Thursday, November 17, 2005

Sudden Realization

The yelling is getting louder and more vitriolic, as the Administration tries to discredit opposition to the war by calling names. How many times is Dick Cheney, the ultimate draft-evader, going to get away with slandering veterans who served with honor? The Bush team, from Cheney on down, have shamelessly questioned the patriotism and character of veterans who opposed them, from John McCain to Max Cleland to John Kerry, and now Congressman John Murtha (story here). When will patriotic Americans call them on it?

Another, more important realization struck home while listening to replays of Murtha's speech today. He spoke of a mission that was no longer achievable. I suddenly realized that he's wrong! The Administration's original mission is quite achievable; it just doesn't happen to be the mission they sold us, and it is not a mission to which they will ever admit. That mission is not democracy for Iraq; it wasn't even overthrowing Saddam, or saving us from WMD. It may not even have been about oil. It was about establishing a permanent U.S. military presence in the Middle East.

Bush admitted as much, a half-year ago, when he commented that we might be there indefinitely. Seen in this light, his team's behavior suddenly becomes very rational. They must do everything in their power to get us not to "cut and run",to "stay the course", no matter how hopeless the situation looks. They must persuade us to accept the reality in Iraq--namely that the insurgency is getting worse; that the insurgents are targeting U.S. troops; that they recruit based on our presence there; that Iraq may be moving closer to civil war--as the cost of a noble endeavor. The administration sends its mouthpieces out periodically, to insist we are accomplishing good things, while in fact it is unlikely that they actually care.

In light of this, the Administration's true mission in Iraq is unacceptably perverse. The escalation in hate and death is not an unfortunate cost, but an actual requirement, of the Administration's strategy. The ongoing disaster may prevent the achievment of the "official" objectives, but it furnishes the pretext for keeping the troops there, and so it serves a purpose. The only way the worsening conditions impact the actual mission, is if we wake up and realize what that mission was all along. It makes the administration's recent accusations, that their critics are irresponsible and immoral, breathtakingly cynical.

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