Saturday, January 21, 2006

What's wrong with this message?

"To retreat before victory has been won would be a reckless act -- and the president and our party will not allow it." Karl Rove

Karl Rove is out and about again rallying the (Republican) troops for this year's election. As the above quote indicates, the plan is to run, again, on staying the course and pursuing "victory" in Iraq.

But the problem with that strategy is this; we have already had our "victory" in Iraq.

That victory, as Karl knows, was celebrated when the President stepped onto that aircraft carrier in a borrowed Top Gun suit -- and all it won for us was a lousy occupation.

Everything that has followed the fall of Baghdad and the capture of Saddam has been about dealing with the inevitable reality of military victory.

The administration, in verbally projecting "victory" somewhere into a misty and idyllic future, hopes to divert our eyes from this material truth; they accomplished everything they wanted in Iraq without achieving any of the benefit they expected.

The military action was a success, but the foreign policy strategy is a failure. And nothing we do militarily in the future can change that fait accompli.

Conquering Iraq militarily has not "changed the paradigm" in the Mideast (except, perhaps, for the worse), it has not increased security at home or lessened terrorism abroad (Osama Bin Laden still lives to threaten us).

What it has done is emboldened more dangerous enemies (Iran and North Korea), strained relationships with our allies, highlighted our weaknesses before the world, over-stretched our military and saddled us with the costly, in both American lives and treasure, long term responsibility for a destroyed and divided state.

It is well past time for the press, the public and the oppostion party to face up to that reality and finally call a spade a spade. What is going on in Iraq isn't a "war" -- it is an occupation. And at issue isn't whether we are willing to "do what it takes to win," but rather whether we are ready to own up to what we've won -- and do what we can to correct and recover from a disasterously failed policy.


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