Monday, April 7, 2008

Tet Happened, and No One Cared

This is a very interesting column from Frank Rich of the New York Times, on the latest happenings of Iraq and how warped a view of Iraq that Mr. McCain has. I'll post the last 2 paragraphs, as they are key:

“We’re succeeding,” Mr. McCain said after his last trip to Iraq. “I don’t care what anybody says.” Again, it’s the last sentence that’s accurate. When General Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker testify before Congress again this week — against the backdrop of a million-Iraqi, anti-American protest called by Mr. Sadr — Mr. McCain will ram home all this “success” no matter the facts.
The difference between the Democrats and Mr. McCain going forward is clear enough: They want to find a way out of the morass, however provisional and imperfect, and he equates staying the disastrous course with patriotism. Mr. McCain’s doomed promise of military “victory” in Iraq is akin to Wile E. Coyote’s perpetual pursuit of the Road Runner, with much higher carnage. This isn’t patriotism. As the old saying goes, doing the same thing over and over again and hoping you’ll get a different result is the definition of insanity.
That quote from McCain, if nothing else, symbolizes the true hubris of his campaign, as well as the current occupants of the White House. Like any religious or ideological fanatic, they won't let any number of facts, no matter how substantial or overwhelming, get in the way of what they want to believe.
But I do disagree with Mr. Rich on something, and that's his attack on Obama and Clinton for distorting what McCain said about our forces occupying Iraq for the next hundred years. What he really said was that he'd want our forces being based in Iraq, like they are in Japan and South Korea. That is, as long as they weren't being attacked, or wounded, or killed. First of all, even thinking there's a possibility that our forces could have a benign presence in Iraq is absurd. It's delusional. Those other 2 countries, as well as the others in which we've had long-term presences are, weren't fracationized, Balken-like states like Iraq is. They don't have angry Muslims (be it Shiite, Shia, Sunni, whatever) pissed off at us for turning their land into a big fiefdom. Second, even if this was a possible scenario, is it something that's really desirable? Even a military presence in a country free of war like Japan, I'm sure, is pretty expensive. Finances aside, isn't our presence all over the world giving these groups the ammuniation they need to raise the money and the followers that they require to plan attacks against us?
So, to break it down, attacking the two candidates for distorting what McCain said is grasping at straws, as what he actually said is no better. He'll be Bush III, with a foreign policy that'll be "Bush on steroids", as Buchanan said.

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