Friday, May 25, 2007

ONE TRAITOR'S VIEW. We seem to be in the middle of another rightwing rev-up of the notion that the Iraq occupation is going great and anyone who says different just wants America to fail. (I could just link to the Ole Perfesser's entire site here, but history demands that I be more specific.)

Having followed with a jaundiced eye this whole Iraq adventure from the outset, and remembering when the statues were toppled and the flowers were strewn and "Democracy! Whiskey! Sexy!" was proclaimed the New Coke of Iraq -- only to be swiftly supplanted by the classic formula, "Aiieeeeee! My leg/arm/torso!" -- I have to say that shifts in trends, real or merely reported, do not mean that much to me.

The problem remains what it was: we dug ourselves a very deep hole in Iraq, with no idea as to how it might be filled. If Iraq were sufficiently pacified that John McCain could walk through the Green Zone without body armor and a couple of Apache gunships at the ready, this reality would persist. We took command of a gigantic slice of earth and millions of people, and after five years the net effect (besides thousands killed, with Saddam and his miserable allies only a fraction of them) has been a spectacular loss of popular support and continued, if not exacerbated, turmoil in the region.

When war enthusiasts resort to claiming that the U.S. Armed Forces have been too "PC" in enforcing order in Iraq, you know that, despite the current boomlet in propaganda (might we call it black-optimism?), a pooch has clearly been screwed. The current surge may vitiate the effects, but it will not unscrew the pooch. Over time we may forget -- as many have already forgotten, perhaps willfully, and are endeavoring to make the rest of us forget as well -- that things might have been differently and better handled. One might argue that it doesn't matter -- the horrifying reality is what's left for all of us to deal with. But I would rather that we did remember, so that we might know better than to make mistakes like this again. Imputing treason to those who knew better is not the way to go.

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