pulls this sort of crap, they normally just humiliate themselves. At worst someone loses their job. Bush and the gang pull the same ignorant, egotistical crap, but thousands of people die, economies are destroyed, and misery is left everywhere in their wake.

  27. pedestrian said,

    March 4, 2008 at 0:47

    Oh, and keep your eyes on the columbia/ecuador/venezuela dustup. With his pathological hatred and fear of chavez, it’s at least possible that bush will do something stupid…

    I am less concerned today than I was yesterday. I talked to my family-in-law in Bogotá and nobody is taking this seriously. Ecuador has refused to accept Uribe’s apology and matched Chavez by sending troops to the border, but Colombia is not responding in kind. If Colombia refuses to escalate things, Uribe calls the bluff and Chavez gets to have his petty little victory.

    In the medium term it is very destabilizing to have the leader of one country supporting rebels in a neighboring country, but in the short term I think that things will be patched over.

  28. SamFromUtah said,

    March 4, 2008 at 0:53

    I am less concerned today than I was yesterday.

    That’s good to hear, pedestrian. However, just because the situation isn’t as bad as it seemed doesn’t mean that Bush won’t do something idiotic to make it all a lot worse.

  29. Christopher said,

    March 4, 2008 at 0:53

    ““You know,” says [Khalid Jaberi, a commander with Fatah’s al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades], “since the takeover, we’ve been trying to enter the brains of Bush and Rice, to figure out their mentality. We can only conclude that having Hamas in control serves their overall strategy, because their policy was so crazy otherwise.”

    Yeah, I know how he feels. For years I thought that there must be some method to the madness, some underlying strategy.

    But now I’ve come to the conclusion that they really are just that stupid.

    “Wow, they really are running the government like a business. Undemocratic, shortsighted strongman bullshit egged on by yes-men and for which nobody is accountable.”

    That’s what I was thinking too, especially the part about pushing to hold elections, and then pushing to dissolve the government because the people didn’t vote for the right candidates.

    It seems like it’s pretty common for managers to say “I want you to give me your honest opinion” when they really mean “I want you to regurgitate the conclusion I’ve already arrived at, and if you don’t I’ll use passive-aggressive attacks until you do”.

    It’s positively Dilbertian.

    “Oh, and keep your eyes on the columbia/ecuador/venezuela dustup. With his pathological hatred and fear of chavez, it’s at least possible that bush will do something stupid…

    mikey”

    By “possible” you mean “virtually certain”, right? The only question for me is a Far Side-esque what kind of stupid thing will they do? Will it just be uninformed and inflammatory statements? Or something worse?

  30. t4toby said,

    March 4, 2008 at 0:54

    There must be innumerable pictures of Bush looking stupid (i.e. every fucking one). Please to not be lazy and find other monkey bush pictures to tie into your references.

    Maybe start here:

    Bush or Chimp?

  31. GSD said,

    March 4, 2008 at 0:55

    Holy shit. I wasn’t caught off guard watching from my armchair here in NH.

    -GSD

  32. mikey said,

    March 4, 2008 at 0:55

    Thanks, pedestrian. I think thats a realistic take on it.

    The risk is really if some outside destabilizing force does something stupid.

    The Bush administration considers Columbia one of their Colonial Outposts

    They put a lot of counter narcotics and COIN funding into the country, and I’m certain that makes them feel they can do whatever they want.

    And there is a substantial american military presence in Columbia now.

    Bush could decide to “do something” about the evil chavez’s support for terrorism. And that could cause everybody to do something they’d rather not do…

    mikey

  33. g said,

    March 4, 2008 at 0:56

    Oh, and let’s not forget the burning of our embassy in Belgrade. Did Condi even notice that?

  34. El Cid said,

    March 4, 2008 at 0:59

    Uribe responded indirectly. He had one of his leading generals produce information from computers captured from the killed rebel’s camp to allege detailed records of up to $300 million given by Chavez to the FARC.

    This allegation is not to be taken lightly. It was such a laptop captured from one of Colombia’s right wing paramilitary death squad leaders (“Jorge 40″) which led to their current “parapolitics” scandal where on the order of 50 government officials have been arrested or resigned when their links to the death squads were shown.

