Crooks and Liars has video of Keith Olbermann’s special comment regarding Bush’s surprise visit to Iraq. Some would call it a photo opportunity. Visiting the base in the Al Asad Air Base in Anbar province, the one province Reid called “lost.” To Bush, it is a sign of success in the face of harsh criticism. A sign of things getting better. However, security in Anbar came at the cost of strengthening Sunni tribal leaders, factions that work against a strong central government. In that sense, even Bush successes are failures, although I doubt one could get him to agree on that fact.
Bush also said that he would consider bringing some of our troops home. A safe bet, since current troop levels are unsustainable, and brutal to those personnel already enlisted. Part of the ludicrous desperation is apparent in bribing people to join the military with $20,000 to meet recruiting goals. Also, given that many more people are coming home wounded from this war and will need long-term medical care, the total burden for this misadventure is astronomical.
The problems with Iraq have been present since we invaded. The problems with Iraq have persisted until the present. Bush cannot and will not bring this war to a satisfactory conclusion. In fact, his only strategy, if one could call it that, is to keep troops there until enough people are dead that the situation will be contained. The status quo of this war is sickening, because it demonstrates the utter lack of backbone on both sides of the aisle and between the government and the people. The Republicans for not drafting. Democrats for not forcing a withdrawal. The American people, the consumers, not citizens of this democracy, that refuse to do what is necessary (mass protest and demonstrations) because they have not been personally blighted by this president. And who are the victims of all this, the brave men and women who are willing to fight and defend this country in spite of the fact that we are sending them over there to die with a strategy that we know is doomed to failure. Finally, the innocent Iraqis that never asked to be shocked and awed, the euphemisms for bombed and terrorized.
This war needs to end. On a timescale much shorter than the president is pursuing. We should remove this president through impeachment (Cheney first) if he refuses to do so. How many more people have to die before you do something? When will we start being citizens of this country again?