A real moment of clarity: if basic infrastructure can be maintained (such as having electricity for longer than 4 hours a day); if security can be improved enough to not only stem the ongoing displacement of the educated classes (you know, the ones who can help maintain said basic infrastructure) but allow the return of the over 4 million refugees who have already been been forced to flee the chaos (fat chance); if the public starts to trust the authorities enough to reintegrate formerly mixed neighbourhoods and quit placing their loyalties behind sectarian militias (most of which have infiltrated various levels of government); maybe if we can somehow magically establish a viable, independent, secular-nationalist parliament that actually works, equally represents and unites said disparate sectarian interests; perhaps if we could invent a time machine and NOT de-Baathify the nation, which immediately created a still-swirling power vortex; then maybe-MAYBE-we can call this whole bloody endeavour a write off.
But a ‘win’? A ‘success’? With the blood of umpteen hundred thousand corpses staining our hands? Fuck you and the horse you rode in on (to say nothing of horseman #4). And fuck your crass, callous attempts at selective partisan point scoring. I don’t give a good god damn about ‘nutroots’ and ‘left wing media conspiracies’; I care about flesh and blood people who have had their lives uprooted, have died and continue to die because the ideological industrial complex decided to abuse its authority and misuse Iraq as a geopolitical petri dish.
So don’t try to tell me that half-assed PR stunts like the Kagan ‘surge’ or selective-but-ultimately-meaningless number crunching of coalition/civilian casualties (which always cycle seasonally – come back to me when Ramadan hits and then maybe IF numbers are still down there’ll be something to be cautiously optimistic about) designed purely for domestic consumption are meant to do anything more than allow for another Friedman Unit. If Bush was actually serious about doing what was best for Iraq and the surrounding region, he would have immediately adopted the (not at all perfect, but sure as hell better than any other alternative at such a late point in time) ISG recommendations, which could have maybe–maybe–stopped some of the bleeding. Instead, he went with the AEI’s preferred victory blueprint (and his ego).
So now Bush is merely buying time until Jan ‘09, when Iraq will be someone else’s problem, and both the MSM and the Democratic-controlled Congress are enabling it with the same old Kabuki performance they always do. Shit, Warner’s even furrowing his brow yet again. And I’m willing to bet an F.U.’s worth of wages that he’ll vote the party line, again, too.
The sheets have been soiled, blood and shit stains already well-set as soon as the bombs started shocking and aweing. 4 years later, you can illuminate the mess with a ray of hope, but that doesn’t clean it up. The bed will not be unshat, no matter how many pretty graphs are compiled and commissioned think tank op-eds are published.
Feel free to dismiss the preceding rant as defeat-o-crat moonbattery (free Mumia! Bu$hitler! etc). Doing so won’t make Iraq any less a failed state, nor will any other 26% solutions.
adapted from a comment left at Comments From Left Field