Bourgeois Deviant

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Chock-Full of Lambast!

These 10 steps for Iraq are just what the doctor ordered. Thanks to TPM for the tip. If you look at Juan Cole’s entry, you think to yourself, “Self. Bush is polling at less than 40% in some/most polls. He can’t go down much further.” So, if the guy has nothing to lose, (except American soldiers lives, obviously) why doesn’t he option to get the job done and done the best way possible? I loathe the idea of more troops being sent into a region where they are targets on multiple levels and have to put their lives on the line for a huge mistake. However it needs to be done now.

I hate to be the one to admit it, but I caught myself in a flip flop. For the first few months of the Iraq War, I was solidly against it. As time passed, but my moderate side got the better of me and swayed my opinion to ambivalence in that now that there are troops on the ground, we have an obligation to finish the job. Then, a few weeks ago I lost patience and began to think a swift pullout letting the Iraqis fend for themselves was the way to go. I mean, they hate the infidel anyway. Why not abide by their wishes and get out of dodge? After reading this 10 step plan, I realize that this is not the good or even feasible option.

If we were to pull out of Iraq tomorrow, we would be opening the door to a Pandora’s Box of nastiness that we, America, would be either directly or indirectly responsible for. Firstly, civil war is assured. History gives us many lessons of how awful that can be. And our exit would be the excuse to let it happen. An offshoot of civil war would be genocide. Iraq is ripe for it.

Sunni, Shia and Kurds have been chomping at the bit to clench power and screw the other group(s) over since Saddam was toppled. We all decried the genocides in Rowanda and Bosnia. Darfur is not officially genocide yet, but it might as well be. And, we did little or nothing about those, save for Bosnia and that was bit late.

These atrocities are the SAME as the Jewish Holocaust. Yes, different lands, peoples and all that, but single groups, ethnic or religious were singled out and eradication was what they faced. You can argue over numbers, but then you are asking that nasty question of what a human life is worth. I am not game for it. We just need to do the right thing.

So, obviously there is wavering support for this war effort. Of course! With something so poorly run and with casualties for America’s sons and daughters rising daily, why wouldn’t there be? But again, getting the job done and done effectively would change things slightly. It is one thing to report marked, quantifiable and verifiable progress that all agree on. It is quite another to sling propaganda, rhetoric and inappropriate analogies around just to get people to cheer for a similarity that does not exist. I mean, when our nation’s President has the temerity to equate the moral imperative of Iraq to that of World War II, that is stretching things beyond tolerance. Are Nazi fascism and Japanese imperialism analogous to the Islamic insurgency? Methinks not. However, it is worth it to note that the Islamic insurgents and al Queda may consider us moral equivalents to the Japanese Imperialists. That comparison would certainly be fairer than the one Bush is making.

That being said let me also offer that if the perspective were shifted a little, Bush might not be as open for criticism as he is now. If he told us that we had the moral imperative to “stay the course” (I loathe that phrase) because we have destabilized things so greatly that horrific things (i.e. genocide and a ripe breeding ground for further and more stable terrorist activity) would happen that blood would be on our already bloody hands. However, admission of fault, guilt and contrition are not within Bush’s power, it would seem. Chalk it up to life in the bubble.

And again, the Bush spin machine is feeding the American people false ideas. He is saying that “They (terrorists, etc…) believe that democracies are inherently weak and corrupt and can be brought to their knees.” Uh, IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH DEMOCRACY! However, it doesn’t help when the President turns around and does this. So, even if these statements are bold face lies, he is making them manifest behind the scenes and providing the false arguments with ample fodder. It is, at the very least, exasperating. When are we going to get a chief executive that is transparent and clearly on our side?

Which brings me to a less retch worthy topic: Even when things are really dark, there are always the voices of reason. Jon Stewart rocks! We are so lucky to have him. Dig this:

Jon Stewart: The people who say we shouldn't fight in Iraq aren't saying it's our fault. . . That is the conflation that is the most disturbing. . .

Christopher Hitchens: Don't you hear people saying. . .

