Tuesday, September 11, 2007

At least they have a strategy for something

The Bush administration's "strategy" on Iraq is to try to get the country to the point where it won't come falling down around our ears the moment we withdraw. If it comes falling down a little later, that's livable (at least for Bush). But the administration has been quite adroit at keeping the war going through actions designed to manipulate the situation here at home: 1) they escalated the war in the wake of the Democratic Party's capturing of the Congress in the 2006 elections, making up the word "surge" as an alternative to the usual "escalation," with the added benefit that they can now announce a reduction of troops that are simply the troops they recently sent in (was this part of the intention all along?). 2) They scheduled Gen. Petreaus's much-anticipated report for the day before the 9/11 anniversary, understanding that the anniversary always boosts support for military action (note also that this is yet another example of waving the bloody shirt of 9/11 to advance the Iraq war). 3) They and their congressional and media proxies have advanced the audacious rhetorical idea that "cutting off funds" literally means leaving Willy and Joe out in a foxhole somewhere without any fresh bullets; as one Republican congresswoman explained the idea on the House floor, the Democrats would tell the troops "You're on your own," a ludicrous notion in reality, but a nice bit of demagoguery. The administration is not very good at running the government, minding the budget, or conducting a realistic foreign policy, but they are really very good at manipulating the American media and public. Maybe that's the lesson that this crowd learned from Vietnam - the lessons that we need to have clear war aims, and that the application of conventional military force can't solve every problem, continue to elude them.

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