    Overall, if these charges seem to carry any weight in terms of real credibility, they could prove a much more serious matter than sending tanks to the border.

    Colombia could also ask Ecuador how it managed to extend military forces to the area in question when a border dispute arose but not when it appeared to be a haven for FARC forces, but at least in this case Ecuador could explain that it’s a lot easier to respond to an actual military incursion than it is to trace down revolutionaries who are highly skilled at hiding in inaccessible territories.

  35. Lesley said,

    March 4, 2008 at 1:02

    If a picture is worth a thousand words, that thumbnail photo speaks volumes. Such an individual shouldn’t be planning the family vacation.

    Condi should stick to shoe shopping.

  36. Lesley said,

    March 4, 2008 at 1:06

    Peoples, we can only hope McCain invites Condi to be a high falutin’ something or other on his “team”, because even though she’s tried to distance herself from Bush and his policies over the past year or so, she’s about as popular with the electorate as GW is. C’mon McCain, make the mistake of recruiting this idiot before the election so the peoples have another reason to not vote for you.

  37. J— said,

    March 4, 2008 at 1:10

    If Bush were to try to push things in Colombia right now, I think Uribe would tell him to back the fuck up. Escalation and expansion of players involved serves him no good right now. His government will not respond to Chávez’s theater on the Venezuelan side of the border and will instead focus on resolving or at least smoothing over the immediate problem with Ecuador. Uribe needs to avoid the perception, both domestically and internationally, that his government depends too heavily on U.S. aid and action in Colombia. This is, after all, Chávez’s framework for explaining things: Uribe is a pawn of Bush the Emperor. I imagine the State Department at least understands this and will respect the Colombian government’s concerns.

  38. J— said,

    March 4, 2008 at 1:16

    And, as El Cid notes above, the Uribe government will not miss the opportunity to publicize evidence of complicity in the FARC’s cross-border activities—or at least inaction in the spite of clear knowledge—on the part of the Correa and Chávez governments.

  39. J— said,

    March 4, 2008 at 1:17

    Methinks.

  40. El Cid said,

    March 4, 2008 at 1:20

    I would think rather that right now the Bush Jr. administration (and with zero significant Democratic dissent) will take the charges announced by Oscar Naranjo (actually the chief of Colombia’s national police, not an army general) and push it very, very hard at the upcoming OAS (Organization of American States) meeting called about the controversy.

    In the United States, this is going to far, far, far outweigh any coverage of anything else with regard to Colombia, Venezuela, or Ecuador, for several weeks if the evidence proves questionable and for the next several months if it proves strong.

    Remember, only the U.S.A. has the right and moral authority to fund rebel forces in a foreign nation in Latin America.

    Personally I wish Colombia’s government, right wing as it is, could militarily end the FARC issue, as they are no revolutionary force fighting for some beleaguered masses but a group of self-sustaining a**holes, but that simply doesn’t look likely; and as always the vast number of dead are among peasants and other civilians who happen to be in the way when the Colombian military massively responds, and the government still barely restrains the largest killer of civilians in the “civil war” — the right wing paramilitary death squads.

  41. kobie said,

    March 4, 2008 at 1:22

    It’s obviously Bill Clinton’s fault. What a asshole.

  42. Arky "I Just Get These Headaches" The Blasphemer said,

    March 4, 2008 at 1:24

    I think mandatory community service for every asshat that voted for these incompetent twats is a reasonable punishment. Say, 50,000 hours cleaning Larry Craig’s favorite toilets.

    I mean, fine. Other Republican Admins have stuck their noses into other countries political affairs and the results are always messy. But with King Bush the Incompetent and his cadre of bumbling jackholes, the results are always drastic and immediate.

    Pull the grenade, throw the pin.

  43. Principal Blackman said,

    March 4, 2008 at 1:25

    It’s obviously Bill Clinton’s fault.

    Well, that and the article is clearly a divorced-from-reality screed written by a filthy MSMer whose only agendas are to hate America and make up vicious lies about the very Lincolnish Dubya.

    [/Mark Noonan]

  44. Christopher said,

    March 4, 2008 at 1:27

    I also just have to register my shock at this:

    Few inside the U.S. administration had predicted the result, and there was no contingency plan to deal with it. “I’ve asked why nobody saw it coming,” Condoleezza Rice told reporters. “I don’t know anyone who wasn’t caught off guard by Hamas’s strong showing.”

