Saturday, March 29, 2008

Disconnected From Reality

When I'm being less cynical, I often wonder what color the sky is on George W. Bush's planet. The rest of the time I recognize what a lying little thug he is. Our international neighbors usually tend to the latter view, but this article in France's Le Figaro managed to hit both notes. [Note: the article was published March 19, 2008, before we hit the tragic 4,000 milestone and before the the Shi'ite militias exploded into action.]

In his speech, George W. Bush deemed it “understandable” that the debate continues on whether the war is ill-advised, but delivered a familiar argument: Americans must fight al-Qaeda in Iraq in order to not fight them in the United States, that to withdraw too quickly would sow the seeds of “chaos” and toughen “terrorists” and neighboring Iran. He argued, in particular, that the progress had been accomplished since last year, when violence was close to reaching “the level of genocide,” thanks to a new strategy and the deployment of 30,000 additional Americans. According to him, this change “did more than reverse the situation in Iraq. It opened the door to a major strategic victory.” ...

The war in Iraq has killed tens of thousands of Iraqis and nearly 4,000 Americans. It has caused millions of people to relocate. It has cost the United States hundreds of billions of dollars. It has reinforce Iranian influence, ruined the American administration’s credit, and has deeply divided Americans.
[Emphasis added]

Divided Americans? That's putting it rather mildly. The article included some poll data, although I suspect both polls of being rather conservative:

...Sixty-four percent of Americans believe that the war is not worth the trouble it is causing, according to a survey carried out by CBS. Another survey by NBC and the Wall Street Journal indicates that, for 53% of those surveyed, victory is no longer possible.

Yet the President and the Vice-President continue their little charade that beneath all that horse dung there really is a pony, and the pundits continue to write that in six months we'll see just how wildly successful the surge has been. A measure of that cognitive dissonance is that the three presidential candidates at this point are not talking about victory, but rather a sensible exit strategy. Even Sen. McCain is distancing himself from the White House to the extent that he is arguing only that troop withdrawals have to be done less precipitously than the two Democratic candidates have proposed, not that we are on the verge of victory and we need to push forward. (Of course, that is this week's John McCain. His opinion will no doubt change once the Vice-President has a little chat with him.)

I have no illusions that the President will do anything more than burnish his legacy for the next ten months, and for years thereafter. As a result, more Americans and many more Iraqis will die or be maimed. But, hey! We'll have a strategic victory.

298 days.

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Anonymous ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

...and the pundits continue to write that in six months we'll see just how wildly successful the surge has been.

The pundits in Fred Hiatt's Augean stables have already declared "Surge Mission Accomplished". But they know there's no accountability at the WaPo, as long as you're beating the drums for the rethuglicans.

Speaking of which, here's James Carville. Does he really think he helping anyone besides Mary Matalin and her clients?

10:42 AM  

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