Saturday, February 25, 2006

Reality Check in Iraq

Thanks to Think Progress for this link to William F. Buckley:
"I can tell you the main reason behind all our woes — it is America." The New York Times reporter is quoting the complaint of a clothing merchant in a Sunni stronghold in Iraq. "Everything that is going on between Sunni and Shiites, the troublemaker in the middle is America."

One can't doubt that the American objective in Iraq has failed. The same edition of the paper quotes a fellow of the American Enterprise Institute. Mr. Reuel Marc Gerecht backed the American intervention. He now speaks of the bombing of the especially sacred Shiite mosque in Samara and what that has precipitated in the way of revenge. He concludes that “The bombing has completely demolished” what was being attempted — to bring Sunnis into the defense and interior ministries.

Our mission has failed because Iraqi animosities have proved uncontainable by an invading army of 130,000 Americans.
If one of the intellectual founders of the modern conservative movement says that Bush's Iraq mission has failed, then it seems to me that George W. Bush has a problem. It's time for Bush to make changes and he can begin by firing people like Rumsfeld and hiring competent people who aren't driven by our worse instincts.


Anonymous S.W. Anderson said...

America has many bright, knowledgeable, skilled, accomplished, all-around excellent people who could better serve the nation than Bush's appointees.

Unfortunately, those attributes, while nice, don't cut the mustard for Bush, Cheney, Rove and the gang. They require, first and foremost, unwavering, unquestioning loyalty to someone who is less than impressively bright, not demonstrably skilled and all-around mediocre.

As for the boss man being accomplished, appointees must be sufficiently impressed by someone who parlayed hundreds of millions of dollars worth of hype and more collateral support than any presidential candidate has ever had, and with all that, plus the votes of six sympathetic Supreme Court justices, won the highest office in the land.

Appointees must not covet the boss man's job, be loyal team players, group thinkers, ideologically aligned and unerringly subservient. No independent thinking allowed and no offering of opinions unless asked.

What's more, they must be prepared, should they slip out of line, to face the stern retribution of being targets of the politics of personal destruction, as former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill can testify.

Thus, the pool of suitable appointees for the Bush administration is far smaller than might be assumed. And when you consider how many suitable people are already employed in the right-wing propaganda industry, the task of replacing a Rumsfeld, Snow or Rice becomes daunting indeed.

8:03 PM  

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