    I don’t know anything much about Palestinian politics, but wasn’t Hamas at the time one of the most powerful opposition parties? How the fuck can you not have a contingency plan to deal with the opposition party winning?

    How did these twits manage to get themselves elected? At this point, it truly astounds me that they have the brain-power to put their pants on the right way ’round.

  45. J— said,

    March 4, 2008 at 1:30

    Yes, a push by the Bush administration on the diplomatic front to embarrass Chávez and Correa—especially the former—sounds right.

    This strike seems to have been quite focused (Who can bomb the FARC’s Number Two Man? The Super Toucan), although this would be the strategic, minimal collateral damage operation that proves the rule you describe in your last paragraph.

  46. J— said,

    March 4, 2008 at 1:32

    the strategic, minimal collateral damage operation exception

  47. El Cid said,

    March 4, 2008 at 1:34

    How the fuck can you not have a contingency plan to deal with the opposition party winning?

    I dunno.

    Probably pretty much the same way in which “How the fuck after winning WWII and having to occupy much of Europe did you idiots invade Iraq and not have a fucking plan and capacity to guard the god-damned weapons depot which the properly paranoiac Saddam Hussein was known by EVERYONE to have stashed around the country so that his troops could never be cut off from a distant weapons depot????”

  48. Fozzetti said,

    March 4, 2008 at 1:34

    Maybe we *are* dead and in Hell.

  49. Principal Blackman said,

    March 4, 2008 at 1:38

    How did these twits manage to get themselves elected?

    As godawful as these jaggovs are at setting policy and, you know, governing (and clearly, saying they are godawful going easy on them), they are fantastic at electoral politics. All they know how to do is handle elections; they haven’t the foggiest fucking idea what they’re doing once they’re in office. Such is movement conservatism.

  50. El Cid said,

    March 4, 2008 at 1:42

    I actually think that apart from specifically evil goals, the right believes that competence is only required in gaining office (I would say “winning” elections but that would suggest improperly that they feel elections are above manipulation) and in stealing public resources.

    If you can’t do either of those well, then you’re not a good Republican.

  51. another jim said,

    March 4, 2008 at 1:45

    Yes. It really seems that getting re-elected is the only part of their lives where they actually pay attention, they plan, and they actually have accountability for failure.

  52. Jay B. said,

    March 4, 2008 at 1:49

    This is an impeachable offense, of course. The trouble is, it’ll have to stand in line.

    How can we rank them?

    1. Has to be illegal spying on Americans. It might not be anything, but Bush admitted to doing it and it was, on its face, illegal. Impeachable.
    2. Iraq. It would be #1 if we had a functioning democracy, but no one’s been impeached for an illegal botched war yet, so it falls to #2. Ironically, he could be tried in The Hague before he’s tried here.
    3. Scooter Libby. Everyone in his administration leaked classified information. No one’s in charge. Impeachable.
    4. 9/11 — he out and out lied to the 9/11 Comission. Just how fucking stupid does someone have to be to summer in Crawford TX anyway?
    5. This charming little story.

    I’m not even thinking clear here. Just throwing it out. I really do think there’s at least 5 separate issues that he could be impeached on — if we had a functional democracy.

  53. Krassen said,

    March 4, 2008 at 1:58

    “Wow, they really are running the government like a business. Undemocratic, shortsighted strongman bullshit egged on by yes-men and for which nobody is accountable.”

    Right On! I must add, that’s how a typical Harvard MBA runs a business, trust me… Thank goodness Mitt Romney dropped out…

  54. Harry Cheddar said,

    March 4, 2008 at 2:05

    “Maybe we *are* dead and in Hell.”

    Yes, but don’t let it get you down. Try a glass of the Chateaux Merde. The bouquet is quite impressive.

  55. PS said,

    March 4, 2008 at 2:09

    Tricky Dick probably edged Bushco on viciousness. Corruption comes and goes. Ideological blinders and stupidity are not all that rare. But these guys set new standards for pure idiocy. Yeah, relatively speaking more of the pie is going to the fattest of cats — the best and in fact only argument I have heard for Bushco’s abilities (in that they wanted this to happen and it has) — but how much bigger could the pie have been?

