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Slow Dawn

"You know what? I just realized: I'm a fucking idiot."

Right Wing NutHouse is now saying what I've been saying for about two and a half years. But of course it has extra authority coming from someone who describes himself as "right wing" as opposed to "moderate." And it's far more convincing somehow if it comes two years too fucking late.

. . . it may come as no surprise that I have reached a point where I believe we must make a decision as a nation about whether we want to continue our involvement – which would mean an increase in resources and a direct confrontation with Iran and Syria over their massive support for the terrorists and insurgents – or whether we should pack up and go home. In other words, escalate or leave.

Gee, really? Let me check my watch: yep, August 25, 2006. That's, um, let's see . . . carry the one . . . yep, that's about two years later than the same thought occurred to me and everyone else with any sense.

And the reason to write about it is equally simple; 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.
Making the situation worse by pretending? Why, I never! Who would ever accuse this administration of ignoring the perilous situation they've placed us in, or lying about the facts on the ground? Who, I ask you, who?

The ultimate question to be asked is do we make one, final, massive attempt to alter the deteriorating situation by committing more resources to the war while at the same time giving ultimatums to both Syria and Iran to halt their clandestine and outrageously illegal assistance to the terrorists who are murdering thousands of civilians every month.
Oooh, ultimatums to Syria and Iran. And what the fuck do we threaten them with? Does Rightwing really imagine that the Iranian mullahs are afraid we'll invade? With what?

So close to getting it, Mr. Rightwing Nuthouse, so close. Two years late, but still, very close to getting it. And yet, not quite. Because here's what you'll figure out in, well, about two years: Mr. Bush has lost the capacity to make any new committment of troops. He has no credibility with the country. He's kept a discredited SecDef in place. He's attacked every critic. He's done nothing to increase the size of the military. There are no allies to turn to for help. Bridges? All burned.

For two fucking years, here and at my previous blog, (for that matter, the one before that) I've had to put up with idiot right-wing denialists calling me out because I've said: 1) Rumsfeld doesn't know what he's doing, and he fucked this up with his grandiose theories, and 2) The politicization of the war by Mr. Bush and Mr. Rove leaves us with no real way to reboot policy, and 3) Letting ourselves be tied down and bled in Iraq weakened our hand everywhere else in the world.

And now Rightwing Nuthouse has reluctantly agreed that the earth moves around the sun, but hasn't quite figured out just how hopelessly weak and without realistic alternatives Mr. Bush has left us.

What this adds up to is an Administration unwilling or unable to face up to its past blunders and apply the necessary lessons in order to try and win through to victory.

Really? You think?

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. It is of the utmost distress to me that this President has failed to take responsibility for past mistakes and admitted to error in prosecuting the war. The grudging admissions of mistakes just isn’t getting it done. If he is serious about winning in Iraq (and he has called Iraq the “frontline” in the war on terror”) then he is going to have to go before the American people and explain why additional troops are necessary.
Go to the American people? I mean, I have to laugh. Go to the American people and tell them he needs 50,000 more men? Are you -- and I say this with all due respect, Rightwing -- out of your mind? The American people don't listen to George W. Bush anymore. George W. Bush is dead to 60% of the American people now.

And just where would he get these 50,000 or so extra soldiers? We're backdoor drafting the ready reserve and some of the guys over there are on their fourth tour. We're lowering standards and filling the ranks with people who should not be wearing the uniform and now, now, we need 50,000 more combat soldiers?

It is evidently just beginning slowly . . . slowly . . . to sink into the thick heads of the pro-war bloggers that this war is a fisaco. But they still don't see the dimensions of it. They still haven't stepped back far enough to get the full picture. They don't realize that it's not just a question of Mr. Bush being wrong, but a question of Mr. Bush having been so wrong, for so long, and with such violence toward his political opposition, that now there is probably not a goddamned thing we can do to fix this situation.

Had people like Rightwing Nuthouse and others in the pro-war blogosphere dropped their tired, chest-thumping super-patriot acts long enough to look at reality they might have joined with the many, many voices out there who warned that this was coming. And then this impending disaster might have been averted. But it was much more to their liking to attack patriotic critics of Mr. Bush and Mr. Rumsfeld, and pooh-pooh every warning, and describe as traitors and weaklings those with whom Rightwing Nuthouse now, reluctantly, finds himself in agreement.

You want to know what's left, Rightwing? Mr. Bush has to appoint a heavy hitter as SecDef, and I don't mean some neo-con twit, I mean someone who will snap the country's head around. I mean a McCain, a Zinni, or a reach across the aisle to a Wes Clark. Give that person plenipotentiary powers to speak to the American people on the war, and prosecute the war. Mr. Bush is done as a leader. He's over. If we're to reboot this war we need another leader to make the case.

