Bush: Well, Iraq could be worse

Every day in every way, Iraq is getting grimmer and grimmer and grimmer. Gone are the upbeat appraisals and the assurances that we are making steady progress. Now, the most Bush can now say is, “If you think it’s bad now, imagine what Iraq would look like if the United States leaves before this government can defend itself.” This perceptive article notes the change in language and tone that signal a marked change in the way BushCo is framing our misadventure in Iraq.

Of all the words that President Bush used at his news conference this week to defend his policies in Iraq, the one that did not pass his lips was “progress.”

For three years, the president tried to reassure Americans that more progress was being made in Iraq than they realized. But with Iraq either in civil war or on the brink of it, Bush dropped the unseen-progress argument in favor of the contention that things could be even worse.

The shifting rhetoric reflected a broader pessimism that has reached into even some of the most optimistic corners of the administration — a sense that the Iraq venture has taken a dark turn and will not be resolved anytime soon. Bush advisers once believed that if they met certain benchmarks, such as building a constitutional democracy and training a new Iraqi army, the war would be won. Now they believe they have more or less met those goals, yet the war rages on.

And then the article gets really depressing. Our mission is no longer to create a beacon of democracy or to save us from non-existent WMDs – it’s to keep Iraq from descending into an out-and-out bloodbath. If we can just do that, maybe we can exit with at least a bit of face. That’s the most our “victory” will consist of.

How our goals have shifted, and how painful a disappointment this war is on every conceivable level. We will be lamenting it for generations, always referring to it with some confusion, some shame, some bewilderment, uncertain as to why we were ever there, and why we remained so long after it was clear we could not win. Kind of like that other war…

The Discussion: 3 Comments

Richard – We are now in the time period called “A Decent Interval.” This term was first coined by Sai Gon CIA Chief Frank Snepp, and it describes the time period from which we actually lost the war, to the time when we actually leave. It is the “face saving” time.
In Viet Nam, we lost the war in the 1968 Mau Than Tet attacks. That demonstrated to the Viets that we could not protect them. In Iraq, we lost in the April 2004 Fallujah attack. That demonstrated to the Iraqis that we were the problem, not the solution.
It took us 7 years to leave Viet Nam – we should be out of Iraq in 2011.
Snepp infor here:

August 24, 2006 @ 5:17 am | Comment

Sen. bob, do you think we’re ever getting out? Those four super-bases under construction look awfully permanent.

August 24, 2006 @ 10:31 am | Comment

Lisa – Yes. The US will leave Iraq. One way or another. Here’s a quiz for you, OK? How long will it take for the US to abandon the Baghdad Green Zone AFTER a dirty bomb explodes making the whole place radioactive?
a) 10 days
b) 10 hours
c) 10 minutes

Because you know they can read history too? Right? And, yes, they did translate ” Black Rain” from the Japanese into Arabic. Maybe they saw the film by Shohei?

August 24, 2006 @ 12:46 pm | Comment

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