George W. Bush lessons guided the Libyan success
AS I WRECK THIS CHAIR By William M. Esposo
The Philippine Star 2011-09-18
The success of the revolutionary forces in Libya that ended the four decades old brutal regime of Colonel Muammar Khadafy can be traced to lessons learned from US President George W. Bush during the Iraq War. The NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) forces were discriminate in the use of military power and wisely decided not to send troops on the ground.

Sending troops on the ground was the biggest mistake of the US-led coalition that invaded Iraq and got stuck in the quagmire. The Iraqis saw a foreign invasion that they suspected wanted to steal their oil. This gross miscalculation led to what eventually became a $3 trillion war, per Nobel Laureate Joseph Stiglitz. This war started the current US financial woes. The subprime crisis was just the last straw.

In his September 4, 2011 article (The price of 9/11), Stiglitz wrote: “Indeed, when Linda Bilmes and I calculated America’s war costs three years ago, the conservative tally was $3-5 trillion. Since then, the costs have mounted further. With almost 50 percent of returning troops eligible to receive some level of disability payment, and more than 600,000 treated so far in veterans’ medical facilities, we now estimate that future disability payments and health-care costs will total $600-900 billion.”

He added: “Even if Bush could be forgiven for taking America, and much of the rest of the world, to war on false pretenses, and for misrepresenting the cost of the venture, there is no excuse for how he chose to finance it. His was the first war in history paid for entirely on credit.”

Stiglitz further asserted: “Today, America is focused on unemployment and the deficit. Both threats to America’s future can, in no small measure, be traced to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Increased defense spending, together with the Bush tax cuts, is a key reason why America went from a fiscal surplus of two percent of GDP when Bush was elected to its parlous deficit and debt position today.”

NATO wisely confined their support for the Libyan rebels to controlling the air. Without Khadafy’s control of the air, the rebel forces had better chances of success. Eventually, it was Khadafy’s forces that were placed on the defensive because of the NATO bombings. As it turned out, all that the Libyans needed were removal of threats from the air and sufficient arms to undertake their revolution.

During the earlier stages of the Libyan revolution, the rebel forces were in short supply of the right arms and ammunition. However, it became very noticeable that such a problem no longer existed by the time the rebel forces had taken Tripoli. They had all the arms they needed and ammunition to boot. They had so much ammunition that they were celebrating by firing their guns towards the sky. No armed force would be doing that if they knew they might not have enough ammunition to fight the next day’s battle.

The arms and ammunition must have come from the NATO forces. It’s also likely that NATO military advisers were there to coach the rebel forces. Iraq’s Saddam Hussein should have been ousted in like manner allowing the Iraqis to fight and win their revolution.
That didn’t happen because US President George W. Bush didn’t just want to oust Saddam Hussein. Saddam Hussein was the mere pretext. Bush and his allies were after the oil in Iraq. The US was positioning for the looming oil shortage that is expected to happen in less than 20 years. With the US and its allies in Iraq, a war with oil-rich Iran could be planned. With the US and its allies in Iraq, and together with Israel, the region that’s the world’s biggest source of oil would have been under American control.

What happened in Libya is consistent with what have been happening all over the world when powerful countries want to attain an important geostrategic objective. If Libya didn’t have oil, do you think NATO would have taken the cudgels for the rebel forces there? There are easily five worse humanitarian crises in the world today but because these places do not have oil like Iraq and Libya nobody cares what happens to the people there.

It would not come as a surprise that many unannounced facets of the NATO operations in Libya would eventually surface on WikiLeaks. Over the past two weeks, friends have been asking when your Chair Wrecker will comment on the recent WikiLeaks exposes about those embarrassing US Embassy cables from Manila. These were embarrassing for the US and those who have been mentioned as wrong doers.

Frankly, the WikiLeaks exposes did not come as a surprise to your Chair Wrecker. If you visit my website ( and check out my past columns you’ll see that many of these WikiLeaks exposes about our country have already been discussed at length.

What Filipinos should focus on when appreciating these WikiLeaks exposes are the following:

1. Note who are these sources of information of the US in our country? Messrs. Washington Sycip and Bill Luz were mentioned as sources of what can be categorized as classified and sensitive information. Do they have a long term, deeper relationship with the US? Who are the others?

2. Note how low the US regards our country and our officials, as can be seen from these WikiLeaks exposes.

3. Note how much the US is involved in what would officially be a purely Philippine affair. That Gloria Macapagal Arroyo (GMA) had to consult the US when she contemplated imposing martial law is proof enough of continued US interference in our national affairs.

4. Note how the US has been posturing to be helping the Philippine government solve our Mindanao problem when it now appears that they were pursuing a different agenda with the MILF (Moro Islamic Liberation Front).

5. Note the incongruity of the US position when their advocacy of democracy is viewed against their foreign policy. They pushed for a dictatorship here and in other countries in Asia, South and Central America when Communism was spreading. US President George H. Bush toasted Ferdinand Marcos for his adherence to democratic principles. Ambassador Kristie Kenney tried to belittle Cory Aquino, an icon of democracy.

Unless Filipinos realize who their real friends and Quislings are, we will not be able to free ourselves from foreign dependency. We may have been given independence but we’re far from being sovereign.

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  Previous Columns:

It had to happen on The Ides of March and Holy Week

Suggested guidelines for liability- free Internet posts

Election lawyer: PCOS critics should put up or shut up

All Excited by Pope Francis

A great disservice to P-Noy

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