Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Stop them from doing any more damage

Josh Marshall has a post today that seems to capture quite well the madness of King George & BushCo.

And here we come back to the recurring theme of the Bush presidency: the president's perverse effort to be the beneficiary of his own incompetence and policy disasters.

Think back over this young year. How much have you heard about Iraq and how much have you heard about Iran? From where I'm sitting news of tits for tats with Iran, skirmishes between Iranian and American personnel, Cheney-heralded naval deployments are the order of the day. If you listen to these things closely everything is now turning toward Iran. Iraq, though central to everything, is also becoming old news.

And Iran's power is waxing. And we're supposed to rely on the approach of the White House, the guys who created the terrible situation in the first place, to solve the consequences of their latest screw up. It's like a perpetual motion machine of calamity and self-justification.

It's like Iraq only writ small (or writ large, I can't tell): Don't tell me about how stupid I was to get us into this situation. Now that I've created a disaster this big, what's your policy to deal with it? Sort of takes your breath away.

Pull our troops out? How's that gonna work now that we've unleashed a civil war there?

You may remember quite a bit earlier in our long national nightmare the White House and its toadies and acolytes were very big on the so-called 'fly-paper' theory of the Iraq War. All the bombings and killings were a sign that the policy was working. Rather than have the terrorists hitting us in America or other spots around the world we had created a terrorist killing field in Iraq where we could wipe them out on our own terms, right where we wanted them. That and create a democracy there too. [Talk about cognitive dissonance -- create the killing fields in the same place and at the same time as you're creating a baby democracy, yeah, right! --bill]

I still remember one really clever TPM Reader writing in and telling me: that's brilliant. Sort of like by creating a really dirty hospital, we're going to create a place where we can fight the germs on our own terms!

I don't know about you but sometimes I feel like we're in this eerie afterburn of our four long years of disaster. The public has rendered its verdict. Every thinking person has rendered their verdict. But the administration is still going on more or less as though nothing's happened. Serious thinking in Washington of The Note variety is still on a sort of mental autopilot. The story's over. All the real arguments are settled. But as of yet the car is still in drive rather than reverse.

Like the line says, first do no harm. And for the United States as a country, right now, that means doing everything constitutionally, legally and politically possible to limit the president's and even more Vice President Cheney's free hand to shape and execute American foreign policy. Sift it all out and it's that simple. Stop them from doing any more damage. All the rest is commentary and elaboration.


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