In this new year, I’m going to concede something I never thought I’d say a year or so ago.
The surge has worked in quelling violence.
The faster the administration can get the left to admit the surge worked (in that it's gone from genocidal hell to homicidal hell - with some genocide), the faster we can get out of that damned country. At least now the right can’t say we lost militarily. They can say the Iraqi government failed politically. Just like Diem and Chiang Kai-shek and the Shah. Except this time, we have an election coming up and the opposition is actually against the war.
Okay, so the Democrats are sort of against the war. Kind of. More less.
Bush’s war has, from the start, been about Republican power and Karl Rove’s “permanent Republican majority.” It is ridiculous to say that Cheney actually planned 9/11 (please 9/11 Truthers, I know all the arguments and evidence and Ron Paul, Zeitgeist movies and Alex Jones and Illuminati, One World Government and New World Order; I don’t think the administration planned 9/11; stop sending me emails of videos that say why it was a controlled demolition), but it certainly resulted in his benefit, as well as for the other neocons.
Sesame Street terror alerts were raised when the administration’s poll numbers were low. Major votes on legislation (including whether or not to use violence in Iraq) were issued to congress just before elections. Bush began his re-election campaign on the U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln and declared the end of major combat operations when, in fact, they were just beginning.
If that isn’t wag the dog, I don’t know what is.
Whatever the war in Iraq was really about, power, oil, humanity (yeah, right), it doesn’t take an “I told you so” liberal to note that it has failed and we have lost.
As Andrew Sullivan put in The Atlantic last week, “We have not secured WMDs from terrorists because those WMDs did not exist. We have not stymied Islamist terror - at best we have finally stymied some of the terror we helped create. We have not constructed a democratic model for the Middle East - we have instead destroyed a totalitarian government and a phony country, only to create a permanently unstable, fractious, chaotic failed state, where the mere avoidance of genocide is a cause for celebration. We have, moreover, helped solder a new truth in the Arab mind: that democracy means chaos, anarchy, mass-murder, national disintegration and sectarian warfare. And we have also empowered the Iranian regime and made a wider Sunni-Shiite regional war more likely than it was in 2003.”
So yeah, there were only 35 American deaths last month, as opposed to 63 last November and 83 the November before that. Statistically, we’re doing better. (And as Tony Snow once said of American troop deaths in Iraq, "It's a number.") We’ve proven we can’t be beaten militarily. No one has ever disputed that. Our military budget is beyond comprehension to the average citizen.
But that’s literally all we have left.
Our credibility is gone. The administration lied about Iran seeking nuclear weapons just as they lied about Iraq seeking nuclear weapons. But for all intents and purposes, if I were Iran (not that one person can actually become an entire country, but please, play along), I sure as hell would be developing all the nuclear weapons I could. The Bush doctrine is to attack countries before they attack you, truth be damned, evidence be damned, American legacy, everything the greatest generation fought for, international law, U.S. law, all of it, be damned.
I remember when Pete Stark of California said on the House floor that troops were dying overseas “for the president’s amusement”, I thought, yeah, of course they are. If not for the president’s amusement, then at least for his saving of face (which, in the end, will amuse him). Every other rationale for sending our troops over there has not only proven false, but to be an outright lie.
How can you blame a congressman for blowing up like that, when a president approves thousands of American and foreign deaths overseas, but won’t allow children of working class parents in his own country to be provided with health care, in fact, calling the bill “a trick” to get health care universalized? As if universal coverage is a bad thing.
You can blame Stark if you’re a conservative pundit or commentator, a “phony outrage” basist, or any number of other 30-percenters trying to change the subject.
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