World's Most Intelligent Blog Post (Not Mine)
So much so it instead was on national television.
It's hard to wrap your mind around the fact that all of the architects of this war, who misled the public into believing that Iraq constituted an imminent threat, suffered no consequences for their dissembling and dishonor to the Republic. And still to this day, as the President asks for another one hundred billion dollars to be thrown down the black hole of Iraq, practically nobody has experienced the sting of being held accountable for this monstrous, catastrophic action. Mr. Bush is trying to play a shell game by hitting the reset button and returning us to pre-surge levels by summer 2008, making it seem like the withdrawal has begun just in time for the 2008 elections. He's also trying to hide behind his general, who can't even answer if the fight in Iraq is making America safer.
General Petraeus has a very limited area of concern -- the US military in Iraq -- and his testimony today reflected that.
When one looks at the grander scale, past just the military in Iraq, the picture is dismal, and becoming a critical danger. From the Government Accountability Office report to Congressional Research Service report to the report by General Jones, it is clear that there has been no political reconciliation overall in Iraq or increased security, despite our military's strongest efforts.
From Admiral Fallon to Admiral Mullen, those above General Petraeus in the chain of command are telling the president that this war is hurting our military and our global security. The president has chosen to ignore all of this, in favor of a report based on a false premise with faulty findings, signed by a General with a very limited scope of concern. Call it denial, or call it stubbornness, or whatever you want; it all boils down to the same thing -- this president still refuses to listen to those he needs to listen to, in favor of those who tell him what he wants to hear.
Unwittingly, General Petraeus just confirmed all of that in the exchange above, today.
And so all Mr. Bush has left is to scare people about the consequences of failure, when those consequences have already been met, and it is not at all clear they would ever rage beyond Iraq's national borders. And nobody responsible in this government for that failure has faced the full consequences of their own poor judgment and deliberate lies. Because it's more acceptable to the Wise Old Men of Washington to frighten people than to damage their own credibility.
What, in short, if things turn out to be basically okay for America and for Americans? Well, that'd be good, it seems to me. But it would also call into question a lot of habits of mind, past policies, spending commitments, career paths, sacred cows, delusions of grandeur, etc. That, I think, is why relatively few people in Washington seem interested in entertaining optimistic scenarios about the regional context even though an optimistic scenario seems more likely to me than do frequently discussed worst-case scenarios. The truth of the matter, though, is that there hasn't been a moment when the United States didn't try to micromanage events in the Gulf since, well, since the British Empire was doing it instead. There isn't, however, much in the way of evidence that this kind of policy is actually necessary. It does, however, seem to have succeeded in producing one of the most politically screwed up places on the planet.
There have been inescapable consequences for two men today. Two of the seven NCOs who wrote a laudatory op-ed in the New York Times died in combat in Iraq. On the anniversary of 9/11, two honorable men who were exploited in its aftermath and sent to a foreign land unnecessarily died. Their judgment and bravery and hope will not be rewarded with a cushy think tank job or a government post or even a spot in the White House. They'll come home to a funeral. The architects of this failure should hang their heads low in shame today, acknowledging that they're grinding up sons and daughters to prove their own toughness to themselves. It's the most hollow rationale for war perhaps in human history.