** Profanity alert -- this makes me so angry that I need to use strong language to express my views. If you don't like profanity, here's a G-rated summary: I'm peeved that after being led into Iraq on false pretenses, we aren't achieving our goals there, and the de facto Administration should hang for its criminal stupidity and stupid criminality. ** End profanity alert.
Talk about coming to your senses too goddamn late. The Post today quotes a senior official
involved in policy since the 2003 invasion of Iraq:
"What we expected to achieve was never realistic given the timetable or what unfolded on the ground. We are in a process of absorbing the factors of the situation we're in and shedding the unreality that dominated at the beginning."
Ohmyfuckinggod. You mean we WON'T be able to dismantle Saddam's cache of weapons of mass destruction (because they never existed)? We WON'T be able to establish Iraq as a model democracy that will be on reasonably good terms with Israel? We WON'T even be able to guarantee the same rights for women that they had under Saddam? Iraq's oil revenues WON'T pay for essentially all of Iraq's reconstruction?
Another quote from this article, from another in-the-know US official:
"We set out to establish a democracy, but we're slowly realizing we will have some form of Islamic republic. That process is being repeated all over."
Holy fucking shit! How did this happen? I mean, in the 1980s Reagan, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Papa Bush, etc supported Saddam with equipment and intelligence during his war of aggression against Iran because IRAN WAS AN ISLAMIC REPUBLIC INIMICAL TO AMERICAN INTERESTS
!!! And now our unprovoked, trumped-up invasion of Iraq is gonna let ANOTHER ISLAMIC REPUBLIC
come to power in the Middle East? To quote Charlie Brown, my stomach hurts.
The pro-war neocons in the de facto Administration misunderestimated the level of opposition we'd encounter from Iraq's people. How did this happen? After all, de facto Vice President Dick "Halliburton" Cheney told us on March 16, 2003 that we would be greeted as liberators. Could Uncle Dick have been wrong? Yep -- and Uncle Dick and the rest quashed all other indications from the CIA, State Department, and elsewhere that we would not have roses strewn in our path. And it ain't getting better -- just ask this Marine unit
Now our leaders don't expect us to be able to defeat the insurgency before we leave -- just hope to reduce it a little.
Now, that's just nifty. We're gonna leave behind an unstable country with a theocratic government that will not control all of its territory in the heart of the Middle East, a country whose populace has suffered terribly under our occupation, a country increasingly desperate and therefore increasingly susceptible to extremists of all sorts. Jeez, our withdrawal from Vietnam was better than this -- at least the Communist government never sponsored terrorism against the US after we ran away.
The last time a superpower made a stupid invasion of a country in the region and retreated well short of its goals was the Soviets in Afghanistan. As you may recall, after some initial victories, that whole war didn't turn out very well for the late Soviet Union. They finally withdrew with their tail between their legs. They lost thousands of troops and wasted billions of rubles and essentially lead to the destruction of the Red Army and contributed mightily to the loss of legitimacy of the Soviet state, which soon after collapsed completely. They left behind a failed state awash in weapons that was a marvelous base for terrorists who were at first anti-Russian and then turned against their former American sponsors. As you may recall, some of those terrorists have caused us quite a few problems in recent years, especially on that sunny day in September of 2001.
I know our de facto president doesn't read much beyond the baseball box scores, but I wish he'd at least read his father's 1998 book, A World Transformed
. To quote from that book:
To occupy Iraq would instantly shatter our coalition, turning the whole Arab world against us and make a broken tyrant into a latter-day hero ... assigning young soldiers to a fruitless hunt for a securely entrenched dictator and condemning them to fight in what would be an un-winnable urban guerilla war. It could only plunge that part of the world into even greater instability.
The old man called it pretty well.
I hope to hell the post-Soviet situation in Afghanistan isn't repeated in Iraq now. Iraq would be a much more dangerous failed state than Afghanistan, in the center of the Middle East, with huge oil reserves, next door to Iran and Saudi Arabia, within bomber range of Israel.
The Republicans impeached President Clinton for lying about an extramarital affair, mostly because the Ken Starr witch-hunt couldn't find any wrongdoing by Clinton. What would be appropriate action towards a President whose administration:
-- ignored the urgent warnings of the outgoing Clinton administration and its own terrorism policy experts in 2001, thereby losing any chance to prevent the calamitous attacks of September 11;
-- failed to capture Osama Bin Laden (remember him?) in Afghanistan because the focus was already switching to Iraq;
-- got us into a disastrous and protracted war that shows no signs of abating by scaring Congress and the American people with terrifying tall tales of Iraqi nukes and mushroom clouds (Condi Rice's word) billowing over American cities, based on intelligence that was both faulty and fabricated, if we didn't act immediately;
-- subsequently switched the rationale for the war in Iraq from WMD to spreading democracy and prosperity in Iraq as a model for the Middle East (in other words, nation-building, which Bush derided in the 2000 campaign), and now is backing off of even THAT dubious goal;
-- meanwhile has allowed North Korea's active and much-more threatening nuclear weapons program to continue unimpeded; and
-- is driving much of Iraq's population into the arms of Iran, another country with an active nuclear arms program?
If President Gore had done this, the Republican Congress would have impeached and convicted him long ago. But the Republican Congress, despite concerns voiced by individual GOP members, focuses on more important things like banning flag burning.
Personally, I'd like to try and hang the sons-of-bitches for all of their various crimes. But we are still (despite two consecutive stolen Presidential elections) a constitutional democracy, more or less. Instead, I'll just have to hope for the best: elections in 2006 and 2008 that punish the party whose leadership got us into this mess, and no more major terrorist attacks by people opposed to and angered by our even-more-fucked-up-than-in-2000 policies in the Middle East.