Monday, January 23, 2006

Usually TiI is all about the links and to be frank there is no way I can offer the exhaustive and insightful news that the regular posters post. As a habitual reader of this site I’m in quiet awe of YD FF, Matt, waterdance and other’s daily bounty. How do they do it and how do they do it without going mad with depression is beyond me. But I’m glad they do because they remind everyone who reads this vital publication about the cost of this war and in turn they can remind others. Thanks to them for that! Now pardon me while I ramble in my usual freeform and free from the rules of spelling and grammar way: From the President of the United States:
“Had we to do it over again, we would look at the consequences of catastrophic success being so successful, so fast, that an enemy that should have surrendered or been done in, escaped and lived to fight another day
From the CIA Fact Book on Iraq:
Coalition forces remain in Iraq, helping to restore degraded infrastructure and facilitating the establishment of a freely elected government, while simultaneously dealing with a robust insurgency.
From the Vice President of the United States:
"I think we may well have some kind of presence there over a period of time," Cheney said. "The level of activity that we see today from a military standpoint, I think, will clearly decline. I think they're in the last throes, if you will, of the insurgency."
So. Created by a catastrophic success the robust insurgency is in its last throes? One of the many frustrations about the whole Iraqi quagmire is that Bush (the older, smarter one) saw this mess coming:
most significantly had we gone the invasion route, the U.S. could conceivably still be an occupying power in a bitterly hostile land. It would have been a dramatically different--and perhaps barren--outcome.
I wonder what would the reaction on the right would be if Elder Bush published something like that today? I’m sure they’d start by trashing his World War II heroics as exaggerations if not lies and then denounce Bush as a traitor. There is a bizarre cognitive dissonance at play that one day may be studied as some sort of syndrome. It seems that no matter what happens, Iraq is going fine and that the Bush Administration is doing the exact right thing. Examples of this veracity deficiency can be found on right wing blogs all over the Internet. I think this Power Line post is a perfect representation:
Why We're Winning In Iraq Power Line reader Jean Palmer sent us this great photo of her brother, Brigadier General Pete Palmer, in an Iraqi hospital with a boy named Ahmed Hameed (click to enlarge): Here is what General Palmer wrote about the photo:
Visited the hospital today (I try and swing by and say hello to soldiers that have been wounded and make sure they are doing as well as possible) and ran into this young guy. He is 4 yrs old and was shot 7 times in the one leg. Appears they were able to save the leg too. As you can see he was in a great mood and wanted his picture taken so we did.
The Iraqis have pretty well figured out who is shooting at them, and who is trying to heal them. The "insurgency," as we've said before, is, for practical purposes, over.
Now where is the reasoning there? The insurgency isn’t over for practical or even impractical reasons; it is exactly as it was last year and the year before, yet based on a photo they’re declared “over”! If that isn’t a delusion that demands professional study and help I don’t know what is. Now I wonder, what would John Hinderaker say to another photo of another Iraqi child? If a smiling Iraqi adolescent with a U.S. soldier is all that some need to be convinced that Iraq is being won what does a photo of a little screaming girl soaked in her family’s blood say? Can I, with the confidence of a lawyer from Time Magazine’s Blog of the Year, declare it “Why the U.S. is losing in Iraq”? It seems to me that no matter what happens anywhere, good, bad it all means the same thing to them; Bush (and us!) were Right. Case in point: From the blog of Congressman Conaway:
Bin Laden Tape Proves Strategy is Working This is an admission of great significance, because it proves that al-Qaeda’s operatives are on the defensive. Bin Laden’s transition from jihadist rhetoric to reasoning with the United States government is evidenced in his call for a ‘truce’ and it is a sign that we are winning the war. Now, more than ever, we must continue to stay on the offensive in Iraq and do what is necessary here at home to keep Americans safe.
Of course bin Laden’s message to the world means no such thing, all it proves is that the man who killed 3,000 Americans four years ago continues to be free to make tapes. It proves that Bush failed in his word and duty. This isn’t the first time I’ve read something like this and flash-backed to Lisa Simpson’s wonderful enlightenment of spurious reasoning:
Homer: Not a terrorist in sight. The Bush Patrol must be working like a charm. Lisa: That's spacious reasoning, Dad. Homer: Thank you, dear. Lisa: By your logic I could claim that this Iraq keeps terrorists away. Homer: Oh, how does it work? Lisa: It doesn't work. Homer: Uh-huh. Lisa: It's just a stupid Iraq. Homer: Uh-huh. Lisa: But I don't see any terrorists around, do you? [Homer thinks of this, then pulls out some money] Homer: Lisa, I want to buy your Iraq. [Lisa refuses at first, then takes the exchange]
Vice President Cheney perhaps needs a Lisa of his own to explain it to him after declaring:
It is no accident that we haven't been hit in more than four years.
Really? I guess the American soldiers and civilians in Iraq don’t count as “we”. And finally from The Conservative Voice, outright denial. Don’t like the reality? Customize it!
So let's recap. In four years we have liberated two countries, 48 million people, democracy is beginning to take root in places where it had never been before. We toppled two bloodthirsty, fascist, regimes in two quick campaigns. We have reduced the Taliban to a memory and have the Baathists in jail and standing trial.
Is there anything in that statement that can stand up to any sort of scrutiny? If so I couldn’t find it. Iraq and Afghanistan are occupied nations, they will be liberated when it’s their armed forces and police keeping order rather that the Coalition’s. While both nations have had elections would the democratic roots live without the Thomas Jefferson style “watering” by the Coalition forces? It would seem unlikely so I’m not sure you can call them democracies. And is it really a democracy when you have to shut the entire country down under martial law to hold an election? I voted today in Canada, I was able to drive right up to the polling station, I wonder how it would feel to vote while being watched by armed foreign soldiers? Perhaps my memory is a little foggy but wasn’t bringing bin Laden to justice part of the mission of Afghanistan? So how can that campaign be over? Or am I being pedantic with Bush’s “Dead or Alive” statement? Would it be difficult to imagine if it were President Gore that every right-wing news and web site having a little counter in the bottom right hand corner counting the days that bin Laden remained free? Anyone who says the Iraq campaign is over is either a liar or a madman or a startling combination of both and really needs to be medicated. The Taliban killed 26 people last week and the Baathissts are part of the insurgency in Iraq, so both are still fighting, hardly just “a memory”. And that is why I think Today in Iraq is so important, these fantasies of the right wing have of Iraq need to be balanced off and not with rhetoric from mouthy jerks like me but with the simple and hard realities; Iraq is still a troubled land and only the source of her misery has changed. So please keep it up, the links, the stories that I, and many others, wouldn’t have found on our own. At some point the American people are going to want to know where their blood and treasure is going and Today in Iraq provides the unvarnished truth that only the deeply delusional could deny. Thanks to FF for the opportunity!


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