Another Memorial Day has come and gone. Looking at all the white marble monuments marching orderly over the graveyard hills it makes me remember it’s been a monumental half decade or so of wasted effort in Iraq with enough new monuments accumulated to build a monolith. Enough blood spilled to float a battleship. Enough money burnt to have powered up all kinds of alternative energy plants so we wouldn’t even need to crudely steal the crude oil buried under that desert.
If memory serves, it’s been a time span stretching longer than either of our other World Wars. And, those were wars where we conquered vastly greater forces than the handful of terrorists taunting us do today, forces who back then indulged in even greater evils than suicide bombers, beheadings and IEDs. Unfortunately, the Middle Eastern wars soaking up all our efforts these days threatens to be infinitely longer than our longest bellicosity to date, the Vietnam fiasco. Worse, it is continually getting worse rather than better. And, every determination of whether and how to disengage appears to be dictated by a delusional dimwit whose track record has been one of ruination of almost every job undertaken his entire life, someone who even got his jobs and positions in the first place only out of favoritism, family fortune or fanaticism. So, maybe it’s finally the moment in time to figure out who lost Iraq.
Yeah, I know. We haven’t had the desperate heli escape from the embassy rooftop just yet, but Iraq is lost. Really, the only thing other than the final body count and treasury scraping is to assign blame.
Who deserves the blame for the colossal disaster that is breaking our military, bankrupting our treasury, losing our friends, lost our honor, killed our children, mortgaged our future, and made us a nation of habitual hypocrites? Or, possibly even more degrading and pitiful - a laughing stock, a gaggle of buffoons lead by a clown. Who gets the well earned loser label for the next 50 years or so as to why we will ultimately be kicked ignobly out of Iraq, not matter what we call it to disguise the defeat?
Hmmm. Let’s see. It was Bush who picked this fight, in fact already sought it well before the excuse arrived. It was Bush who ignored evidence an invasion of Iraq was not needed and then lied to us about what he was going to do and why. It was Bush who abandoned as “quaint” all the time tested, non-lethal, inexpensive options to accomplish the alleged goals. It was Bush who insisted we could do it on the cheap and that the Iraqi’s would strew our path with flowers. It was Bush who got absolutely everything he wanted to play with. Troops, weapons of mass destruction, literally pallets of cash were all his for the asking. He even got, although he did not openly ask for it, a secret trashing of the Constitution, the Geneva Conventions, and the New Testament, not to mention just about every useful history, social studies, psychology, games theory and statistics book ever written. It was Bush who fired all the guys who guessed right about what would happen and promoted all those who got it horribly hopelessly wrong. It was Bush festooning his disciples with so-called “Metals of Freedom” for crushing freedom. It was Bush who continues to close his ears (and what passes for his cognitive mind) to the advice of those who have proved far wiser and more experienced than anyone around him on the subject of the Middle East factionalism.
It was Bush who chose to ignore the one successful military tactic his pappy proved could work in the Middle East given our small army of high tech toys; i.e. build a genuine coalition, smash the enemy hard, then promptly leave after announcing “We’ll be back if you ever scare us again.” That actually accomplished what was needed. (Yes Georgie, Saddam did have a nuclear weapon program; however, between the Israelis and your dad, it was smashed long before 9/11.) If we had done that (i.e. quick thrashing and exit), we not have exposed our vulnerabilities. There would not have been time to play on our divisions. They might still be scared of us if we did.
Even without the coalition, we could have destroyed Saddam’s offensive capability and not totally destabilized the region for our few friends if we just got out quickly. We could actually have done it on the cheap with few men; provided, we got skipped the “nation building” you yourself claimed wouldn’t work. Flipflopper. Granted, we would still have been an aggressor nation to launch a pre-emptive strike, the kind we used to say we despised when others did it. The killing of innocent men and women without a real cause has a cost, but it could have worked for the limited purpose originally claimed of insuring no nukes. Laughable though it may sound today, we might have been applauding Bush as a genius if he had simply followed his father’s play book. Think about it. That route could have avoided almost all the disasters that have followed from Bush Junior’s attempt at a “Penny Ante Putsch.” Bush would still be an embarrassing, merit less hack. Nevertheless, at least he would not be going down in history as the worst President - EVER.
So, since it was the Great “Decider,” Bush the Second, from day one choosing absolutely everything as to why, when, what, where, who and how and who continues to make all the wrong decisions on strategy and tactics. Since it remains Bush, Bush, Bush, gleefully smirking, taking vacations, and announcing Mission Accomplished despite every evidence to the contrary that his course was and is folly. And, since the only surge is in flag draped body bags, WHO LOST IRAQ?
Why, the Congressional Democrats of course. Them and, their dithering diarists, the Main Stream Media.
What? You thought I would say Bush? That would be like picking on a flounder for being flat. Yes, of course he did all those things alluded to. Maybe we should convert the Chief Crazy Horse Mountain carving into a Chief Crazy Bush sculpture. We need something that large to depict the monstrous scale of his frat boy follies. At the same time, there was a force in existence that could have, should have, stopped that infantile infection on the body politic. A force that was educated, trained and put into place for the primary reason of distinguishing fact from fiction and doing something about it. Unfortunately, the Congressional Politicians and the Press seem to be too gullible, too clueless, too lazy, too gutless and/or too ineffective to discover, prevent or halt the child hiding in the Oval Office from wreaking his malicious malodorous mischief. For that reason, as the adults on the scene, to their everlasting shame, it is the Congressmen and the Press who lost Iraq.
There is still a chance to redeem themselves. Not “win” Iraq. Not restore our soldier’s lives or our lost trillions. None of those are possible any more. That may have been possible at one time, but it cannot be done now, not at any price a sane person would be willing to pay.
Hint: the Democrats currently in charge and any political pundits with credibility left might try reading the Constitution. Humbled and marginalized though it has become, there is still some pretty good reading there. Try Article II, Section 4 for starters. In other words, between now and 2008, the Congressional Democrats should finally act like the adults they are supposed to be and take away Bush’s dangerous toy, the Presidency. You can take out his attack dog and consigliere simultaneously if they scare you, but take them out you must.
If it does not happen by then, we ought find some competent replacements who can do the job.