Stewart: You hear people saying a lot of stupid [shit]. . . But there are reasonable disagreements in this country about the way this war has been conducted, that has nothing to do with people believing we should cut and run from the terrorists, or we should show weakness in the face of terrorism, or that we believe that we have in some way brought this upon ourselves.
. .
Hitch: [Sputter]

Stewart: They believe that this war is being conducted without transparency, without credibility, and without competence.
..
Hitch: I'm sorry, sunshine... I just watched you ridicule the president for saying he wouldn't give.
. .
Stewart: No, you misunderstood why. . . . That's not why I ridiculed the president. He refuses to answer questions from adults as though we were adults and falls back upon platitudes and phrases and talking points that does a disservice to the goals that he himself shares with the very people needs to convince.

Hitch: You want me to believe you're really secretly on the side of the Bush administration. . .

Stewart: I secretly need to believe he's on my side. He's too important and powerful a man not to be.

Hitch: [Sputter]


If in the highly unlikely event that someone reads this and that someone happens to know Jon Stewart well enough to do so, please hug the man for me. Do so weeping tears of gratitude and thank him vociferously from me. (And thanks to Wonkette for hipping me to it.) And if the FCC tries any funny stuff with him, I’m coming out of the booth!

Aside: In the earlier speech where Bush likens Iraq to World War II, Bush also criticized President Clinton for not being tougher on fighting terrorism. That is a big load of hooey. From reading Richard Clark’s Against All Enemies, I remember Clark mentioning at least once that Clinton was very much for the use of force in retaliation for various terrorist attacks. He was met with opposition from the military establishment not wishing to put their troops in harms way for fear of further entanglement. Also, he was advised against it by political aids for fear of criticism from the Republican majority that was dogging him continually anyway. So again, a weak leader is one who tries to pass the blame on. The buck should stop with you, Mr. President. Way to lower the bar yet again and bring further disgrace to the office.

For red staters who still think Bush is on their side, they got a hefty strike against that notion the other day. Poverty is up to 12.7%! This is the fourth consecutive year for the statistic’s rise. The only racial demographic that was inverse were the Asians. A Republican President that is good for business? Maybe not. A Republican President that is good for impoverished Asians? Maybe.

One other little ray of light amidst all this darkness is that Ann Coulter got the boot from the Arizona Daily Star. Here is a media publication that just raised the bar! Now if all the other papers that carry her column would just follow suit.

A quick shout out to the DCeiver for getting the nod from Wonkett on a slick little playlet. Kudos.

I think Cintra Wilson is cool.

As are these images, though not for the faint of stomach.

And, I find this amusing, but it suffers from the same lack of class as the subjects it chooses to berate. Sort of. (Thanks to Tom for hipping me to it.)

And what kind of careless blogger would I be if I didn’t mention Katrina? Talk about FUBAR! The Big Easy is not even the Big Soggy. Its more like the new Atlantis. Need I mention that all of this would be still as catastrophic but slightly more in hand if we had some more National Guard troops to lend a hand? I heard somewhere that Governor Nagin made a comment to the effect that if we weren’t so committed in Iraq, we would have more help with this colossal tragedy. If anyone has a link, please hook me up!

Wait… I see it now! Our misunderstood President has the gift of foresight. One of the things our gulf coast areas need most now is sand! And our National Guardsmen and women happen to have superb access to that raw material. Genius! New Orleans is saved! (And no, that wasn’t me that came up with that. Chalk it up to my prior source.)

Now, I promise this is the last bit. I just read this on CNN: “Gov. Haley Barbour compared the devastation to a nuclear blast Tuesday after touring the coast. "I can only imagine that this is what Hiroshima looked like 60 years ago," he said.” [TPM] I’m sorry, but NO! I don’t mean to belittle the enormity of this tragic event, but without knowing a great deal about the dynamics of a nuclear blast, I can safely guess that flooding is nowhere near as close or accurate as a description. Maybe it could analogize the economic toll. So, here again, we see that is all about the money. Can you guess what party Barbour is?

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