    Bushco are so far off the scale of previously imaginable incompetence that …

    I don’t even know how to finish the sentence. Anyone care to help?

  56. Christopher said,

    March 4, 2008 at 2:14

    “Yes. It really seems that getting re-elected is the only part of their lives where they actually pay attention, they plan, and they actually have accountability for failure.”

    I guess it sticks out to me because what you’re saying here is a pretty common meme, but gaming an election is exactly what the failed to do here.

    They’re supposed to be good at getting their guys elected, but when they tried to get their guys elected in Palestine, they failed miserably, and what’s more, they failed to predict incredibly basic things that anybody with, well, with a functioning brain should’ve been able to plan for.

    I mean, the essential, most basic feature of a fair democratic election is that the outcome can’t be predicted 100% before the actual election, and these supposed political geniuses were so confident that the election would turn out how they predicted that they didn’t even have a contingency plan.

    Is that where the resolution to this paradox is? Did they win here because they simply refused to accept that any other outcome would be valid?

    Even if so, shouldn’t they have been able to impart some of their supposed political smarts to Fatah?

  57. Monkay said,

    March 4, 2008 at 2:23

    Gundamhead said: Evilly trying to create more enemies to justify expanding their power and start more wars? Or just unbelievably fucking stupid and inept?
    The two are not mutually exclusive . . .

  58. another jim said,

    March 4, 2008 at 2:25

    “Bushco are so far off the scale of previously imaginable incompetence that …”

    …no current metaphors in the English language can adequately illustrate their mind-melting stupidity.

  59. another jim said,

    March 4, 2008 at 2:37

    “They’re supposed to be good at getting their guys elected, but when they tried to get their guys elected in Palestine, they failed miserably, and what’s more, they failed to predict incredibly basic things that anybody with, well, with a functioning brain should’ve been able to plan for.”

    Well, yes. But their competence is even smaller than just elections; they only really pay attention to elections where *their own jobs* are on the line.

    I mean, they even didn’t even predict or plan for the 2006 blowout that lost the GOP both the Senate and the Congress.

    So, if it’s their spot at the public trough that’s at stake, they are focused like lasers.

    Otherwise they have the attention span of a fat virgin teen at their first rave on 3 hits of ecstasy.

  60. Smut Clyde said,

    March 4, 2008 at 2:46

    these supposed political geniuses were so confident that the election would turn out how they predicted that they didn’t even have a contingency plan.
    Loath though I am to defend Team Bush, I should point out — in the interests of fairness — that US politics could not have prepared them for this.

  61. SamFromUtah said,

    March 4, 2008 at 2:47

    …US politics could not have prepared them for this.

    Agreed. They didn’t know who to buy in the furriners’ election.

  62. El Cid said,

    March 4, 2008 at 2:58

    Maybe they overestimated the electoral power that Fatah’s opposition to gay marriage would have.

  63. Kane said,

    March 4, 2008 at 3:00

    Foreign Policy Magazine suggests this isn’t news:
    “”The Gaza Bombshell,” in Vanity Fair. David Rose alleges there was a secret U.S. plan to arm Fatah against Hamas in Gaza. It’s kind of a silly claim, since it was reported at the time and the Bush administration made little attempt to hide its plan. “

  64. PS said,

    March 4, 2008 at 3:08

    Remember Nixon’s secret bombing of Cambodia? Those crafty Cambodians knew all about it!

  65. Brad said,

    March 4, 2008 at 3:14

    Kane- may not be breaking news, but the report is impressive in that it gets a surprising number of on-the-record sources to talk about this debacle in great detail. This is a first-class fuck-up, and if Clinton had overseen it, we’d have never heard the end of it in the mainstream press. Hell, I think Clinton got more bad press when he bombed that damn aspirin factory…

  66. g said,

    March 4, 2008 at 3:15

    C’mon McCain, make the mistake of recruiting this idiot {Condi]

    Oh, that would be marvelous. And what a great job she’d do on the stump, don’t you think?

    Honestly, every time I hear her speak publicly the first thing that pops into my head is Mary Tyler Moore, tremulously saying “Oh – Mr. Grant!”

