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Friday, December 08, 2006
So, after weeks of leaks and more speculation than you can shake a stick at, not to mention oodles of hackneyed phraseology by bloggers everywhere, we got our first substantial look at the results of the Iraq Study Group, co-chaired by former congressman Lee Hamilton, and Bush family consigliere, James Baker. The remainder of the panel includes a bipartisan who's who of the US government, from former Supreme Court justice Sandra Day O'Connor to Reagan Attorney General, Ed Meese. Almost all of the names on the panel would be familiar to even a casual observer of All Things Important in the US. In addition to the fame they share, all ten members of the panel have one other thing in common:
None of them have any expertise where the Middle East is concerned.
Nit picking, I know.
Big deal, man! It's a Blue Ribbon Panel!
Anyway, they've been working on this thing for about nine months, visited Iraq, come to a consensus as to what has happened so far, and what the US ought to do next. It's been widely acknowledged that the main function of the report is to allow everyone involved to say something like, "Yes, that's obviously what we were going to suggest." And not just the president but also the Democrats in Congress who managed to win back power despite not having an actual plan of their own. So great, we have a strategy now.
But there is also some evaluation of what's taken place. Phrases like "grave and deteriorating" have been kind of leaping out at readers of the report. Naturally, the president has taken the whole thing personally. And maybe he should since the entire thing was done by his choice, at his behest, to settle a family grudge.
Even with all of those factors, the president could have chosen to embrace the report, and begun the process of withdrawing US troops to someplace safer.
That's not about to happen.
This report is, in addition to being a plan to end this fiasco, a blunt repudiation of the administration's prosecution of this thing we now have in Iraq. W is embarrassed because his daddy's bagman has started lobbing grenades at him, and there is just no nice way to pronounce "fuckup."
Thus it is personal. Thus it is partisan. Thus it will be ignored.
The cynic in me knows that every single day that US troops are in Iraq during 2008, it will cost Republicans thousands of votes all over this country, and will most certainly preclude the continuation of a GOP-run White House. Unfortunately, we are 23 months removed from the next presidential election, and even if only one soldier or Marine was killed each day, that's still another 700+ flag-draped coffins headed back here to not be seen by the American public. Casualties that low would be a vast improvement over the current situation, where the most recent Wednesday prior to this writing saw eleven Americans killed in Iraq.
I just don't think anyone can tell me what they died for. Iraq is no closer to being a functioning democracy, America is no safer, and the price of tea in China remains constant.
I'm going to need some understanding of why we are still pouring blood and treasure into the sands of Iraq and the streets of Baghdad. I really abhor waste, and that's all that this war has provided us. A few people have gotten very rich, and a whole lot more have gotten maimed or killed. Since this war is being fought in my name, I need to know why.
There is a time for war, and it is important to recognize it and be ready. Given the president's history of drug and alcohol abuse, cruelty to animals, poor grades, and borderline queer fraternity antics, it is safe to say that George W Bush is no boy scout.
Boy Scouts, after all, tend to be prepared.
This is your way out, sir. Staying the course hasn't worked for many months. Hell, even if it doesn't work, you can say the same thing you said about WMD, that everyone though it was true, and that therefore, no one is responsible.
It's time, George. Own this thing, and fix it,
posted at 9:39 PM
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