the US has encouraged and financed ally Ethiopia – shades of Lebanon - to invade Somalia

By Eric Margolis
NEW YORK - President George W. Bush likes to call himself `the war president’ and strike martial poses against patriotic backdrops, a trick he learned from another president who never saw military action, Ronald Reagan.
In spite of Iraq and other foreign policy misadventures, and failure to prevent the 9/11 attacks, polls show that when it comes to national security many Americans still regard the Bush Administration with approval and trust.
Their confidence is not well placed. To date, the `war president’ was asleep on guard duty on 9/11, involved the US in four lost wars, and has stirred up a hornet’s nest of anti-American hatred around the globe.
Defeat I: Five years after Bush ordered Afghanistan invaded and proclaimed `total victory’ there, US and allied forces are struggling to defend their bases and supply lines against rising attacks from a growing number of Afghan resistance groups. The war costs $1.5 billion monthly. US-ruled Afghan now produces over 80% of the world’s heroin. The US just quietly deployed thousands more troops to Afghanistan to hunt al-Qaida leaders Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri in a desperate attempt to save Republicans from heavy losses in November mid-term elections.

Defeat II: Remember `Mission accomplished!’ in Iraq? President Bush’s war in Iraq is clearly lost, but few dare admit it. The US has spent $300 billion on Afghanistan and Iraq, with nothing to show there but chaos, civil war, body bags, and growing Iranian influence in Iraq and western Afghanistan. The Bush/Cheney `liberation’ of Iraq has now cost more than the Vietnam War. So much for the `cakewalk.’ Iraq is likely the biggest American foreign policy disaster in living memory – even worse, in many ways, than Vietnam.

Defeat III: Off in the strategic Horn of Africa, another dangerous fiasco is unfolding. The White House had CIA and Pentagon spend tens of millions bribing Somali warlords to fight Islamist reformers trying to bring law and order to their strife-ravaged nation. The Islamists whipped CIA-backed warlords and ran them out of Somalia. Following this defeat, the US has encouraged and financed ally Ethiopia – shades of Lebanon - to invade Somalia, thus raising the threat of a wider war between Somalia, Ethiopia, and its old foe, Eritrea. Meanwhile, growing numbers of US Special Forces and CIA teams are getting drawn into obscure tribal melees in the Horn of Africa and the Saharan region.

Defeat IV: Lebanon is, of course, the fourth major American military disaster. Bush and Cheney encouraged Israel to launch the hugely destructive but militarily fruitless war in Lebanon as the first part of their long nurtured plan to militarily crush Hezbullah, Syria and Iran. The Bush Administration brazenly thwarted world efforts to halt the conflict while giving Israel the green light to tear apart Lebanon. Now, just over a month later, Bush announces he will send $230 million to `help rebuild’ Lebanon – the same Lebanon blasted apart by US smart bombs rushed by air to Israel.

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