Monday, November 21, 2005

What It's Down To

(jonnybutter, not Eric)

A great Matter of State has been clarified. Iraq is now simple (but not easy). We will draw down troops soon or sooner - everyone knows that. It's now just a matter of how constructively or not the truly bush Administration resists - to show that no one tells THEM what to do (it might damage the office of the presidency, doncha know). Those of us who know of or remember Nixon in Vietnam instinctively wince at the thought of a president refusing to give up on a war because, in Dick's case, he didn't want to be the first pres. to lose a war (despite the fact that it wasn't his war, and getting out was pretty well manifestly popular, and long-manifestly inevitable). It's the pugnacity of a bully/coward, in Nixon's case.

I don't think Bush is going to have the juice to prolong the war too long, no matter what (although of course ALL the troops aren't coming home for a long time). Murtha was possibly a bigger event in the government than in the country. He and Cheney go way back. It's the military serving notice that the end is near. And aside from all this, the GOP is cracking up in slo-mo anyway. The Abramoff thing will be large.

So let's all get serious about Iraq (intentionally preposterous saying that on THIS blog). Yes, Bush made the situation worse rather than better. Yes, he is an astoundingly bad president. But we still have to deal with it. Emotional liberals need to admit the following: yes, it's a disaster, and it's his fault; but yanking the troops out arbitrarilly is a really bad and inhumane idea. Emotional supporters of the GWOT need to admit the following: International terrorism is a real and very dangerous threat, but George W. Bush's policies have clearly made the problem worse, not better, on balance. It's nothing close to 'balance', in fact. Any reasonable government would've done most or all of the things which can be called 'successes'. It's the policies.

The emotional liberals probably have the easier task, here, but whatever it is, let's get on with it. Let us tarry only briefly in this particular personality and media driven cul-de-sac, shall we? (There are so many others to wallow in). It's useless. It's immaterial. Most of all, it's boring - the worst sin of all.

Normally, I'm not sure I want my president to be very weak, politically; but this one ought to be. His administration needs to be in 'receivership'. The World can't be about George W. Bush's personality.

[UPDATE: This post is about the American politics of Iraq. As Eric notes in the comments, and Praktike starts to run down, the 'little hand' has moved a bit, as it were, in the reigon itself. Stay tuned to LAT and watch this space for further developments.]

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