Sunday, July 29, 2007

Iraq and Reality Ever Collide?

***Since this post required a disclaimer over at CS I'll repost here and not disclaim it, you won't be unpleasantly surprised I didn't.***

Iraq mess is owned lock, stock, and barrel by the Republican Party, some misguided (charitably, "misled") Democrats voted for the authorization of force but it is a Republican mess. They have cheered it on, they have labeled traitorous any opThe position, calls for draw down or withdrawal are mocked as cut and run, and finally any changes are simply killed in the Senate. The odd ones talk and vote something else and the very rare bird, Bush acolytes from blue states (Gordon Smith) even vote, but then Gordon is a past master at "Moderate Republican" at election and sycophant after. The reaches of Republican rhetoric on this issue were virtually McCarthyistic and much too public to be repudiated. All the little slogans, signs of progress, and threats of terrorist disaster in America have been played to the hilt. This creates a serious problem when things go south, they've played it so loud and so hardball that even pretty dim Americans won't forget. (This does neglect the hard core who still believe Saddam was driving one of the planes and had WMD down in his spidey-hole.) So they own this clunker and now what to do?

With the loss of lives and treasure piled this high it is simply impossible to admit a mistake and do something responsible about it. Patience is now the watch word, just give the new "new and improved" policy a chance. Patience. If we're just patient enough in 2009 there will a Democratic president and a Democratic Congress and they can have the discredit for defeat. It will be a Democratic loss not a Republican one and for the next 20 years they can say over and over that it wasn't a military defeat, it was a political one and it was the treasonous Democrats who brought it on. The Democratic propaganda disillusioned the public and everything would have gone well under Republican leadership - we could have won. There's the rub, won. Oh you could point out that we'd won when Bhagdad's statue fell, or when Saddam was captured, or possibly when blue thumbs were waved, but no, there is some nebulous win point, a free and stable Iraq.

Some of you may find that analysis entirely too politically cynical to swallow, no political Party do that to the Armed Forces and the American public. Check the record. Certainly no political party would use a brain dead woman and her family's suffering for political gain and they certainly wouldn't pile on to a group's sexual orientation just to win some points and they'd surely never take us to war over hogwash, and they'd never pointlessly scare the willies out of the public with "terror threat levels" to gain electoral points.

Yep, I'm a lefty Democrat, calling me a liberal would be an insult of understatement and I'm more than sure my political agenda leaves me disinclined to give much credit to Republicans but this isn't an ideological quarrel. This war has not squat to do with conservatism or even Republicanism beyond the opportunity to further enrich the elite, it has everything in the world to do with dishonesty and warmongering. If you Republicans think I'm being a little harsh, you'd lose your minds if I used the rhetoric I applied to the Hubert Humphrey Democrats. The Administration's record in this mess and their Republican acolytes in Congress record is available in print and and video. That is the part that they haven't classified. The most secretive administration in American history is running this debacle and you think as bad as it looks you know the whole story?

There are a couple Republican authors on this site that at least have the decency to be conflicted over what to do. They know the thing can't keep on as is but are terrified of the consequences of getting the heck out. We broke it, we bought it. Utter nonsense. If the "bought it" portion involved sending Wolfowitz, Cheny, Bush, Rumsfeld and the rest of the gang over there naked and alone there'd be some sense of ownership. That's not the deal; the deal is American kids get to own it...and keep paying for it. It's bad enough that they die and get maimed (those numbers are there to see) but just consider the cost of them adapting to that environment. Dust, dirt, death, and destruction as a daily routine, as a lifestyle. A lifestyle that is totally unpredictable, enemies are undetectable until they shoot at you or try to blow you up. A box, a bag of garbage, a car are just that, until they blow up in your face. A marketplace that five minutes ago contained shoppers is now an abattoir greased with blood and organs and garnished with bones and blasted masonry. That's your day for 15 months and then you come home for a year, maybe. And you don't fit in and they just don't understand.

Iraqis are going to sort this out and it's not going to be nice. They're going to sort it out with us or without us and if they have to sort us out in the process they will just get more willing as time passes, because you see, we will have killed their brothers, their fathers, their cousins, and their nephews ten times removed, not to mention destroyed homes, kicked in doors, and committed terminal insults. They are going to sort out al Qaeda, way too many of those relatives are dead thanks to those rat bastards so they're going to get sorted out real thoroughly as soon as we're not in the way. Non-Queda Sunnis are going to get sorted out just as they are now. Shiite Iran will get kicked out just as quickly as soon as they are of little use for gigging the Americans. Iran is playing with fire in Iraq, Iraqis are not Persians, emphatically not. Their history does not include Persian kindness and concern and they are a historical people.

The American public in general is about real tired of excuses and being terrorized by their own government. This Republican adventure is going to end and it is going to end badly. Playing at "responsibility" will only get us more of the same and give the Machevellians a chance to duck some of the blame. If any of you are willing to accept the moral costs of that calculation then be a part of it, but do it honestly and support the most hawkish of the bunch. If you don't like it and have to vote Republican then you're stuck with Ron Paul. You'll lose in the Primary, but you can thank the 12 year descent of the Party into the morass of greed, terror, and theocracy for your loss. If you can toss that bunch overboard you'll at least have the option being a principled opposition for awhile.

I guess it all depends on whether you trust the same people who walked you into this mess or have learned a lesson. I'll put it to you this way, I made the call on WMDs pre-invasion, I made the call on Iraqi resistance, I made the call on "never-ending war", and I made the call on Terror Alert hoaxes, so I have a track record of being right and they have a track record of being entirely wrong, so I must be wrong on this ...

(A lot of being right made me damned unpopular while they were busy being wrong so I sure had nothing to gain; didn't get any lucrative contracts, either; didn't win any elections either; the myths make it clear that being right can be dangerous and unpopular.)

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