Wednesday, June 13, 2007

They Broke It, And They Own It....For Now

Lacking the ability to affect Iraq policy significantly, Democrats seem satisfied now to watch Bush dig himself an even deeper hole for the next year and a half, after which they expect to reap the rewards in the presidential election -- and then end the occupation, of course. A representative post from Daily Kos:
Since we don't have the votes to end this nightmare, our ONLY option is to try to win in 2008 so we CAN end this nightmare. Our only hope, ONLY hope, is to take control in 2008.
I think this is both myopic and dangerously naive. It may be hard to believe now, but Bush's responsibility for Iraq is going to fade very quickly in the public's rearview mirror. The corollary to "all politics is local" is "all politics is now." By 1968 the Secret Service was reluctant to let Lyndon Johnson venture outside the White House, and parts of official Washington had become fortified encampments. Nixon campaigned on a "secret plan" to end the war, and Republicans saw the 1968 election as a referendum on Vietnam. One of those Republicans was a young Congressman from Illinois named Donald Rumsfeld, who said the following:
"I believe the following significant and timely editorial which appeared in today’s issue of the New York Times and which discusses our involvement in Vietnam merits wide attention. I concur in the conclusion expressed therein that the people of the United States must know not only how their country became involved but where we are heading."
In 1969, Rumsfeld joined the Nixon administration -- and Nixon soon replaced Johnson as the focal point for public rage as he presided over a disastrous phase of the war. Is anyone ready to argue that the public's memory has gotten better or its attention span longer over the past generation? All politics is now.

Whoever sits in the Oval Office on Inauguration Day 2009 is going to own Iraq just as Nixon owned Vietnam after 1968. To be sure, the extent of that ownership -- in both the public's mind and the history books -- will depend on what happens in Iraq after 2008. But those hoping for a dramatic change in policy may be disappointed. Occupations tend to be self-perpetuating. And remember, Nixon had huge anti-Communist credibility but still felt compelled to prove his toughness once in office. If Hillary wins, will she have any less to prove as a Democrat and a woman?

13 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

well said,.

I have expressed such sentiments to others...vis-à-vis the Hillary effect and her need to show history that a woman is as tough as a man--if not tougher.

imho, it may be ok to have a woman President preside when war breaks out; but will be quite dangerous to national interests to have a woman President who will be charged with ending an ongoing war.

6/13/2007 11:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If the Dems takeover and immediately end the war, then they'll avoid having it slung around their necks. If they take over and sit there for several years, then yes, it will be their war.

This is why the election needs to be explicitly fought over the issue of withdrawal, so when the Dems arrive at the Whitehouse they have a clear mandate to end the war.

Unfortunately, Hillary is temporizing on this already, which means (if she's the nominee) the election may not result in a clear-cut mandate to exit Iraq.

6/13/2007 12:39 PM  
Blogger Undeniable Liberal said...

Great points and well said. Meanwhile, our kids and brothers and sisters continue to get killed.
And Hillary, being the entrenched politician that she is, will probably follow her marching orders from AIPAC and attempt to show everybody that SHE has a big cock too.

6/13/2007 4:53 PM  
Blogger LFC said...

Don't you know that the failures in Iraq are the MSM's fault? Or the Dems fault? Or the fault of 2/3 of the country who say we should get out?

It's everybody's fault but the people actually in charge and the people who supported it throughout.

The only time the GOP practiced "the buck stops here" in the last decade was through Tom Delay's K-Street Project.

6/13/2007 7:08 PM  
Anonymous Thomas Daulton said...

Sorry, Anonymous at 12:39,

...but is there any doubt at all that the Democrats, assuming they "take over", will sit there for several years until the war gets hung around their necks too?

I kinda thought that the 2006 election was explicitly fought over the issue of withdrawal, and the Dems had a clear mandate to end the war. As usual, the Dems' excuse seems to be that their hands are completely tied until us ungrateful voters give them 99 Senate seats and 434 House seats all at once. Yeah, like I'm holding my breath for that to happen.

In fact, I seem to recall Dem activists telling us in 2002, that the Dem candidates "didn't really mean it" when the supported the war, we had to vote for them so that they could stop the war they were publicly pretending to support. Really, so many prominent Democrats voted for the war in the first place, that I'm not sure it would be at all unjust if history hung the war around their necks too.

TCR is, as usual, absolutely correct and very sharp in his observations. For the next 18 months, it's George Bush's war. For the next 200 years after that, as our grandchildren struggle to pay off the war debt in so many different areas (such as gutted social services and a crippled economy), it will be considered our war, yours and mine. Most of the younger people I know haven't the foggiest clue whether a Democrat or Republican started the Vietnam war. They simply blame and pity our grandparents for allowing it to happen.

6/13/2007 10:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wrong. Never in our history as a war been so inextricably and justifiably attached to one man (at least one man's administration). This will ALWAYS be W's war, period. You're kidding yourself if you think otherwise.

6/14/2007 2:54 AM  
Anonymous mary said...

