Saturday, December 09, 2006

A question of magnitude

Our insane right wing friends – the Rush Limbaughs, Richard Perles, John McCains, as well as the cowardly keyboarders are in extended two minute hate mode over the bipartisan Iraq Study Group's analysis of American policies in Iraq and its proposals to minimize the damage. Never mind that it is only bipartisan in the sense that it includes both Republicans and conservative Democrats who were stupid or cowardly enough to support the idiotic war when they had a chance to do something to stop it. Might as well just save words and call them morons, eh? And never mind that their proposals are equally insane, though certainly not as disasterous as Bush's "path to victory," which stripped of newspeak translates as " catastrophic downward spiral." What Iraqi army are they planning to train? There is no Iraqi army. Only factions.

In any case, our rightwing brethren, those who have been astoundingly wrong about everything, have a point. The ISG's report does not contain a plan for victory. If it is not, as they say, a plan to surrender, it is certainly a plan to retreat. If it is not an acknowledgment of defeat, it is an acknowledgement of inevitable defeat if we keep trying for victory.

The nutcase argument in favor of victory will resonate with a lot of Americans. After all, most people would agree that victory is good and that defeat is bad.

The problem, however, is not that we will be defeated when we withdraw from Iraq. The problem was that we were defeated when we invaded. All that's left to sort out is the magnitude of the defeat. And every day we stay, it just gets worse.

But the idea of not admitting defeat, of doing what's necessary to achieve victory could resonate beyond the right wing fringe. Everyone, even Bush, admits publicly that the present policies are not working, that changes will have to be made. I don't doubt that Bush is capable, if not likely, to advocate change by staying the course, but the only two logical alternatives are leaving or putting in more troops.

My guess is that we will put in more troops. Athough this is insane, it is the only thing that makes sense if one is still deluded enough to believe that there is any hope of victory. It is the "Lyndon Johnson" approach and will have a similar result. Many, many more dead and violent spillover into other countries before the inevitable denouement. And the inevitable denouement in this case is significantly worse than Lyndon Johnson's war. Dominos may not fall, but they will take a lot of damage.

Dr. Chuckling, however, has a can't fail plan for ultimate victory. It's called international rule of law and it's the only hope we have. Pretty much all educated people used to know this, but our right wing brethren and their joe sixpack and religious nutcase enablers were not among them. Unfortunately they gained power and fucked up everything for years to come, if not forever. But things can change. Blowback can happen and it doesn't just go from right to left.

But what to do in the short term? How to stop the troop increase that John McCain advocates? You'll see. Soon it won't just be McCain. It will be the entire right wing hate machine. Throwing more death at the problem is all that's left to them.

Dr. Chuckling has a short term plan as well. He recommends labeling the idea of increasing troops in Iraq as the "Lyndon Johnson strategy." Everyone with a platform should repeat it over and over again. The Lyndon Johnson strategy, the Lyndon Johnson strategy, the Lyndon Johnson strategy.... Didn't work then, won't work now.