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April 11, 2004 - Piling on...

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You will find, the Rant of the Week over at COUNTERSPIN. 

It goes like this:


SOME THOUGHTS ON IRAQ: I want to make something clear.  I regard al-Sadr as a thug, and a fascist.  I have no sympathy for him, whatsoever. 

In fact, the faction he commands is guilty of, among other things, ethnic cleansing. 

But, the rise of al-Sadr, or someone just like him, was predictable.  The belief that a country as diverse, and psychologically scarred as Iraq could be reconstructed and governed effectively without hundreds of thousands of troops, and a better grasp of the culture and sensitivities of the populace, was just suicidally stupid. 

The whole June 30th deadline was an artificial construct from the beginning.  Designed, primarily, to give George W.  Bush political cover going into the election.  So he could show "progress" being made in Iraq. 

Even if the hand-over of sovereignty is largely symbolic. 
I have made this point before, but I believe it's necessary to state it again. 

If you are someone who supported this war, and want to see Iraq brought out of the darkness...you MUST get rid of George W.  Bush in November.  You have no choice.  He's absolutely incapable of fixing the problem.  He's not flexible.  He's not temperate.  He's not PATIENT.  He's not humble.  He's not willing to admit mistakes, and take responsibility. 

It may turn out that John Kerry is no better.  But that is a guess at this point.  Not a certainty.  Bush is a certainty.  And we know he's a failure at this.  And he will continue to fail.  At some point, you must put aside your political goggles, and look at this from a realistic point of view.  How best to solve the problem and advance U.S.  security and interests. 

You may have agreed with Bush's decision to invade Iraq.  But it is very clear that he has no idea how to finish the job.  Abstract declarations that we will not "cut and run" from Iraq mean NOTHING. 

What is the plan?  What is the goal?  What is the roadmap?  Where are we going?  How much will this cost in lives and treasure?  Has he answered ANY of these essential questions in earnest?  Or has he mouthed nothing but soundbites and tough-sounding rhetoric? 

I sometimes get the impressions that people are so invested in this war and its aftermath, that they refuse to listen to reason, or accept basic reality and facts. 

They are more worried about having to admit a colossal error in judgment...either about the advisability of the war itself, or in their unwavering and sycophantic support of George W.  Bush. 

But, admitting that you were wrong, and that you want to fix things, is a sign of STRENGTH, not weakness. 

And, adhering to the preposterous notion that any criticism of Bush or his incompetent and dishonest handling of this whole policy is somehow lending "aid and comfort" to our enemies is worse than weak.  It's evil.  It tells us that you are devoid of any moral compass or willingness to argue on the merits.  It says that you are conniving, sniveling cowards, unworthy of respect or notice. 

It tells us that you would rather doom, this country to a tragedy in Iraq, than admit you are wrong.  That is an unpardonable sin.  And, in my view, the height of treachery to your nation and your fellow citizens. 

So, rather than fighting the enemies of our republic, it is you, not we, who have become their enablers. 

Your idiocy, arrogance and obstinacy is the crack cocaine upon which they are addicted.


And it contains hyperlinks to back up any claims. 


But this begs the question - now what? 

Pull out now?  Let them be happy we’re gone, then later fight it all out in a giant civil war among themselves – while the Kurds sit up north and laugh their asses off?  We’d look bad, and not get the oil. 

Bring in the UN?  They’ve already said no, we should get things stabilized first.  They lost enough people last year, and one of their best, when we couldn’t protect their Baghdad headquarters building.  Boom.  No thank you. 

NATO?  They’ve already said no, as they’re close to being overcommitted in Afghanistan, helping us out there.  That well is dry.  They don’t have the warm bodies to lend us. 

It doesn’t matter.  Anyone can suggest anything.  Bush has committed us to pacifying Iraq by brute force and turning over the place to someone or other on June 30 of this year.  And that man does NOT change his mind.  He calls that leadership. 

Kerry may win, and he’s already said we cannot walk away from this.  But he may be able to build an international coalition – a real one this time – to try to figure out what to do now.  And he may be a slightly more flexible man, willing to consider all options, willing to listen to others without sneering at them.  We’ll see.  If he wins. 

Right now?  Buckle up.  This will be a rough ride.


Copyright 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 - Alan M. Pavlik
The inclusion of any text from others is quotation
for the purpose of illustration and commentary,
as permitted by the fair use doctrine of U.S. copyright law. 
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This issue updated and published on...

Paris readers add nine hours....