  67. Jay B. said,

    March 4, 2008 at 3:18


    Foreign Policy Magazine suggests this isn’t news:
    “”The Gaza Bombshell,” in Vanity Fair. David Rose alleges there was a secret U.S. plan to arm Fatah against Hamas in Gaza. It’s kind of a silly claim, since it was reported at the time and the Bush administration made little attempt to hide its plan. “

    Well, that’s OK then. Undermining a legitimately elected government if you make little attempt to hide your plan (and, in fact, get your arms shipments stolen, something which makes the Jordanian newspapers) — a plan which was necessitated by your own hubris and heavyhandedness to force Fatah to hold elections to begin with, which, on top of that, was undermined by the unrivaled incompetence of your top diplomats who didn’t even see the opposition winning, which now makes the whole thing collapse into Dense Ironic Stupid. Then Double Down decides to confuse even a guy from the Martyr Brigades by playing right into Hamas’ hands.

    There’s nothing to see here. Nah. Move along. The Whiz Kidz at Foreign Policy think the whole thing is silly.

  68. J— said,

    March 4, 2008 at 3:41

    Here’s the full quote from Foreign Policy’s Passport blog:

    Blake Hounshell

    “The Gaza Bombshell,” in Vanity Fair. David Rose alleges there was a secret U.S. plan to arm Fatah against Hamas in Gaza. It’s kind of a silly claim, since it was reported at the time and the Bush administration made little attempt to hide its plan. Still, Rose adds new details and quotes neocon stalwart David Wurmser criticizing the Bush administration’s support for Mahmoud Abbas.

    It’s from a “What We’re Reading” post.

  69. Anne Laurie said,

    March 4, 2008 at 3:54

    How have we survived the last seven years? Through what miracle of God are we not all dead by now? Or is it His cruel sense of humor that forces us all to live through it?

    I personally go with the theory that the last 100,000 years of human evolution has been one long series of bad guesses, newbie mistakes, and willful ignorance in action. Therefore, the system has an enormous tolerance level built right in, which the Bush Occupation has yet to manage to push past, however hard their concerted efforts.

    On the other hand, I never underestimate the Trickster’s foul sense of humor, either. Because gods come and go, but Murphy Rulez!

  70. Innocent Bystander said,

    March 4, 2008 at 3:58

    Incompetence, by design. The hallmark of this administration. You’d think the cover of stupidity would have worn off by this point, though.

  71. RandomObserver said,

    March 4, 2008 at 4:08

    The ability of this administration to be surprised by the single most likely scenario unfolding never ceases to amaze.

  72. mikey said,

    March 4, 2008 at 4:15

    The important part of your interpretation, Anne Laurie, and the part I like the best, by the way, is that you have to set aside any American Exceptionalism in order for it to work. The system will grind on, and empires may come and go, but in the long view of geologic time, or even a shorter scale, the big dog can, and most likely will, turn to dust.

    Powers rise, and fall, and others maintain some level of prosperity even if they don’t ever actually make the rules or dictate the terms, but overall, so much of the system is self-canceling, self-leveling and self-enforcing that it is the system that I find attractive, rather than my place within it…

    mikey

  73. Krassen said,

    March 4, 2008 at 4:59

    Anne Laurie,
    allow me, as a trained biologist, to point out that there are many species of parasites that have evolved and found niches in various ecosystems, feeding off more evolved and productive species.

    Central requirement for the well-being of said parasites, however, is the general health of said more evolved host species. Once a parasite destroys the host ecosystem, their imminent demise is inevitable.

    This update on evolution brought to you by the Kansas Board of Education

  74. Galactic Dustbin said,

    March 4, 2008 at 5:06

    I just figured out Condi’s perfect job….

    Secretary of Incompetency.

    Naw, she’d find a way to screw that up.

  75. billy pilgrim said,

    March 4, 2008 at 5:08

    I can has empeechmint now?

    ….I know LOL is so Last Tuesday, but it seemed appropriate.

  76. billy pilgrim said,

    March 4, 2008 at 5:10

    Powers rise, and fall, and others maintain some level of prosperity even if they don’t ever actually make the rules or dictate the terms, but overall, so much of the system is self-canceling, self-leveling and self-enforcing that it is the system that I find attractive, rather than my place within it…

    dammit mikey, you’re one fine writin hippie son of a bitch…

  77. mikey said,

    March 4, 2008 at 5:21

    billy, gracias.

