"Last week, a senator, a Democrat senator explained her party's position this way. She said: We haven't coalesced around a single plan, but we're in general agreement on basic principles. She's right; the agreement -- they are in agreement on one thing -- they will leave before the job is done. That's what they're in agreement on. They've come up with a lot of creative ways to describe leaving Iraq before the job is done. Sometimes they say, immediate redeployment. Sometimes they say they wouldn't spend another dime on our troops. Sometimes they say the idea that we're going to win this war is an idea that unfortunately is just plain wrong. However they put it, the Democrat approach in Iraq comes down to this: The terrorists win and Americaloses."
The pure outrageousness of such a statement is almost beyond words. And then there's the juvenile oversimplification - you have to marvel at Bush's ability to twist reality to his purposes, and to believe his own fantasies.
But I wonder: What happened to the claim of "Mission Accomplished," so long ago? And if the mission hasn't been accomplished, or if there's a new mission that replaced the old one, what is it? What would victory look like?
It seems like a particularly cruel deception, given the lies that Bush used to send our boys and girls into Iraq. Crueler still, given the callous disregard for the troops' safety that the Bush administration's incompetence has belied: reducing their families to bake sales for body armour, the failure to properly equip their vehicles, and now, the failure to keep track of hundreds of thousands of weapons, which could easily be used against them. The failure of top Bush administration officials - including Bush himself - to send their own sons and daughters into battle in Iraq, only adds icing to the cruel cake.
This juvenile equation wouldn't begin to make sense to even the most reactionary Right-winger, if it did not rest on Bush's bizarre motto, that we have to attack the terrorists there so they won't attack us here. You have to really twist your mind into a pretzel to swallow this peculiar brand of physics. It's as if "the terrorists" were like a virus, that can only exist in one place, and, once snuffed out at its source, is extinguished forever. Never mind that there are many terrorists, with multiple sources and motivations. Never mind that the terrorism we were supposed to be fighting - remember Osama bin Laden? - had nothing to do with the terrorists, freshly recruited and motivated by our invasion, we are fighting now. And never mind the fact that the invasion has concentrated our most precious assets - our children - in one place, making them a much more convenient target. When Bush says that we're supposedly avoiding loss of life here, does he simply discount the thousands of soldiers that have already been killed by his war?
And what about the innocent Iraqi civilians? It's incredible that the report of over 600,000 Iraqi civilian deaths, by the reputable Johns Hopkins University, was so easily dismissed by the Bushies, with a wave of their hand, as "not credible." Why have the media allowed them to get away with this?
Contrary to your calculus, Mr. Bush, America has already lost. We have lost more troops in Iraq than died on 9/11. We have lost the respect of the world, and the moral standing we used to hold. And we're losing miserably in the "War on Terror;" in fact, we've created more terrorists than we've destroyed.
The only hope for victory, in the greatest sense of the word, is exactly the opposite of what you suggest: to relieve the Republicans of duty, and allow Democrats to clean up the mess.