Saturday, June 24, 2006

War on Democrats

The New York Times has an article entitled G.O.P. Decides to Embrace War as Issue which I find troubling for many reasons. First, it's not a war. The war part ended with "Mission Accomplished". The US is now occupying Iraq and many Iraqis are not happy about this and many of those are well armed. However, the bulk of the violence doesn't involve Americans -- it's Sunni against Shia and vice versa. Though Americans are certainly dying at the hands of Iraqis who resist the occupation and they may find themselves in the middle of an Iraqi civil war precipitated by their deposing Saddam Hussein, they can hardly be said to be fighting a war "at least in the old-fashioned sense of a declared conflict between two sovereign states".

They are a much-resented occupying force and occupations ultimately fail. I can't think of one example where an occupying force succeeded against resistance from those occupied. It often takes a long time, but it just doesn't work. This fiasco, so accurately predicted by me and millions of others before it began, was wrong and still is wrong (both technically and ethically) but what the NYTimes article indicates is the cynical lengths to which the Pentagon is willing to go in order to prop up this corrupt Bush administration.

The Pentagon has produced a "74-page briefing book" and White House officials have distributed it to Congressional offices...
to provide ammunition for what White House officials say will be a central line of attack against Democrats from now through the midterm elections: that the withdrawal being advocated by Democrats would mean thousands of troops would have died for nothing, would give extremists a launching pad from which to build an Islamo-fascist empire and would hand the United States its must humiliating defeat since Vietnam.

Republicans say the cumulative effect would be to send a message of weakness to the world at a time of new threats from Iran and North Korea and would leave enemies controlling Iraq's vast oil reserves, the third largest in the world. (The book, including a chapter entitled "Rapid Response" with answers to frequent Democratic charges, was sent via e-mail to Republican lawmakers but, in an apparent mistake, also to some Democrats.)

A senior adviser to Mr. Bush said the White House had concluded that it was better to plunge aggressively into the debate on Iraq than to let Democrats play upon clear, public misgivings about the war.
That's right! The Pentagon is helping plan attacks... against Democrats! This is outrageous (not to mention that it will prove a little awkward when a Democratic president becomes Commander-in-Chief in 2008). But there are two lines that really stick out for me and which I highlighted. One is the admission that oil is indeed a big factor in this occupation but the other is this idea that, if we leave now, all this cost will have been in vain.

Deal with it! It has already all been in vain, whether you acknowledge it now or later. This is not about making something work. It's about Bush ducking responsibility for screwing up and being willing to let people die for his mistakes so that he can save face. Standard operating procedure for Bush who has a history of screwing things up leaving it for others to clean up. So typical of a this spoiled frat boy -- no accountability.

As my wife once said, if you're going the wrong way down the road, the proper thing to do is to stop, turn around and go back the other way. But, I can just hear the wails: "if we do that, we'll have driven all this way for nothing". The answer, of course, is: "If you don't, you'll just drive even farther for nothing". Not acknowledging a mistake doesn't make the mistake or its consequences go away. In response to the Pentagon's talking-points: it's already true that thousands of troops have died for nothing, Iraq has already become a launching pad from which extremists can build an Islamo-fascist empire and the United States has already blundered into its most humiliating defeat since Vietnam. It's just that the people in charge refuse to acknowledge it.

It's not Disneyworld. Even if you really, really want something to happen, it doesn't make it more likely that it will occur. Hope is not a plan. It's time for someone with some sense to take charge and try to extricate the US from a criminal invasion and occupation of a foreign country. No one is going to turn this sow's ear into a silk purse.


Blogger liberal journal man said...

Good post...keep up the good work!

7:29 PM  

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