    If you and some of the rest can find a way to put that on my marker when my run’s finished?

    Hell, I could do a whole lot worse…

    mikey

  78. Kane said,

    March 4, 2008 at 5:21

    “There’s nothing to see here. Nah. Move along. The Whiz Kidz at Foreign Policy think the whole thing is silly.”

    As the very clear English indicated, it’s not a matter of “nothing to see here” it’s a matter of this having already been reported some time ago.

    There was also definitely something to see in the Abu Ghraib scandal and that was far less recent. Is someone now covering up that story by not reporting it as though it’s not news today?

  79. El Cid said,

    March 4, 2008 at 5:29

    I’m not sure the views of the participants and internal records were reported some time ago.

    That’s the new news part.

    The policy being a disaster? Well, obvious from an analysis of what actually happened and outward signs of Bush Jr. administration motives, but it’s very different to be able to display this via the views of those involved.

    Similarly if a set of documents and interviews previously unavailable were able to establish the background to the original Abu Ghraib decisions in ways not possible before, this too would be new news.

  80. Smiling Mortician said,

    March 4, 2008 at 5:43

    If you and some of the rest can find a way to put that on my marker when my run’s finished?

    Well, yeah, sure. Of course. But stop making me sad, OK?

  81. mikey said,

    March 4, 2008 at 5:47

    Sorry.

    Hey. I KNOW!

    Let’s have another cocktail and go blow something up!

    C’mon, whaddaya say?

    mikey

  82. Smiling Mortician said,

    March 4, 2008 at 5:52

    As a wise man once said or, y’know, should have said in any case: It’s Monday night. What the fuck.

  83. Arky "I just get these headaches" The Blasphemer said,

    March 4, 2008 at 6:00

    And what a great job she’d do on the stump, don’t you think?

    Ew.

    Oh, sorry. I thought you meant …

    Fuggidit.

  84. Tom said,

    March 4, 2008 at 6:06

    So when this all over, can we take Bush and Cheney away in handcuffs and send them off The Hague for trial for war crimes?

  85. mikey said,

    March 4, 2008 at 6:19

    I don’t know about that, Tom, but we CAN all go to the International House of Pancakes.

    Hey, it’s an option..

    mikey

  86. Righteous Bubba said,

    March 4, 2008 at 6:24

    Man, the IHOP was just the worst last time I went. Took the kid and Jesus: what has it come to when your kid won’t eat something slathered with syrup?

  87. Balloon Juice said,

    March 4, 2008 at 6:42

    [...] put it much better than the Bradrocket. When you look at the glorious hash that our great leader made of elections in Palestine certain [...]

  88. SamFromUtah said,

    March 4, 2008 at 7:12

    I must add, that’s how a typical Harvard MBA runs a business, trust me…

    Heh, indeedy. I’ve never worked for a real Harvard MBA, but I’ve worked for wannabe-Harvard-MBA MBAs from much less prestigious schools. You’ll never guess why I don’t have that job anymore.

  89. Kane said,

    March 4, 2008 at 8:01

    “So when this all over, can we take Bush and Cheney away in handcuffs and send them off The Hague for trial for war crimes?”

    Well unless you had a different “Hague” in mind, then no.
    The Hague has a hard enough time even hearing cases involving mass genocide campaigns.

  90. Christopher said,

    March 4, 2008 at 8:53

    The policy being a disaster? Well, obvious from an analysis of what actually happened and outward signs of Bush Jr. administration motives, but it’s very different to be able to display this via the views of those involved.

    Also, I have a theory about the Bush administration’s damage control policy. I think it goes like this:

    Bush aide: Sir, the media is really on our asses about how we fucked up project X. Pretty soon they’re going to figure out where the bodies are buried.

    Bush: Don’t worry, I’ve got a plan. I’m going to fuck project Y up beyond all repair, and that way, when it turns out that it was gross negligence on our part that fucked up project X, the media will be too busy arguing about whether project Y got fucked up because of us or because of circumstances beyond our control to report on project X.

