Thursday, August 31, 2006

2¢ On Confusion To Lose

It is clear that the President and Republicans plan to win elections riding a horse named Confusion.

According to a story on NPR, President Bush said,

"We should all agree that the battle for Iraq is now central to the ideological struggle of the 21st century."

I don't know why we should all agree, but he goes on to say,

"We will not allow the terrorists to dictate the future of this century, so we will defeat them in Iraq."

I don't believe the President is stupid, so unless the Generals are lying to Congress, the President knows as well as we do that the fighting in Iraq is primarily an insurgency and a civil/sectarian war. So why is he misrepresenting what is going on in Iraq and insisting we are fighting terrorists there? Political expediency. Republicans still believe voters consider them better at protecting the country from terrorists, so every attempt is made to fool voters into believing that the war in Iraq is the central front in the war on terror.

Republicans have often suggested that Democrats don't want the US to succeed in Iraq because a failed Iraq can be blamed on the Republicans for political advantage, but it is becoming clear that the President sees political advantage in an Iraq in turmoil. If Iraq is a mess and he can conflate the war in Iraq and the war on terror, he stands to gain politically. We are in the third election cycle where Republicans have tried to convince voters that only they can be trusted to fight terrorism. If Iraq, the central front in the war on terror, were to become a peaceful, stable democracy, why would we need Republicans who have shown incompetence in so many other areas?

If the President honestly wants to bring the troops home soon and leave a stable Iraq, he would tell the truth. We made a mistake going into Iraq, but we've made a mess over there and we can't soon leave. While it was not a haven for terrorists, it could well become one if we leave a failed government there, so we now have both moral and selfish reasons for not abandoning Iraq. Of course, since the President has linked the Iraq with the war on terror, admitting problems in Iraq means admitting problems with his war on terror. Never gonna happen.

The President should also admit that our misadventure in Iraq have emboldened and empowered Iran. So before we leave we need to have a clear policy and plan for dealing with Iran. We are now fighting a war with Iran in Iraq. I don't know if that is a war we can ever win, but the President should start telling the truth, especially if he harbors any plans to take on Iran directly.

I thought the President was a man who believed in personal responsibility. A responsible action now would be to work to fix the mess in Iraq. A responsible action would be to admit mistakes. A responsible action would be to level with the American people and not try confuse voters in order to re-elect Republicans. I guess I got that wrong, he believes in personal responsibility - present company excluded.

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