Wednesday, April 09, 2008
I watched quite a bit of yesterday's Iraq hearing. It took all day for us to learn what we already knew: Iraq is an unsolvable mess.
Gen. Petreaus kept repeating that the "progress we have made is fragile and reversible"...this sounds reasonable, doesn't it?
A cautious, sober assessment from a military expert, right?
Wrong. It's complete bullshit. Anyone with a dictionary and a fifth-grade education can disprove it.
#1 Movement, as toward a goal; advance.
#2 Development or growth: students who show progress.
#3 Steady improvement, as of a society or civilization.
In 2002 Iraq was a corrupt dictatorship. It was also modern nation with a modern infrastructure; most of the country had electricity, indoor plumbing and cars that didn't explode.
Today none of that is true. Goodbye dictatorship, hello foreign-led martial law. No more electricity, plumbing or infrastructure and the cars aren't nearly as safe as they used to be.
The average Iraqi is, by any measure, far worse off today than they were in 2002.
The U.S. invasion, which no longer even has a goal, hasn't produced any progress at all, only destruction, death and displacement.
The only way that we could reverse the 'progress' we have made since 2003 would be to build a time machine and travel back to 2000 and change the Presidential election results- and any fifth-grader knows that we don't have time machines.
Sometimes it feels as if I live in a deja vu machine. Listening to the conversation about what would happen should Iraq become a "failed state" was like listening to a debate on what would happen if the Ottoman Empire should collapse-I mean, when a nation measures it's monthly bombings by the hundred, it's hard to think of it as anything other than failed.
(I feel the same way when I hear the News clones speculating on whether or not we are heading into a economic recession. )
Each politician prefaced their questions with obsequious praise about the service of the General, the Ambassador, our troops ; how proud they were and what a great job they were doing etc etc...it would have been more appropriate to take 4,024 moments of silence, declare peace and go home.
One Republican suggested that our troops were following in the footsteps of George Washington and Abe Lincoln, comparisons that make no political, military or historical sense...in 1776, for example, George Washington was the leader of a rag-tag rebel militia comprised largely of ill-equipped civilians who were forced into war with an occupying force of overwhelming military superiority.
Washington's men were the insurgents, not the occupiers...during the American Revolution, the British employed quite a few mercenary contractors, the most famous of which were the Hessians, a group whose modern counterparts would be 'contractors' hired from for-profit armies such as Blackwater.
In 1776, George Washington handed the foreign mercenaries a resounding defeat at the Battle of Trenton. The mercenaries were hung-over and half-asleep when Washington's men surprised them on Christmas - imagine what today's politicos would say about armed, nationalistic rebels with the audacity to attack sleeping men during a Christian holiday.
They wouldn't call them patriots, but that's what they were.
Lincoln? He said Lincoln. How are our troops like Abe Lincoln?
In the same way that they are like JFK.
It's an unfortunate comparison to make.
The Cable Clones broke away from the Iraq Bullfest to switch over to a ceremony where Resident Evil was giving the Medal of Honor to the parents of a dead Navy SEAL. The young man had thrown himself on top of a live grenade, sacrificing his life to save the lives of two men with him.
The SEAL died in 2006; I'm sure the timing of the ceremony to coincide with the 2008 Iraq Report was purely accidental.
When the TV coverage returned, I saw General Petraeus in a new light. My anger at him had vanished. He is simply a soldier falling on a live grenade, sacrificing himself to protect others.
It's his duty.
The sad thing is, he's sacrificing himself to protect Resident Bush. That's like taking a bullet for Charles Manson.
No justice in that.
BushCo gives loud lip-service to " supporting our troops", but I'd argue that BushCo treats our military with a profound disregard and a deadly disrespect that has never been seen by any prior C-in-C. Asking our troops to die for a goal that cannot even be defined is sheer malevolence- asking them to die for someone else's profits adds a strong element of avarice and forcing our military leadership to explain the unexplainable throws a heaping spoonful of cowardice into the mix.
Evil. Greed. Cowardice.
Picture this: It's 3 a.m. on an early winter morning, 1944. In Europe the Nazis are planning a counterattack against the advancing Allied forces when General Dwight D. Eisenhower's phone rings. On the other end is President Franklin Roosevelt.
"Ike", says FDR, "I need you to come home and explain to America why we are fighting."
That didn't happen. FDR made his own speeches.
BTW, we won that war and nobody had to explain why we invaded Normandy.
The military is already fighting Bush's war in Iraq and our Resident is making them fight his political battles at home too. That's a disgrace to the uniform and to the Office.
If we pull out of Iraq, Iraq might become a fractured, violent, unstable region with a population and leadership that strongly dislikes America.
Austria-Hungary might collapse.
We might lose the Alamo.
The U.S.S. Maine might sink.
Let's take that chance.