Thursday, April 26, 2007

Sick and tired

Well, I'm either getting better, or they will be removing my body from the airplane tomorrow. What appears to be a chest cold, has now seemed to have migrated to my head. I stayed in last night, except for a brief foray for dinner. My ailment does seem to retreat for a while in the presence of alcohol, so maybe a short stint of medicinal beer is order.

Meetings over, its time to go home. And none to soon. Being here watching the political debate has been disheartening to say the least. On Iraq, it appears that neither side has a grasp of the whole situation or the mood of the country. And all the effort to pass a spending bill that is not going to go anywhere, seems quite wasted if you ask me. As I blogged a couple of times before, the idea of being opposed to the current fracas in Iraq is a good one, but just like the execution of the war, the Democrats have horribly misplayed their hand.

Lets start with Harry Reid. David Broder had a column out today that said:

Here's a Washington political riddle where you fill in
the blanks: As Alberto Gonzales is to the Republicans, Blank Blank is to the Democrats -- a continuing embarrassment thanks to his amateurish performance.

If you answered " Harry Reid," give yourself an A. And join the long list of senators of both parties who are ready for these two springtime exhibitions of ineptitude to end.

Harry Reid became a lighting rod for criticism by his non-careful use of language. Furthermore, someone is going have to tell me why picking a frontal assault here was the wisest thing to do. Why not take on the process which is flawed and demand that the President stop trying to hide the real cost of the war through the use of suppl mental appropriations. The timelines have no meaning because the Congress cannot sustain a veto override-so pick the fights you can win. Taking the approach I advocate would not have left the Democrats open to the charges of being surrender monkeys.

On the other hand though, it is frustrating to watch the pro-war rhetoric. Joe Lieberman posted the party line today in the Washington Post. He trots out the same tired old line.

Last week a series of coordinated suicide bombings killed more than 170
people. The victims were not soldiers or government officials but civilians --
innocent men, women and children indiscriminately murdered on their way home
from work and school.

If such an atrocity had been perpetrated in the United States, Europe or Israel,
our response would surely have been anger at the fanatics responsible and resolve not to surrender to their barbarism. Unfortunately, because this slaughter took place in Baghdad, the carnage was seized upon as the latest talking point by advocates of withdrawal here in Washington. Rather than condemning the attacks and the terrorists who committed them, critics trumpeted them as proof that Gen. David Petraeus's security strategy has failed and that the war is lost.

Sorry Joe, it's you that misses it. Because it happened in Baghdad is exactly the point. In the other locations these types of things are not supposed to happen. In Iraq it is a daily occurrence. What is the difference? Europe , Israel and the US are not governed by Arabs who can't or won't get their collective s**t together and refute a useless and apostate religion. That is the problem, neither you nor General Petraeus can show when this nonsense ends. It just goes on and on forever. The violence is a self sustaining reaction-no matter how much we "surge", because we failed to make the right choices at the right time. The problem is that we are already down the road, not at the Y choosing which direction to go.

Furthermore its amazing to see that yet again, the President gets a free pass on the overall mismanagement of the enterprise, or for that matter the choice to engage in an optional war at the particular time he chose to engage in it. Lieberman and crowd says that we have a moral duty to stay in Iraq forever, not matter how much the Iraqis screw things up.

George Will offers the answer to that line of thinking:

When McCain, an inveterate moralist, implies that America had a duty to "prevent" genocide in Rwanda, he ignores a principle of moral reasoning, one particularly pertinent to U.S. "nation-building" in Iraq. The principle is: There can be no duty to do what cannot be

Speaking to the media after his VMI speech, McCain said, "I've always believed those words about 'all of us being created equal and endowed by our creator with certain unalienable rights' didn't say only people who live in certain parts of the world who come from certain cultures." So, neoconservatives have their candidate.

Other Americans, however, may recoil from someone who does not distinguish between a sound philosophic judgment and an alarming policy. The judgment is that all human beings have a natural right to live under a regime respectful of personal autonomy and political self-government. Such a
regime is a natural right because it would be best for the fulfillment of human nature. The alarming policy flows from the assumption that all peoples and polities are somehow spontaneously—meaning without long acculturation in the necessary habits and mores—prepared to flourish under such a regime. That generous but preposterous assumption is a recipe for many Iraqs.

If you want to turn the corner and negate the opposition to the war, you have to show some way out the tunnel. Otherwise, I submit that most Americans are like me, they don't understand how expending this amount of blood and treasure is benefiting Americans. Who should matter more to a US President than a group of Arabs. Problem is just the opposite seems to be true, these Arabs have been given an importance that is out of proportion with where they really fit in the food chain. And if they are so important, why is not the US pressuring or negotiating with other Arabs to get involved and fix what is essentially and Arab problem.

Answer that question and you would have an easy time getting rid of Harry Reid. Till then, a poor mouthpiece he maybe, but he voices an opinion shared by over 50% of Americans. They don't want war without end. The President promises nothing but.

No wonder its time to go back across the dateline.


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