Well, yes -- Senator Clinton is probably the most hawkish Dem out there, which isn't something she has tried very hard to hide. That's why I don't support her. But it's true that the Dems don't have the votes to end the war not -- you're not arguing with this, are you, CR? I think this has caused the Dems' congressional approval ratings to plunge, and that's a bit unfair, since it's mostly the Republicans who can't seem to stop toeing the White House line. But hey, that's life.

The issue of whether or not the war gets hung around the Dems' necks doesn't necessarily have anything to do with whether Clinton is president in 2008. For example, many conservatives have been angling to foist off responsibility onto the "liberal media" and the "defeatist Dems" for a while now, and, given a bit of time, they may well succeed. As for continued occupation of Iraq after the 2008 election, obviously this is a difficult issue, one that really needs to be openly debated. But I'm afraid that it won't be, given the media's obsession with the manliness of all Republican candidates and the inauthenticity of all the Dems.

6/14/2007 5:02 AM  
Anonymous Kevin Wohlmut said...

Interestingly, there's a slightly similar post at "Welcome to Pottersville":
http://welcome-to-pottersville.blogspot.com/2007/06/caveat-emptor.html

I posted a comment there, linking back here.

As I said there, I'm afraid I side with Thomas Daulton. I think our grandchildren will read in their history books that 70% of Americans falsely believed Iraq was responsible for 9/11, but then the history books will utterly fail to give our grandchildren any idea of why George Bush was ever considered strong, moral or charismatic (it's almost impossible to convey those ideas even today). Net result: we the people get the blame.

6/14/2007 6:38 PM  
Blogger jurassicpork said...

I agree with Daulton, too. In "Iran is Not a Campaing Issue", I said:

But this isn’t about the Bush administration’s many, many failings but the failings of the Democratic “leadership” and the MSM’s refusal to keep them, literally, honest. When Hillary and John Edwards frankly admitted not only not reading the NIE just before the vote to go to war with Iraq came up but even defending such a massive failure, the major news networks as well as the papers had hardly raised an eyebrow.

With Hillary claiming that Iran is a problem that ought to be dealt with (although, unlike Lieberman last Sunday, she stopped far short of saying that military intervention would be necessary), it is too much of a stretch to assume that the next time around she may again fail to read a National Intelligence Estimate that rightly claims that Iran doesn’t have enough aluminum tubes to enrich weapons-grade uranium and that they might not have nuclear weapons for up to eight to ten years, according to Seymour Hersh?


When I hear idiots say, "If women were in charge of the world, there wouldn't be any wars", the first thing I think of is Hillary and her insistence on dealing with the "Iran problem" and her inability to apologize for voting for use of force against Iraq.

She criticizes how the war's been "managed", as if the invasion was just and even legal. I shudder to think what would happen to us if she ever got back in the fucking White House.

6/14/2007 9:22 PM  
Anonymous goldhorder said...

This is not my war. Never has been...never will be. You can follow "the people". I want nothing to do with "the people". This is the war of a bunch of lunatics who claim they have some sort of right to rule over me because a bunch of slobs punched cards and pulled levers and pushed buttons so now I must follow their dictates. No thank you. Never supported the war. Never will support another war in my lifetime launched by those lunatics in DC. I actively practice tax avoidance and buy gold. I consciously pay as little money to the US federal government as will prevent me from going to prison. Anytime I know some amount of wealth of mine is going to DC I have guilt pains. It is collectivism and that form of thinking that causes people to support our evil leaders. I don't and refuse to think that way. You can blame yourself if you want to. I'm having none of it.

6/15/2007 3:35 PM  
Anonymous goldhorder said...

As a side note...I supported the first Gulf War because I was a part of it. I learned not to trust my government the hard way. These Democrats and Repulicans who claim the right to run our country can not be trusted. They do not support the Constituition and they do not support the American public. They are in it for themselves. Cheney earned his 100 million as a war profiteer after the first Gulf War. Diane Feinstein earned her 10s of millions as a war profiteer steering government defense contracts to her sugar daddy husband. Don't think the war was a failure. It has accomplished the number 1 goal. To get us bunkered down is a middle eastern country. Where we can launch more wars. The people don't matter. They haven't mattered for a hundred years in this country. It is our political leaders who decide. It is just a matter of putting the right propaganda together to get enough of the drooling masses to support it. We aren't leaving. No matter who wins. And there is nothing you can do about it.

If you want to try and make a change...let me explain to you the only way. They only way is to find enough disgruntled soldiers to put a small band of well armed men together...go to Washington DC and start blasting politicians. For the first time in over a hundred years those parasites will finally hear and understand...they will recognize a boiling point has been reached and pull out to try and defuse the situation so all their heads don't wind up on sticks. These are the people who only understand power and force. When they say that about the Arabs they are just projecting themselves onto the Arabs.

6/15/2007 3:49 PM  
Anonymous Aldous said...

Abu Graib, Suspension of Writ of Habeas Corpus, Justice Department, Halliburton...

Was Vietnam ever like this? George W. Bush and the Republicans will take the blame for Iraq. Remember... 20 years from now, all the "classified" Cheney Memos will be released. You wanna bet what's gonna be written in them is legal or even humane?

6/17/2007 10:03 PM  
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