. . . to join a growing chorus of conservatives who are becoming very critical of our involvement and try and break through the spin and myopia of the Administration which is making the situation worse by pretending that things are getting better or are not as bad as we think they are.
Sounds positive, productive, right? Guess again. First off, he's only looking through one eye, the right one:
Lest one think that these books are the products of left wing loons or authors suffering from Bush Derangement Syndrome, the one common thread running through both volumes is the massive amount of research and unprecedented access to documents that went into writing them. To deny the reality of all that these authors have uncovered is too much of a stretch, even for a Bush partisan like myself.
So only fellow Authoritarian cultists are to be taken seriously, no one on the left need apply. Never mind that the left has been saying that Iraq was a disaster since, oh I don't know, before we attacked? And the left doesn't do research and scholarship? Dude, meet Juan Cole.
We on the left have been accused of having a circular firing squad, and sometimes that has been true. But one thing we're not is Authoritarian. We roundly condemned Clinton for Lewinsky, NAFTA, and several other issues. But the Right simply cannot criticize Fearless Leader, he of the steely gaze and 8th grade grasp of world affairs. And I don't mean affairs with cabinet members, no sirree.
But the serious unseriousness of Moran goes deeper:
Yes we need more troops – a lot more at least temporarily. Order must be brought to Baghdad and its environs and to do that we would need, according to General Trainor, is perhaps as many as 50,000 more Americans to both police the area and ferret out insurgents and the death squads.For that to happen, the President would have to admit he and Donald Rumsfeld have been wrong all along and that in order to achieve stability, the additional troops must be sent.
. . .
Yes I can understand why he has not admitted past mistakes and errors. The political climate wouldn’t give him “credit” for doing so. The situation in Iraq has gone far beyond the politics of the moment and now engages the future security of the United States. If he can’t be a man and take the inevitable finger pointing and name calling, then all hope is lost and we should start bringing the troops home now.
Jeebus Christ on a stick! If GWBush were to go on national TeeVee and say something like: "My fellow Americans, I now realize that the invasion of Iraq was a mistake, and I will do everything in my power to bring our troops home safely," he would be cheered in the streets! He would probably win a third term. But he can't do that, because Iraq isn't a serious place for him, but a concept. As Rick continues, he makes the point, unwittingly:
In war, rhetoric must match reality or you lose credibility. By constantly reminding us that Iraq is at the forefront of our anti-terror strategy – and then not doing the things necessary to win through to victory – the President takes the risk that our deterrent will lose its edge. And this is no more true than in the actions of Iran and Syria.
Conflating Iraq with Iran & Syria, surely this will win points with the Neocons and 101st Fighting Keyboarders, but not with anyone connected with reality.
As his commentor Blogenfreude points out:
But guys – Wolfowitz said the oil would pay for the war! Perle – he said we’d be greeted with rose petals! Bush says we’re winning, that Iraq is a real democracy! Cheney said it’s dead enders … last throes and all that! Don’t let me down like this … how are we going to get on with nation-buildin’ and democracy-deliverin’ if you keep up with negative posts like this???
Anyone interested in a truly navel-gazing, almost serious self-dialog about Iraq should follow the link to Rick's place, And then read the comments.
But one thing completely missing from his hand wringing is this: Who is to blame? Who is at fault? Who is the Commander-In-Chief?
But if we are not willing to do what is necessary to win, then the only sane, moral course of action is to bring the troops home as fast as humanly possible. Such a humiliation should not result in a single additional death or injury to the men and women who have performed so bravely and selflessly in the face of blunder after blunder by their superiors.And regarding dialog with the warring parties, including Iran, he says:
Clearly some kind of diplomatic demarche is in order. Whether it involves sitting down in formal talks and making clear that our apathy toward their support for terrorists is at an end or we actually threaten force against assets that are supporting the insurgents, peace will not come to Iraq until those two nations stop their meddling.
It would be less painfully funny if we were actually engaged in talks with Iran, But no, we can't talk to them. Why, I dunno. Ask He-Who-Cannot-Be-Named.
Oh, and this is priceless:
By constantly reminding us that Iraq is at the forefront of our anti-terror strategy – and then not doing the things necessary to win through to victory – the President takes the risk that our deterrent will lose its edge.