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By Bill Gallagher

"If you find yourself in a hole, stop digging." -- Will Rogers, American humorist, 1879-1935.

DETROIT -- President George W. Bush is digging like a starving junkyard dog desperate to find a lost bone. He's also a one-trick dog, incapable of being taught anything new. In his twisted mind, he believes he already knows everything, especially about war and how the world works. His behavior is clearly delusional and his enablers know it.

Sending more troops to Iraq is far from a new strategy, as the slaves in the corporate media dutifully reported. It's simply some tactical tweaking aimed at buying time and stretching the agony in Iraq so someone else will have to deal with the mess and admit failure.

Bush has no strategy for "victory," nor can he explain what "winning" in Iraq means. The memorized bromides he uses are meaningless. He's flying by the seat of his pants, hoping somehow he'll get lucky.

Maybe he's consulted with Rev. Pat Robertson, and the great prophet of our times told him all is well and God is still with him. "Mr. President," I can hear Robertson assuring him, "Jesus wants us to prevail in the land of Abraham. Greater Israel must be ready for the second coming and the Lord told me to encourage you to stand resolute against the snares of the Muslims, the devil and the Democrats."

The Democrats certainly should do everything they can to prevent the escalation and expose Bush's cynical manipulation of military commanders to get a lineup that agrees with his visceral judgments.

Gen. George Casey, the ousted U.S. commander in Baghdad, knew his days were numbered because he opposed troop escalations. He told The New York Times, "The longer we in the U.S. forces continue to bear the main burden of Iraq's security, it lengthens the time that the government of Iraq has to take the hard decisions about reconciliation and dealing with militias. And the other thing is that they can continue to blame us for all of Iraq's problems, which are the base of their problems."

The Busheviks sack such bearers of reason and common sense. They like to hear what they like to hear. Truth and reality have no place in their deliberations. Bush "the Decider" decides, and all others are expected to fall in line and echo his wisdom.

That's why Gen. Peter Pace, the professional toady, became chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. In his book "State of Denial," Bob Woodward describes a conversation he had with Pace in July 2006 when it was clear Iraq was unraveling and the war was being lost.

Pace's revealing words show just how appealing he is to his infallible commander in chief.

Woodward asked Pace, "Do you have any doubts this was the right decision to invade Iraq?"

"I have no doubts at all," the general said, "None at all."

Woodward describes Pace, like many others at the top of the Bush administration, as someone who believes that "somehow we had not started the Iraq war. We had been attacked. Bin Laden, al-Qaeda, the other terrorists and anti-American forces could be lumped together."

Pace pronounced, "We did not do this." Like Bush, Pace is most comfortable with certainty and absolutes. That's why Bush chose him over more thoughtful and reflective commanders.

Pace told Woodward he had no doubts Iraq was the right war at the right time. Then he showed the degree of delusion that Bush so much appreciates: "It may not surprise you to understand that taking my country's battles to my country's enemies on their playing field is where I think we should be. To protect my country, to do my oath to my country, and protect my kids and my grandkids and your kids and your grandkids, I have zero doubt we have done the right thing."

Pace should be given full credit for the military fiasco in Iraq. He deserves it. His blindness to the reality of why we went to Iraq is stunning. He is hopelessly naive, just plain stupid or so dedicated to pleasing Bush he'll say anything. However you cut it, he's dangerous.

Appearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice bristled at the Vietnam-era-sounding term "escalation" the Democrats used while grilling her.

Rice, who obfuscates with the best, dodged and danced as she sidestepped serious questions and responded with her windy rhetoric. She preferred to avoid calling the troop escalation a surge, instead offering her own word -- augmentation. It just sounds more innocuous. Henceforth, we can describe newly deployed forces to Iraq as military "augmenters" and give them a special ribbon distinguishing the nature and time of their service.

They will be sacrificed in a civil war they will never be able to quell, sent there to satisfy a delusional madman's vanity. Bush is taking us deeper into the quagmire in Iraq in a desperate attempt to save face and avoid the brand he knows awaits him in history: George W. Bush, a reckless loser.

