Friday, April 27, 2007

The Politics of Iraq

This week, the media has been all abuzz about the supplemental spending bill that funds the Iraq war but sets a timeline for pulling out, and Bush's promise to veto it. Actually, I think both sides are on the wrong track.

First, Congress should not set in stone a withdrawal date, particularly since it just unanimously confirmed General Petraeus to go clean the place up. The General is a smart man and a straight shooter (unlike the Republican administration in general). The troops he's getting aren't all there yet, and he's right to ask for time to do the job. When he says he'll know by mid August whether the buildup is working or not, and will tell Congress his views regardless of political pressures, I believe him. If the Dems are really serious about this, they wouldn't set a withdrawal timeline until after General Petraeus says that the buildup isn't working.

But no, the Democratic leadership is hell-bent on pulling out, regardless. Actually, Congress under the Democrats is no better at passing clean laws than Congress under the Republicans. The Dems promised to clean up the pork, but this bill is just loaded with it. Oink, oink: the sound a Senator or Congressman makes, regardless of political affiliation.

On the other side, we have a chickenshit chickenhawk for President. Here's a guy who skipped out on his own military service, surrounded by lots of other guys who skipped out on THEIR military service, who has no problem whatsoever in sending our young men and women off to be killed or hideously maimed in a really stupid stupid stupid war. When he says he "carefully considered" whether to invade Iraq, he's lying through his teeth. The bastard knew long before he was even elected that he would invade Iraq, he was just looking for some kind of excuse. He didn't need, and didn't want, any evidence one way or the other. This draft dodger still talks about "victory" in Iraq, even though even General Petraeus acknowledges that we can't "win" this war. It's not our decision. We "won" the military conflict by defeating the Iraqi army. Everything since then is a civil war and we can't impose our will by military force. All we can do is give the corrupt Iraqi government some time to get their collective act together and start acting like a government. If they don't step up to the plate, we can't "win" Bush's war even if we had a million troops in country.

Don't even get me started on Cheney.

So why do I still support the buildup? The "Pottery Barn" rule: we broke it, we should try to fix it. There is still a tiny chance that the incompetent crooks in the Iraqi government might start acting like statesmen instead of a cabal of organized crime families. So I say, give 'em till the middle of August. If they aren't seriously doing their job by then, pull our troops out as fast as humanly possible. And none of this "gradual redeployment" bullshit, either. We're in, or we're out.

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