Friday, October 20, 2006

Pandora's steamer trunk.

You want to know what happens when you rush headlong into a conflict with no real plan, no exit strategy, sneering disdain for your military leaders and a complete and utter disregard for world history (despite "majoring" in history at Yale)?


WASHINGTON, Oct. 19 — The acknowledgment by the United States Army spokesman in Iraq that the latest plan to secure Baghdad has faltered leaves President Bush with some of the ugliest choices he has yet faced in the war.

He can once again order a rearrangement of American forces inside the country, as he did in August, when American commanders declared that newly trained Iraqi forces would “clear and hold” neighborhoods with backup support from redeployed American forces. That strategy collapsed within a month, frequently forcing the Americans to take the lead, making them prime targets.

There is no assurance, though, that another redeployment of those forces will reduce the casualty rate, which has been unusually high in recent weeks, senior military and administration officials say. The toll comes just before midterm elections, in which even many of his own party have given up arguing that progress is being made or that the killing will soon slow.

Or Mr. Bush can reassess the strategy itself, perhaps listening to those advisers — including some members of the bipartisan Iraq Study Group, the advisory commission charged with coming up with new strategies for Iraq — who say that he needs to redefine the “victory” that he again on Thursday declared was his goal.

One official providing advice to the president noted on Thursday that while Mr. Bush still insists his goal is an Iraq that “can govern itself, sustain itself and defend itself,” he has already dropped most references to creating a flourishing democracy in the heart of the Middle East.

I hope every person who cast a vote for the ego-, megalo- and monomanical George W. Bush and his cadre of criminal enablers will finally pull the wool away from their eyes and see what their votes have wrought. (And no, I'm not even talking about the votes that were falsified.) I mean the hard-core, SUV-bumper stickered, purple heart band-aid wearing, fear-loving lemmings who bought Bush's "by golly, I'm gonna protect you against scary brown people" crap, the ones who think that living armed to the teeth in their safe little gated communities somehow makes them victims, the ones who think that every American Muslim is harboring Osama bin Laden in his or her garage. The ones terrified of "The Other."

I'm talking about the mealy-mouthed national representatives in Washington, D.C. who are more concerned about maintaining their hold on power and access than doing what is right for the country they allegedly serve. The ones who bemoan their status as the minority party yet who refuse to connect the dots between their powerlessness and their obscenely timid voting records. The arrogant, imperious majority who can't see past its own interests (even if those interests are underage and/or illegal) and that acts as a rubber stamp for the President's wildly irresponsible, ill-conceived ideological platform.

I'm talking about the people in the media who are more interested in getting invited to the fancy dinners with the cocktail weenies and umbrella drinks than in asking the hard questions. The ones who laugh at Bush's inappropriate jokes at the White House press conferences because to refuse to laugh would mean that they get dropped from the mailing list for the White House press releases and gossip that pass for information gathering. I'm pointing at the publishers who are too afraid of printing the truth because they might lose advertising revenue and anger their shareholders. You, the reporters who collect your paychecks for performing secretarial duties. You, the Beltway pundits who dismissed with a scornful wave of the hand the warnings of those against the war as "hysterical, terrorist-appeasing Cassandras." May you be haunted by the ghosts of John Peter Zenger, Thomas Paine, and Edward R. Murrow forever.

And I'm talking about the people who have worked for this Administration over the past five plus years, who have witnessed the crimes and kept silent lest speaking out deny them a chance at a lucrative lobbying job or a career on the talk circuit, or who speak out only when the poll numbers say that it's safe to do so. You took an oath to serve this country, not the willfully ignorant "decidering" of a man who has never led a charge to success in his entire life, a man whose only loyalty is to himself. You are not patriots; you are cowards.

Congratulations. All of you have blindly supported the war of a man with a lethal God complex, who, with his war of revenge and greed, has created a far more dangerous world than was ever before thought possible. A man who has sent your sons and daughters into a unwinnable, ongoing battle, who has burdened your children and grandchildren with a debt they will never be able to repay. And if your children speak out against the government, this President who has just eviscerated the Constitution sees nothing wrong with labelling them as enemy combatants and hustling them off to some darkened cell where they may waste away without access to judge, jury or even an attorney.

The man you recklessly put your trust in has done more to destroy this country than any homosexual marriage, any illegal immigrant, any liberal-thinking coast dweller you rail against could. And will your born-again savior ever admit that his excellent Iraqi adventure was an exemplar of abject failure? No. In order to deflect responsibility, he will twist and contort himself into positions that would make the Cirque du Soleil blush. He will blame everyone BUT himself, because to accept the blame requires humility. And that lack of humility, that hubris, is what got us into this bloody mess to start with. No, your President, the guy you think you'd like to have a beer with, will go to his grave believing that his cause is just because it is of his making, that the truly treasonous words whispered in his ear by the likes of Alberto Gonzales and David Addington and John Yoo are the truth, and that he deserves adoration, not reprobation.

Some day, historians will look back and they will not be kind to you. Nor should they be. You have so much to be ashamed of.

More of the New York Times article here.