For military consultation, he's now turning to the same people who plotted the war of choice with Iraq in the first place, long before the 9/11 attacks. The neocon nuts from the Project for the New American Century (PNAC) are now Bush's surge swamis.

Leading the pack is the loathsome Bill Kristol, the man who loves every war he doesn't have to fight. Kristol is now given space in "Time" magazine to share his nearly inexhaustible reservoir of bad ideas. Kristol wants us to follow the prescription retired Gen. Jack Keane and neocon military guru Frederick Kagan are peddling. The two want more troops to secure Baghdad. That will assure security and enable the training of the Iraqi forces. Those moves will then pave the way for political reconciliation. It sounds so nice in theory.

Keane, Kagan and Kristol see a "sustained and substantial" troop increase as essential for a "way forward in Iraq." These guys have been so wrong for so long, only the Busheviks would turn to them for advice. Kristol co-founded PNAC and hatched a foreign policy strategy so awful it would only appeal to some inexperienced, uninformed, intellectually lazy, trigger-happy cowboy who was looking for simple answers to complex problems in the world. Enter George W. Bush.

Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld were charter members of PNAC. When they got Bush's ear and control of government, the amoral principles they advanced in their little study group suddenly became U.S. policy. PNAC thought was based on notions of American omnipotence and entitlement and the crazy belief we could bully the world into doing things our way. Foreign policy would be rooted in unilateralism, arrogance, condescension and force. This appealed to Bush's primitive instincts, and the results can be seen every day on the bloody streets of Baghdad.

Bush and the neocons still insist they can use guns to plant democracy. That's pure folly. Their agenda includes grabbing Iraqi oil rights and maintaining permanent military bases there. They will not be stopped until the plug of their power is pulled.

The American people have at long last caught on to the lies. When Bush was trying to pressure the United Nations into supporting the invasion of Iraq, France stood opposed to the U.S. aggression. Silly American politicians and pundits became fashionable Francophobes, denouncing the nation that helped secure our freedom from Britain.

But alas, we should have listened to the advice of French President Jacques Chirac. Speaking to the foreign diplomatic corps in Paris, Chirac recently said, "As France had foreseen and feared, the war in Iraq has sparked upheavals that have yet to show their full effects."

All those "freedom fries" fools can now chew on Chirac's words of truth: "This adventure has worsened the divisions among communities and threatened the very integrity of Iraq. It has undermined the stability of the entire region, where every country now fears for its security and its independence. It offered terrorism a new field for expansion."

Last week, vandals smashed windows at some Shiite mosques and businesses in an Iraqi neighborhood in Detroit. I spoke to people in the area who blamed the incident on Sunnis upset over Shiite street celebrations following Saddam Hussein's execution.

Whatever sparked them, such deeds are rare here. Sunni and Shiite religious and community leaders condemned them, and there were no retaliatory acts. But the hostility between the religious groups in Iraq is echoed among many on the streets of Detroit and Dearborn, Mich.

I spoke with Quithar Alhemuzi, a Shiite originally from Basra, at an Iraqi shish-kabob cafe the vandals hit. He sees no sense in the preservation of an Iraqi state.

"I don't care about united Iraq. All I care about is my people," he said with passion.

Quithar knows the geopolitical history of Iraq.

"The British invented it and I don't care about it," he said. For him, the U.S. experiment in nation-building is nothing to sacrifice for: "I'm not going to die or my son or my brother or any one of my family will die just to keep whatever they call Iraq now."

But Bush is gambling that more American troops will make a difference in an Iraq torn in civil war and sectarian violence as a result of the U.S. invasion. He's willing to bet with their lives in a futile attempt to save his failed war.

Will Rogers again provides inspiration: "The quickest way to double your money is to fold it and put it back in your pocket."

Bush will never embrace such prudence as long as he can play with other peoples' money and lives.

Bill Gallagher, a Peabody Award winner, is a former Niagara Falls city councilman who now covers Detroit for Fox2 News. His e-mail address is gallaghernewsman@sbcglobal.net.

Niagara Falls Reporter www.niagarafallsreporter.com January 16 2007