    I swear, every time the real meat of any Bush scandal starts to come out, some new, fresh scandal breaks out. It’s easy for one of them to get lost in the cracks, and this one kind of fell through the cracks for me.

    Maybe it’s not exactly breaking news, but I can’t find any effort to portray the Bush administration as a bunch of incompetent fuckups to be a waste of time.

  91. The Oracle said,

    March 4, 2008 at 10:09

    Bush administration policies only make sense if you think of “failed states,” with the ultimate “failed state” being the United States itself.

    Afghanistan — Failed State, chaos, destruction, women and children being brutalized.

    Iraq — Failed State, chaos, destruction, women and children being brutalized.

    United States — Rapidly approaching Failed State status, especially after seven years of mismanagement, malfeasance and outright corruption by the Bush criminal gang. One can list numerous, countless instances in which Bush and his crony neo-con Republican pals, both in the White House and Congress, have weakened our nation, our military, our very standard of living. Women’s rights and children’s health are under attack in our nation. Lax inspections of products and medicines endanger all of us. Huge budget and trade deficits threaten the financial well-being of everyone, even those with a lot of money who think their money will insulate them. And BushCo’s answer to all this? Concentrating power in the hands of Bush and his crony pals. Increased illegal surveillance of U.S. citizens. Building their own private army. Ruling by fiat, that is, illegal “line-item veto” signing statements. Taking power away from our nation’s states by “state’s rights” neo-con Republicans, while saddling our nation’s states with increased budgetary burdens.

    I don’t know about you, but the lifelong self-destructive streak in George W. Bush keeps on giving and giving and giving. With Palestine being just another example of “failed states” (or companies) following in the poisonous wake of George W. Bush.

    We’ll be lucky, extremely lucky as a nation if we get through the last months of George W. Bush’s treacherous and traitorous term in office without him creating another “failed state” by bombing Iran, which will have the effect of driving the United States closer to the brink of being a “failed state” if not completely over the edge. Widespread chaos and destruction in the United States will be sure to follow. BushCo will then use all the “security” measures he and his crony neo-con Republican pals have put into place to lock-down our democratic nation…so their insane dream of a permanent Republican majority can be realized. Then the BushCo Gestapo will really get down to business..

    Impeach Bush and Cheney NOW. Save our nation. Save the world.

  92. MNPundit said,

    March 4, 2008 at 11:07

    “Everyone blamed everyone else,” says an official with the Department of Defense. “We sat there in the Pentagon and said, ‘Who the fuck recommended this?’”

    So I wonder what happens when someone sits Condi and Bush in a room and they ask this and the response is: “You did! This is all your fault.”

    Does the person get disappeared? Do Condi and Bush just blank that moment out? Or has no one had the guts to do it?

  93. Linda said,

    March 4, 2008 at 13:50

    Those that are in control of the White House do not concern themselves with partisanship…Party means nothing to them…Power is their goal.

    Without impeachment the “tyranny toolbox” created by Bush and Cheney’s interventionist foreign policy will be passed on to the Democrats in November.

    Please see the following Council on Foreign Relations website titled: “Council on Foreign Relations Partners with the Saban Center at Brookings on Middle East Strategy for the Next President.” The Council on Foreign Relations and the Saban Center are currently forming the foreign relations policy for the next US President.

    Scroll down to see the Strategy Group. You will see the names Strobe Talbot, Sandy Berger (Hillary Clinton advisers) and Zbigniew Brzezinski (Adviser to Obama)

    CFR Website: http://www.cfr.org/publication/15505/

    If you will now go to another CFR webpage:
    http://www.cfr.org/thinktank/tanusmes/index.html
    There you will see clearly that neither Iran nor Iraq is off the table.

    It is in these web pages that the true intent of all the current frontrunners is revealed. They are all the same breed: CFR. Clinton, Obama, and McCain are interventionists believing that it is desirable for the U.S. to keep peace in the world through military force. Dick Cheney was a past director of the CFR.

    I am a researcher…please take an hour or so to view the PBS videos – http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/cheney/view/ – Although my research is still ongoing I hope you it interesting.

