Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Musical Chairs: White House Edition

For some completely incomprehensible reason at the Bush White House it just hasn't dawned on them that the problem is with real world issues that are clearly not working. This is the reason for the sagging poll numbers and the expected November drubbing that Republican candidates are more likely than not to face. Instead, a sort of game of musical chairs of replacing a few incidental staffers with those who policies have largely failed elsewhere is being played out.

Today another game of musical chairs played out where a former congressman, Robert J. Portman, who completely failed to stem a rising tide of imports and rising trade deficits was elevated to the position of budget management. If someone has completely failed at their prior position, then why not promote them to the opportunity to really blow it must be the White House philosophy.

And Defense Secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, continues to daily brush off the critics, although he had his heart set on a revival of the old 1990-91 Gulf War in Iraq since 1997 as a member of the neoconservative PNAC(Project For The New American Century) organization, who completely failed to consider the historical consequences of Iraq where sectarian violence has existed since 1922 between the Sunni and Shiite communities.

From 1997-2003, Rumsfeld had only a mere six years to consider all the historical, military and planning difficulties of such a revival of the old Gulf War, but somehow never bothered to read any history of the sectarian conflict in Iraq that has existed since the British put together the artificial state of Iraq from defeated portions of the old WWI Turkish dominated Ottoman Empire. There was no military planning for enough U.S. manpower to secure all the arms in Iraq, as Iraq was largely a giant Saddam Hussein military ammo dump, and all these old cannon shells are now being built into the roadside bombs that have killed or disabled so many American troops. No house to house search was conducted to confiscate small arms either. Guns are rampant all through Iraq. It is a holiday for snipers. And not enough body armor was sent in with the U.S. soldiers, where the last Iraq war budget bill included no money for body armor, but $500,000 for a teacup museum among other pork issues.

And with increased global demand for oil, with emerging economies in China and India, both fearing a conflict with Iran could seriously impact their growing economies and leave them to look for other sources of fuel other than in Iran, China and India are prime reasons that the world commodity markets are peaking with $70 a barrel oil, and wholesale unleaded gas price per gallon of about $2.20, with a retail nearing $2.80-$3.00 a gallon at the pump. Any good signs of return of growth from the economic problems after 9/11 could soon be rolled back with an economy seriously in danger because of these high energy prices. A new recession could be in the near future. And as gas prices rise, the view that the White House is a "tool" of the big oil companies continues to grow as well, although the rise in oil prices is more complex than simply this main street explanation.

And Iran grows more dangerous by the day. Diplomacy is the right way. But Iran resists this. And the Hamas led government in the Palestinian territory actually endorsed the latest suicide bombing attack in Tel Aviv, Israel.

There are some problems out of control from the White House. It deserves some understanding and sympathy for such problems. But there are also huge problems of it's own making including the elective war in Iraq where the number of sectarian violence refugees living in tents who have abandoned their homes has increased from 35,000 to 65,000 in the last couple of weeks. There is still no real government in Iraq, where a corrupt coalition of a few Shiite leaders refuse to move aside and create a unity government. And deaths of American troops is up sharply from last month.

The White House doesn't get it that many policies are flat out failing, and massive war clouds with Iran may be forming as well as the most serious energy cost crisis in the nation's history. This lethal combination of problems of the Bush White House's own making as well problems that out of it's hands make 2006 a very dangerous year for both the Bush White House as well as America.

The Bush White House needs to shore up what problems it can. But it won't. So musical chairs simply won't work this time around. A new coat of paint on an old wreck simply won't drive any better.


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