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Bush’s Spanking

Thanks to the gray old men (and one woman) of the Iraq Study Group, the magnitude of his unique, historic failure came crashing down on George W. Bush yesterday.

    It was kind of sad, in a way. This morning when Mr. Bush was handed the Iraq Study Group report, he looked old and tired, the kind of old and tired you look after carrying a heavy load for a long time. The war in Iraq is an unmitigated disaster and everybody knows it. The Republicans know it, the Democrats know it, our country knows it and the rest of the world knows it.
    And for the first time this morning, it looked like President Bush knows it, too. There he sat, surrounded by his father’s friends, looking absolutely lost. And despite the years of experience and wisdom represented at that table, the report contains no magic potion to get us out of, arguably, the biggest, deadliest, costliest and potentially most dangerous mess that this country has been in since World War II. And President Bush caused it.

The quote is from Jack Cafferty of CNN, via Dan Froomkin of the Washington Post. Bush now has two more years to live with the consequences of this failure, in full view of the public, as it keeps getting worse. Do you feel sorry for him? Me neither.

There is a scary side to this, though, so we can’t celebrate yet. The Iraq Study Group isn’t really interested in fixing the mess in Iraq. They simply want to fix U.S. prestige in the region. There’s nothing that says it will be good for the Iraqi people.

    The Iraq Study Group’s prescriptions hinge on a fragile Iraqi government’s ability to achieve national reconciliation and security at a time when the country is fractured along sectarian lines, its security forces are ineffective and competing visions threaten to collapse the state, Iraqi politicians and analysts said Wednesday.
    They said the report is a recipe, backed by threats and disincentives, that neither addresses nor understands the complex forces that fuel Iraq’s woes. They described it as a strategy largely to help U.S. troops return home and resurrect America’s frayed influence in the Middle East.
    Iraqis also expressed fear that the report’s recommendations, if implemented, could weaken an already besieged government in a country teetering on the edge of civil war.
    “It is a report to solve American problems, and not to solve Iraq’s problems,” said Ayad al-Sammarai, an influential Sunni Muslim politician.

Morally this is like a hit and run accident where the driver leaves the scene after killing the driver of the other car. Instead of sending an ambulance, he sends a cleanup crew to hide the evidence, a publicist to make excuses, and cash to keep the relatives quiet. There may not be a lot we can do now to fix Iraq, but moral responsibility for the situation doesn’t end when U.S. troops pull out. If justice is ever to be done, it begins by ensuring that the driver, the U.S., doesn’t get behind the wheel again for a long time. U.S. influence will be discredited in the Middle East, and this could be an opportunity. New leadership is badly needed there, and hopefully it will come from the people themselves.

P.S. My mother got a subscription to Al Jezeera in English, and now we watch it on all the family’s computers!


Comment from Kenza
Time: December 8, 2006, 00:59

what is the solution then???
that is the question that I can’t figure out.
The troops will quit and then what?
I don’t think that any tragedy had affected me the way this war does… it came to a periode where I couldn’t watch tv because I couldn’t bear all that was hapening
And now what? what is to be done? what is it that can fix all that mess? I feel lost when I think about it…

Comment from omarsoft
Time: December 8, 2006, 02:26

they talked about leaving irak by 2008!i think it’s too late,Irak the magnificant country with his superb history is going down!and thanks to the american troops!they know well how to kill non armed people ,wives,kids,they know how to tortur people!
before america says we are the savors of Irak,they may look at first at american internal problems,armed children,violance etc!
otherways,I think that aljazeera will help you see information from ananthor angle!

Comment from eatbees
Time: December 8, 2006, 04:33

@Kenza — I have the same problem as you, I want to say something at least slightly positive but I don’t know the answer. Really this is just a crime, a disaster of enormous scale, and it looks like it will get worse before it gets better. The people of the region, including Iran, the Saudis, have no choice but to try to “cut a deal.” They shouldn’t wait for the U.S. May God grant Bush long life so he can learn the bitter truth.

You know, the Clintons are still welcome in Morocco. :)

@omarsoft — 2003 was already too late! I’m embarassed to say, for five minutes in March 2003 I supported the war, because it was going to happen anyway so I wanted to believe these fools knew what they were doing. I was just at a political meeting of people opposed to the war, and there was a man there whose best friend is in Iraq, and another whose son was in Iraq. A lot of people in the U.S. are begging to see things differently, from bitter experience. I hope this becomes a permanent change in my country.

My mother visited Morocco while I was living there, so she has more than TV pictures (of course we don’t want her in Iraq!). One thing she likes about Al Jazeera is the streets are different, the clothing is different, people move differently, and you don’t see that on American TV (which she doesn’t watch anyway). Why is that?

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