The challenge playing out across the broader Middle East is more than a military conflict. It is the decisive ideological struggle of our time....Sounds serious. But apparently, it wasn't serious enough to justify sending an adequate number of troops to Iraq, or supplying them with the necessary equipment, or outlawing and punishing war profiteering.
And now, all these years later, it's not serious enough to justify sending adequate reinforcements, or supplying them with the necessary equipment.
You'd have to be crazy to believe that this reprehensible war of choice was a moral necessity. And you'd have to be much worse than crazy to believe that it was a moral necessity, and then willfully botch it, and then demand praise for grudgingly adopting a dumbed-down, toothless version of the same recommendation you'd been ridiculing for years.
As this idiot adventure descends into the chaos predicted for it by sane people everywhere, the Right shrieks ever louder about the existential threat of "Islamofascism," as though insisting on the enemy's fiendishness could somehow ennoble BushCo's manifest failure to fight that enemy wisely and effectively.
In reality, the more insistent the Bush Cult is on the larger-than-life evil of Islamic extremism, the more foolish and irresponsible they look for consistently trying to pass off their failures as triumphs, and their giddy crony-capitalist hijinks as realpolitik. A serious threat requires a serious response, after all, and the spectacle of five hundred frightwigged clowns streaming out of a broom closet at the American Enterprise Institute doesn't fit the bill.
Which reminds me that If I had my way, frightwigged clowns like Jonah Goldberg and Sean Hannity and Melanie Morgan would be rounded up and forced to spend the rest of their lives cleaning wounded veterans' bedpans with their lying tongues. Sad to say, the only outcome less likely is that these snake-oil merchants would decide of their own free will to care for the young men and women whose lives they helped to destroy with their dead-hearted parroting of Scaife-funded neocon bullshit.
At any rate, Bush's speech said nothing reasonable and will accomplish nothing good. The goal for the architects of this war is to find a scapegoat, or to wait for some distraction - like a new terrorist attack, or some other convenient excuse to nuke something - that'll drive Iraq out of people's minds. Until then, the "plan" is to limp along as we've been limping along for years, with Americans and Iraqis dying pointlessly, and the president doing his mediocre best to look rueful, and a squadron of flying monkeys lashing out indefatigably at anyone "unpatriotic" enough to demand competence or seriousness or honesty from the people who claim to be waging the "decisive ideological struggle of our time."
UPDATE: Noah Shachtman - whose grasp of military affairs is infinitely superior to mine - offers a smidgin of faint praise for Bush's speech. Much as I'd like to, I can't agree with him. I tend to go along with what RMJ says:
Assuming arguendo that a military solution will always trump a political one, we still have a problem: when was the military solution ever available? When did we ever have enough troops under arms to control Iraq? Even with the "Coalition of the Willing," we weren't able to do that.Exactly. I saw nothing in the President's speech that suggested he had any serious comprehension of his failures, nor any serious plan to remedy them. This is a stalling strategy, and the only thing it signifies, to my mind, is that George W. Bush is willing to continue stuffing human beings into a meat-grinder in order to stave off the day of reckoning for himself, his party, and the ideological apparatus that supports them.
Which is what makes this latest excuse for another chance at victory, such a tragic farce. Condoleeza Rice says: "We cannot afford to fail." But the fact is, by the Administration's own terms: we already have. We failed before we even started.