  94. sxwarren said,

    March 4, 2008 at 15:46

    A quarter century ago, a now-famous winemaker and I spent a pleasant, late afternoon squatting in the dirt on a hillside overlooking the Napa Valley, drinking from a couple of magnums of a fine ten-year-old Cab he’d made and taking turns blasting away at rattlesnakes (real or imagined) in the scrub with a 12-gauge. AFAIK, the only thing we actually killed were the magnums of Cab. Anyway, when we finally stumbled back down that hillside in the near dark, we were still saner and more competent than the fuckups who’ve been running this country for the past seven years.

  95. Northern Observer said,

    March 4, 2008 at 18:03

    “You know,” says [Khalid Jaberi, a commander with Fatah’s al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades], “since the takeover, we’ve been trying to enter the brains of Bush and Rice, to figure out their mentality. We can only conclude that having Hamas in control serves their overall strategy, because their policy was so crazy otherwise. […]

    Otherwise America is being run by a team of nitwits supported by a party apparatus that will continue to place nitwits in all branches of government. Who needs devine intervention to start armageddon when you have the republicna paryt of amurika.

  96. We Love America More Than Anyone. » heckuva job. said,

    March 4, 2008 at 18:09

    [...] this is all pretty fucking incredible. [...]

  97. The Teacher’s Mailroom : Gaza Q and A said,

    March 4, 2008 at 23:46

    [...] Answer: Long story short: the US government decides to bolster Fatah by sending them a bunch of arms. Word of these shipments leaks to a Jordanian newspaper. All hell breaks loose, Hamas and Fatah start a civil war. Hamas wins the war and proceeds to use the American-supplied arms it confiscated from Hamas Fatah against Israel. [...]

  98. People Get Ready said,

    March 5, 2008 at 2:47

    [...] George W. Bush says one thing, you can be sure he means another thing [...]

  99. The Larger Issues « Just Above Sunset said,

    March 5, 2008 at 7:17

    [...] You can follow the links to see what he’s talking about. We threw out the baby with the bath water. As for the latest failure, the rest of the item discusses the Vanity Fair item regarding a covert initiative (the last link), approved by President Bush and implemented by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Deputy National Security Adviser Elliott Abrams, to provoke a Palestinian civil war. We supplied the weapons. Here’s a summary of how it backfired: [...]

  100. Paul said,

    March 5, 2008 at 18:33

    The neocons do not want peace and will undermine it at any cost. They are in the business of fomenting conflict in order to profit (profiteer) from it, and to manipulate respective power structures, so that the outcomes of all conflicts end up serving their interests. One of those interests, as it affects their domestic agenda, is to have wars without end which involves Muslims as the designated boogeymen, this allows them to impugn that our Glorious Homeland ©®™ is somehow in grave danger, a danger which only the complete stripping of all Constitutional, civil and Human rights will fix.

    Bush may be a drooling cretin, but the people who own and operate him are not.

  101. Hizzoner said,

    March 5, 2008 at 22:40

    STUPID MOONBATS. GEORGE BUSH GREATETS PREDSITENT EVER SAVED AMERICA FROM OBAMA OSAMA. JESUS BLESS US IN AMERICA BUT NOT YOU LIBERALS WILL ALL JUST GO TO NORTH KOREA YOUR HERO WITH HELLARY KLINTON AND BLACK OSAMA

  102. andy phx said,

    March 5, 2008 at 23:03

    “I’ve asked why nobody saw it coming,” Condoleezza Rice told reporters. “I don’t know anyone who wasn’t caught off guard by Hamas’s strong showing.”

    RIIIIIIIGHT.

    Sounds an awful a lot like ‘No one could have predicted that someone would fly planes into the World Trade Center’.

    They knew exactly what they were doing. They created the exact situation that Israel wanted. Remember: without fabricated enemies they wouldn’t be able to expand the Military Industrial complex nor would they have an excuse to bomb people. This was no accident!

  103. Righteous Bubba said,

    March 5, 2008 at 23:11

    They knew exactly what they were doing. They created the exact situation that Israel wanted.

    Nope, incompetence suffices as an explanation.

  104. How Bush made Hamas a powerhouse said,

    November 29, 2011 at 22:11

    [...] those of you who find this wonky stuff complicated and boring, you can go to Sadly, No for the shorter version, along with the appropriate illustrations. But if you want to dig into the real story on how the [...]

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