Escalation! Expansion! Empire!
What I took away from Bush’s speech last night is that he is still isolated in his ideological bubble and intends to “stay the course” but with one slight modification, pick up speed. He’s planning an escalation of the war in Iraq as well as an expansion of the conflict to include Iran and possibly Syria. I guess Daddy Bush has no influence left with Junior, as his attempt to inject some reason into Junior’s foreign policy (via James Baker and the Iraq Study Group) has failed completely. I find myself asking the same question, over and over again. What now?
Nobody thinks sending an additional 20,000 troops to Iraq will even a small difference on the ground, which means that this is a purely political move. As Lawrence O’Donnell explained on MSNBC last night after the speech, not all 20,000 will be on the street at the same time (some will be sleeping, eating, getting ready) and you must divide the number by 4 in order to determine how many extra bodies will be on the job at any given time. 5,000 additional troops in the middle of Baghdad in the midst of a civil war will only give the insurgents more targets to aim at, which is exactly why the commanders on the ground want no part of this “surge”.
I’m in a bit of a quandary as to what I think the Democrats should do about their sticky situation. This is Bush’s war and the Republicans in Congress have aided and abetted him in every single disastrous decision along the way. Why should the Democrats buy into this occupation now when it is on the verge of collapsing? I screamed at my television last night when Pat Buchanan yelled, “It’s immoral for the Democrats to continue funding this war if they are convinced that it is already lost.” Oh really Pat? How moral is it for you to support an escalation that you know won’t do a damn bit of good? I get that this is Bush’s “Hail Mary” pass into the end zone, but not in an effort to win the war or do right by the Iraqi people, no, his only concern is his legacy and running out the clock so he can pass this mess onto someone else, blaming them for the loss that he has cultivated through his delusional thinking, blind faith and utter incompetence.
Part of me thinks that the Democrats should just step aside and let the whole thing blow up in the faces of the neo-cons that dreamed it up, the White House that executed it and the GOP that championed this folly all along the way. The only problem, and it’s a big one, with standing on the sidelines as Bush’s war circles the bowl is that real lives are at stake. How can we sit idly by while more of our young men and women are sent into a war zone that they have no chance of affecting in any positive way? How do we stay silent as they are asked to die for the legacy of man not worthy of their ultimate sacrifice? However tempting it may be to want to wait for the moment when we are vindicated, when we are proven right and George W. Bush is humiliated in a defeat we knew all along was the most probable outcome, it’s not the right thing to do.
It’s important to always remember that this war was ill advised, unnecessary and immoral when it began, therefore the results can be laid squarely at the feel of this president, but we are also culpable as we are responsible for what our elected representatives do in our name which means that we must do all that we can to salvage the situation. We have a responsibility to make sure that our young men and women in the military are not used as political pawns. We have a responsibility to help the Iraqi people find some stability amidst the chaos that we have created all around them. We have a responsibility as citizens of this country to do all that we can to hold our leaders accountable. We are in uncharted waters now. We have a president that has lost his mind, is out of control and is making decisions based not on facts or reality or advice from experts, but rather based on his personal desire to be loved, respected and above all, right. We cannot afford to continue giving him the benefit of the doubt as his long list of failures has proven that doing so is the height of idiocy. How many wars are we going to let him start, lose interest in and bungle before we say enough is enough? I vote for two. What about you?