Friday, January 26, 2007

He Is Not A Crook...Yet

Oh, the foibles of our Cheap Executive - who today called himself “the decision-maker” when it comes to what’s happening or going to happen in Iraq. Too bad all of those decisions are bad ones. He doesn’t have a track record of working and playing well with others when his party was in power - and he is doing nothing to establish his willingness to work and play well with others now that his party has been roundly dismissed from power on Capitol Hill. The AP article can be found by following this link to MSNBC.

He’s ignored most of the recommendations in the report issued by the Iraq Study Group, and now he’s challenging lawmakers not to be too hard on his new plan until they’ve seen if it has a chance to work? Based on what - all of the previous success we’ve had in Iraq? He says that he’s “picked the plan that I think is most likely to succeed.” He says this as though it is news, or as though it means something. Of course - as the decision-maker - he’s going to pick the plan he thinks has the best chance of success. Does he actually believe that the American people think he would select a plan that had no hope of succeeding?

I doubt that he thinks that way - because I don’t think he would actively sabotage this country. He’s a bad president, but that does not necessarily make him a bad man. On the other hand, he’s got a shade less than two years left to go, no policy successes on either the foreign or domestic side, and supporters backing away from him like he’s got bird flu - there's a lot space there for paranoia to set in, especially if you've got Darth Cheney whispering in your ear all the time.

He has also challenged lawmakers from both parties to come up with their own ideas about how to fix the quaqmire that is Iraq. First of all, the lack of any other plans on the table does not automatically mean that the plan Bush has decided on is the right one. Second, no high-profile Senator or Representative is going to stick his or her neck out to propose a plan that might not work, and might not even be considered - I can’t imagine that anyone in Congress would want to get close enough to Bush that they might be risking their own careers in a vain attempt to pull this nimrod out of the quicksand. This is election season - not quite election year, of course - but election season.

There will be some ideas thrown about by some of the higher-profile Republicans who need to distance themselves from Bush before the 2008 Presidential election campaign gets into full swing. John McCain, the Senator from Arizona, supports both the war and the “surge” of new troops - and views an immediate or near-immediate exit from Iraq as tantamount to throwing up the white flag to the terrorists. McCain was in Vietnam and should know better - but is also running for President and knows that he must appeal to the war hawk faction of the Republican party if he is to stand a chance of winning the nomination.

The problems in Iraq are different than the problems in Vietnam, but the lesson is the same - it does not serve the interests of the United States to be involved in the internal disputes of a foreign country. Well, unless you’re an oil tycoon. There’s a fine, fine line between helping a country stand on its own two feet and helping a country fights its battles for it. The inept management of the Iraq war in the last going-on-four-years has blurred that line to the point that no one is really sure there ever was a line - and now there is this nebulous concept of “victory” that is keeping Bush from seeing just how badly things need to change in terms of what the United States is doing in Iraq.

Let me ask you this - when he actually turns into Nixon, how do you think we the people are going to know? For a long time, Bush opponents compared Bush to Nixon and came pretty close on most aspects of their characters except for the fact that Bush has never possessed the debilitating paranoia that so badlly hampered Nixon - and led him to have committed the break-ins at the Watergate.

Will there be a civil war in Iraq? That really depends on whether or not you consider what is going on there now to be a civil war. If you can still convince yourself that there is not yet a civil war in Iraq, then yes - eventually there will officially be one (or you will finally understand that what is happening in Iraq right now is civil war) The specter of Iran looming over all of this has to make you nervous, too. It’s only two years until the thirtieth anniversary of the overthrow of the Shah (who was, himself, a United States puppet - but whatever) and the installation of the Ayatollah in Iran. Suppose Ahmadinejad has something up his sleeve for that?

Because of the stretching of U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan since 9/11, the United States has no answer if Iran rises up with fists - against Iraq or any of its other neighbors, such as, I don’t know...Israel? There’s quite a lot resting on the decisions of our “decision-maker” in Washington. He gets to turn over the reins to someone new in less than two years, so he can go out on the lecture circuit. I don’t imagine he’ll be called back to Washington to advise on anything. If he keeps making decisions the way he is doing, though, I wonder just how much there will be left to hand over to the next President.

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