George Has a PointSince The Big Speech a week ago, George and his minions have been explaining their patent lunacy to the American people. The Sunday talkfest justifications are the same lame excuses they've made before, but among their central talking points is one about which they are frighteningly correct.
Iraq will be a blood bath if American withdraws.
The Bubbling Cauldron of Hate
Iraq is a bubbling cauldron of animus inhabited by zealots with centuries-old vendettas to carry out. Like the Hatfields and McCoys, they forgot the reasons for the original slights long ago, but their hatred remains as unfettered as it was on Day One. They've existed as a country only so long as a steel-fisted dictator has crushed them into faux obedience. Now, without a Saddam, they're left to their own hateful devices - which include killing anyone not of their own tribe.
After a belated spread the fruits of freedom justification, American soldiers are caught in the vicious crossfire. The Lunatic-in-Chief blundered them onto the mean streets of Baghdad, but those blunders don't matter to the impersonal bullets that fly thick as killer bees.
Too Little, Too Late
The President puffs that Iraq will be a bloodbath if America leaves, but forgets - with characteristic disregard for reality - that it already is. While he's been trying to edit the dictionary to include a more amenable definition of civil war, the Iraqis have engaged in one and are already far along the road.
An overwhelming majority decries his latest plan for victory as nothing more than sending 21,500 more bodies into the gnashing maw of history, but a central question remains. Will we and the Iraqis be worse off by leaving than by staying?
The most truthful answer to that question is, nobody knows.
There have been almost as many proposals for the way forward as people suggesting them. There's a good reason it's so hard to find a workable solution to the problem - there isn't one. Stay - thousands die. Leave - thousands die. Increase troop levels - thousands die. Pull out - thousands die.
I was against the invasion from the beginning, but once we were there I felt sending in troops to stabilize the place was best. In those early days it was still possible to salvage something worthwhile. These days, not so much. We've unleashed a malevolent genie from the bottle and there's nothing to do now but damage control.
History suggests that damage control is the one thing - among many - that Bush is most incompetent at. In fact, his pitiful brand of damage control is what got us here. The time is long overdue to wrest control from the Loon-in-Chief before the problem gets worse. As a country, we must concede that regardless of the actions chosen, we're stuck with Iraq for many years to come. That is as salient a fact as the Iraqi will to kill everyone on sight.
George harps that only Iraqis can solve this mess. Although his churlish statement that, "the Iraqi people owe the American people a huge debt of gratitude" is brazenly disingenuous, I agree. You can't build democracy at the point of a gun.
Let's withdraw to the sidelines where we can keep an eye on things and respond only if the bloodletting becomes a neighborhood affair. It won't be pretty. Make no mistake, blood will flow in the streets and the Middle East tinderbox will smolder with more intensity. It's a risky strategy based more on gut than solid predictions of other people's illogical behavior, but it is truly the lesser of dozens of evils. The only victory now is the one that doesn't kill more soldiers fighting a war that we started but someone else must finish.
It's time to do something, but it's just incredibly sad it has to be us.
Truth Told by Omnipotent Poobah, Monday, January 15, 2007