Will Mr. Bush do that? Of course not. Which is why, after better than two and a half years of warning things were going this direction, and calling for more troops, and calling for more force, and demanding that Mr. Bush stop attacking people who were trying patriotically to help, and wondering why people who called themselves patriots were singing lullabys while things went to hell, I'm a little cranky.

(Props a second time to Done With Mirrors.)

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“Slow Dawn”

  1. Anonymous kilroy Says:

    I agree with most of your points with the exception of presenting the issue to the people. I don't think He'll do it, but I think most Americans would accept that position as the President finally becoming serious.

    I generally agree that this guy has screwed the pooch, yet any serious, viable way to leave the area in at least a semblance order is fine by me.

    I was never for the war, I thought it was incredible hubris to change 5000 years of culture the way it was attempted. History shows us full frontal assaults on culture rarely work. Now that we're committed, any reality based way out (e.g. more troops, close borders etc.) is worth a look if only that it allows us the time and assets to procede in a more efficient and productive manner.

    Considering that this is just a battle in the war on terror, I don't care if we gain a draw in this episode so long as we can win the war.

  2. Anonymous Anonymous Says:

    A generic Aikido technique can be described as “blend, extend and redirect”. The Reps, in all their guises, are in the “blending” stage. Clearly, under the current leadership, they have no momentum of their own, so they will latch on to the discordant voices, acknowledge the elephant in the room, and blend with the present political currents. Shortly thereafter, their voices will be louder and bolder than those of a lot of moderates, and they’ll tell us all about the screw ups that have happened; that’s the “extend” stage. The most interesting stage though, is the “redirection”. That’s when they’ll inevitably draw the diametrically opposed conclusions about who the best man for the job is, and the incipient reasons that got us here.

    What you’re hearing now is not a genuine dissent among the conservatives; most of them are as able to rise above the party allegiance now as they were two years ago. They’re trying to provide backdoor legitimacy to their indefensible views, candidates, and whatever other “blessings” they’ll be bestowing upon us later, by acknowledging the errors of their ways in the past (be it very minor ones), and by “leading the charge” against the oh-so-unrepresentative-of-their-truly-enlightened-views incumbents. And the less time the current administration will have left, the stronger the condemnation will become. So by the election time, their candidates will have not only distanced themselves from this mess, they’ll be the ones who had said all along how it should have been done. The presidential election should be particularly telling of this charade.

    Objectivist

  3. Blogger M. Takhallus. Says:

    Kilroy:

    Maybe I have trust issues. People who make honest mistakes always get a second or third try with me, but people who make mistakes and then deny them, lie about them, and attack me for pointing them out, are done as far as I'm concerned.

    This is one of the terrifying results of the Bush administration's incompetence, that we do only have one president, and we do have real threats, and yet I have such well-deserved contempt for these people now that I'm not sure I'd back them if the Martians showed up tomorrow and started a War of the Worlds.

  4. Blogger M. Takhallus. Says:

    Objectivist:

    I so wish I could laugh off your warning as paranoia. Sadly, I've been here for the last six years and seen these people in action, and you may well be right. I'm not sure it will work for them, but I'm not sure you're wrong, either. They can't govern, but they sure can propagandize.

    As I wrote in a post below, they will soon be cranking up their who-lost-Iraq blame game and guess who will turn out to be blameless?

  5. Anonymous kilroy Says:

    Enertia is enertia. Our options are to "stay the course", "cut and run" or actually do it well. I believe a strategic, staged withdrawal with cold hard dollars replacing troops is the best course. Sometimes we just should'nt let below average get in the way of not dying and national solvency.

    You are correct. There is very little to praise this administrations competence. Frankly, we have to do something other than stay the course. Unless we impeach this idiot (all for it, though not likely)there is no other choice than hope he makes less destructive decisions.

    Again lets not let this idiot doing something different get in the way of buying the time to get him out of there before the tragedy truly unfolds.

  6. Blogger Pooh Says:

    Tak,

    It's also the genesis behind the "Bush isn't a real conservative" type stuff - it's not the ideology, see, it's that it was never properly implemented - (which may be in fact true in Bush's case - it's hard to see on what traditional metric he is truly conservative. But that didn't stop the conservative movement from lauding him as a prodigal son until about a year ago.)

  7. Blogger Mark Says:

    That photo is old. Look at the glasses.

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