Sunday, December 10, 2006

Frank Rich: ISG Delays Recognition of Defeat in Iraq

"The illusion of not losing must be preserved no matter what the price in blood."

- Frank Rich

In a column titled "The Sunshine Boys Can’t Save Iraq", New York Times columnist Frank Rich has said that, rather than "plotting a way forward," the Iraq Study Group is only "delaying the recognition of our defeat."

That's it - exactly. This Iraq Study group was not willing to admit we've already done everything we could (within reason) to make any hay out of the worst strategic mistake any U.S. leader has ever made in U.S. history.
"The group’s coulda-woulda recommendations are either nonstarters, equivocations (it endorses withdrawal of combat troops by 2008 but is averse to timelines) or contradictions of its own findings of fact."

It ain't going to get any better, folks. I'm sick of every talking head in the world blabbing non-stop on TV and radio talk shows about this situation while nothing is done in Washington D.C.

Our eyes aren't lying to us.

We are not supposed to be fighting against Iraq - that thought is counterproductive. Ask yourself - who the heck are we supporting over there and who are we fighting against? Doesn't it change by the moment at the whims of fate over there? When was the last time a President left our troops dangling, risking their lives, at the whim of fate? Was it Vietnam? I think it was. In Iraq, the whims of fate are far more erratic than those that materialized in Vietnam. This is why Iraq is worse than Vietnam. We are not at the driving wheel of this war. There is no military solution. None. Nada. Zzzzip. And this group is trying to make us not look like losers while coming up with more ideas to not lose. All the while, we've already lost.

There have to be limits as to how far we'll go to fight FOR the goal of Iraq becoming a united and stable nation. I think we passed that limit of reason less than a year after we toppled Saddam - and it was such a mistake for us to do it unilaterally that I believe we never had a chance of success at all. Bush's "goal" in Iraq has never carried the hallmark of having any distinct or clearly delineated goals. Prior to the war, America was given at least twenty different rationales for war.

Mr. Rich comments further about the Iraq Study Group report:
The tip-off to the cynical game can be found in a single sentence: “We agree with the goal of U.S. policy in Iraq, as stated by the president: ‘an Iraq that can govern itself, sustain itself, and defend itself.’ ”
If the Iraqi people aren't going to fight for Bush's "goal", then we are just spinning our wheels over there and leaving our own men and women to whatever ill fate is destined for them. I'm sorry - but I have trouble sleeping at night knowing all of this.
Since these troops don’t exist and there is no public support in either America or Iraq for mobilizing them, the president can’t satisfy the hawks even if he chooses to do so.
Mothers and fathers - look across the dinner table at your son and daughter tonight. The hawkish McCains, the Rangels risking your kid on a bet that Bush will back down, the neocon chickenhawk Bill Kristols, the grumpy war apologist Brit Humes, the chickenhawk Rich Lowrys who won't go to the war they say they support - they are all jonesing for your child to become a draftee - a moving target in a war we'd lost before we even got there. President Bush seems determined to keep us bogged down in this real and present disaster and defeat. To put it bluntly, the Iraqi people just aren't willing enough to fight for Bush's goal and the American people are sick and tired of watching Bush trying to force feed his fuzzy "goal" down everyone's throats while so many Iraqis have showed their "thanks" not with roses, but by cheering while insurgents have been literally slitting throats.

We could put a million U.S. troops over there and it would still be an occupation that we cannot get out of lest Iraq fall apart the moment we leave. They got their civil war on the moment Saddam Hussein disappeared from the scene and our President has willfully ignored and denied the facts every step of the way. the extent that their report forestalls reality and promotes pipe dreams of one last chance for success in this fiasco, it will be remembered as just one more delusional milestone in the tragedy of our age.
Frank took the words right out of my own head. I guess that's why Frank makes the big bucks.


I wrote Mr. Rich an email telling him how much I appreciate his clarity. Reading Scrutiny Hooligans today, I came across a great quote by Dan Froomkin:
"...some of our most important political battles are about competing views of reality more than they are about policy choices. Calling bullshit has never been more vital to our democracy..."