Friday, February 16, 2007

Everyone Loves A Winner--UPDATE

UPDATE: Jeff Goldstein in 160 words explains the utter absurdity of the Non-Binding Resolution:

In the wake of the House passing a non-binding resolution that takes us one step further toward officially sanctioning a name change for Iraq (many Democratic lawmakers and a handful of Republicans prefer to call it “Vietnam"), Bushco stooge Bill Ardolino propagandizes for the American Imperialist War Machine in what I can only assume is a last ditch effort to save a failed campaign that has (once we get done legislating it into a “teachable moment,” wherein US “idealists” are scolded for their cowboy presumptuousness) set the stage for the kind of distant, brown on brown violence that—in the halcyon days of the Hussein regime—was at least something that we didn’t have to keep hearing about, and so wasn’t distracting us from our real legislative concerns, which include making the earth safe for its own climate, and making the US more appealing to progressives by bringing back the Fairness Doctrine, a kind of “proportional representation” measure for “finessing” the growing problem of free markets and free speech.
His eloquence, as per usual, brings out personality-disordered trolls (are there any other kind?). One commenter suggests that President Bush and VP Cheney should resign. How's that for really, really smart, proactive ideas on how to win a war? That's right. I forgot. The goal isn't to win. It's to feel good about losing. Losing IS winning. Yes. Yes. I remember now. That kinda was the point of my post, after all.


In anticipation of possible failure, a 50-50 shot, maybe worse considering Iraq's history, craven politicians hedge their bets by undercutting the troops and hoping to induce a "slow bleed." Some Republicans, attempting to distance themselves from previous decisions and fearful about losing even more power, and maybe trying to curry favor from their new masters, joined the Democrats.

What do Americans think about this symbolic gesture? Do Leftists find it satisfying when they want the Iraq war done to put them out of their misery? Do the Right-Wingers find it satisfying when they wanted a more robust approach to begin with? And what does Moderate America think?

War against a tyrant after being smashed by other tyrants is not a tough sell. People want retribution and with the horrific images and painful emotions still fresh, they don't want to see and feel that way ever again. They rally behind their leader, and for a brief moment, contemplate the noble mission of destroying an enemy. Being on offense feels good after a sneak attack.

War is hell, though. That becomes apparent soon enough. People die. Mistakes happen. Strategies are inadequate. "The best laid plans...." Yes, well. Some people didn't want to go to Iraq to begin with, but they didn't want to look like sniveling weenies, either. So they went with the political flow until the body counts made nice round numbers: 1000! 2000! 3000! Expedience ruled the day.

Expedience rules the day, today. Those who never wanted to end this threat or prevent another attack ("these things happen") started to point fingers. It was much easier than having a grown-up alternative. It makes political sense to exploit unease than to reassure and support--especially when personal power is at stake. And let's be clear, here, not one part of this non-binding resolution has a whit to do with finding a way to effectively deal with terrorism. It has everything to do with winning elections.

Everyone loves a winner. As losing in Iraq gains momentum as a "rational", "viable", "common sense" alternative to winning, losing in Iraq sounds like a winning proposition. No one wants to be the stupid one in the room, the last one to the party, and people with vague political affiliations to begin with, who vote less on principle and more on conventional wisdom wait to see which idea is winning and jump on it. Doesn't matter that the winning opinion at this moment in time means losing a very important war.

More: Reckless and Feckless

A disconsolate voice.

Wake-up America says:
Lets look at the headlines together here:
"Civilian deaths in Iraq drop overnight"
"Dems vow to change direction of Iraq war"

Well YEAHHHHHH, I guess if the this new strategy is working, the Dems have to move quickly to stop that!!!!!!!!

Success is bad right? No? Well,the Dems seem to think it is.

Meanwhile, our military actually has binding work to do--taking territory, securing towns, killing bad guys. And, finally, they are doing it. I say finally, because I would have been a happier war watcher had we aggressively pursued this kind of strategy before.