Paul Krugman: Time to take a stand on General Petraeus

I stopped posting NYT columns a long time ago, but this one is too important not to be read by everyone. You can read the whole thing here. Sometimes I think Krugman is the only big-name pundit who totally gets it. But that’s why reading this column is ultimately so depressing; it seems no one is listening, and the Dems are poised again to do precisely what most voters don’t want them to do, i.e. “compromise” with the Republicans instead of insisting that we face reality and make immediate plans for getting our troops out in a way that will minimize the misery for the Iraqis and for us. We cannot stay forever. When it comes to ending a mistake this calamitous, there’s no time like the present. But no; we now have to suffer more BS about how we’ve broken the back of the insurgency and we’re winning. Declaration of sovereignty…purple fingers…a new constitution…more purple fingers…a failed “surge”…and now the latest phony milestone, the Betray-us report. Iraq, a black hole that will haunt us for generations to come.

The Discussion: 7 Comments

Or there’s this. So what is the point in having elections when they make no difference at all?

September 8, 2007 @ 5:24 am | Comment

I don’t think it matters what the Democrats do. The Bush Administration has no respect for the rule of law or the separation of powers. They will just keep doing what they are doing, stall, and dump the whole stinking, tragic mess in the lap of the next administration.

September 8, 2007 @ 3:49 pm | Comment

If it doesn’t matter what the Dems do then I wish they would all be smart and stop tripping over themselves to show they “support the troops” – a scary code for “support Bush’s insanities.” Why can’t the adopt a simple, powerful message (the way Karl Rove always does) and repeat it again and again: “Enough. Maybe some of us were for this war before we were against it, but that is part of being an adult, to acknowledge your mistakes, correct them and move on. No, we do not want an instant full withdrawal. But we do want an immediate timeline for withdrawal and troop reductions should start at once. No more throwing yet more lives and dollars into Iraq for an undefinable and probably unattainable goal.” Etc. Instead, they all ran to approve Commander Codpiece’s request for another $100 billion to fund the mess in Iraq. When you think of where America could be today had we not wasted all those hundreds of billions of dollars and thousands of lives… It hurts.

September 8, 2007 @ 4:00 pm | Comment

I agree, Richard.

It’s tricky because so many people are still so susceptible to the use of fear to engage their lizard brains – there was actually a really great article in the New Republic about this (I generally don’t like the New Republic), the brain chemistry of politics and how the Bush administration has literally used the fear of death to their advantage. They’ve also been very smart about springing things at the last minute and painting their opponents into a corner. There is still a huge block of voters that will vote based on who they think can handle national security issues better – a lot of the independents who are now swinging Democratic – I don’t think it’s the easiest political line to walk.

That said, yeah, it sucks.

But I gather that we are really going to see a lot of pitched battles after this Congressional recess. This is when a lot of the appropriations bills will be used to make political points. The investigations run by Leahy and others will continue. The wheel of karma may grind slowly, but it grinds exceedingly fine.

That’s the optimist in me. The pessimist worries that it’s too late to steer the Titanic away from the iceberg. And just as I’m always saying that a failed China is a tragedy for the world, a failed America would be as well.

God this war. In any kind of just reality, its perpetrators and profiteers would be stripped of their weath, disgraced and jailed.

September 8, 2007 @ 4:52 pm | Comment

Whatever happens in Iraq you will not be looking at a “failed” America. America is a fluid country. America cannot be ruined or driven to failure.

September 8, 2007 @ 10:32 pm | Comment

Famous last words, Ames. “The Titanic – the ship that God himself couldn’t sink.”

September 9, 2007 @ 1:06 am | Comment

I can smell Rome burning

September 14, 2007 @ 9:46 am | Comment

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