A little side comment in an article on an AP/Ipsos poll showing Bush's ratings heading into Nixon territory, has me scratching my head, parsing each phrase: "The president recognizes that the American people are understandably concerned about the violence in Iraq, He shares their concerns but believes that our policy in Iraq must be determined by victory in the war on terror, not public opinion polls."
That is: The pResident knows Iraq is a blunder of major proportions, He knows that we are very unhappy with his blunder, but he's going ahead anyway. So much for democracy (this is the same message that we heard from Cheney last week).
But the real stumper is this:"...Our policy in Iraq must be determined by victory..."
What is Bush's definition of Victory? What's Cheney's? We've heard a string of disposable excuses for our invasion and each of them has melted away as soon as it is closely examined, but there has never been a clear statement of what a "victory" would consist of, that is, one that is based in reality (before Shock&Awe, Cheney and the NeoCons described a fantasy of maidens with rose petals and a spontaneous flowering of Jeffersonian democracy in Mesopotamia. That was dead before "Mission Accomplished").
We have piles of metrics describing our failure in Iraq: Violence is up, electricity is down, Unemployment is up, Water and sewer are still down, militia membership is up, women's rights are down and most telling, after almost 4 years, with 144 000 troops in country, we still haven't been able to secure the 10 mile road from Baghdad to the airport!
Most of the Iraqi People, most of our Troops, most of our Military brass and most of our Citizens want US out of Iraq. Most of the rest of the world warned US in advance not to go into Iraq, they have only become more opposed as this drags out.
Our invasion and brutal occupation of an Arab country with it's overtones of Crusade, have done more to radicalize Muslims all over the world than any group of extremists in the caves of Afghanistan and the Tribal Areas of Pakistan could ever dream of.
Our continued presence in Iraq and our escalating rhetoric toward Iran only irritate the wounds we've caused.
Someone (NOT Cheney or Condi) needs to sit down with pResident Bush and try to get him to understand a couple things. F'rinstance, no matter how much you want it, no matter how often you say it, there is no such thing as "Victory" in an occupation. That attacking Iraq was a huge mistake and cleaning up the mess we've made is going to be painful and expensive. That when we, the People, say that we want our troops OUT of Iraq and brought home, we mean it.
And we don't mean 50 000 troops concentrated on army bases and a fortress/embassy while we carpet bomb the rest of the country. We mean Stop the Carnage.
He's got to be made to understand that continuing to beat a dog with a stick isn't going to make the dog healthy again.