Wednesday, May 09, 2007

After Four Years of Reckless Incompetence, Cheney Says It's 'Game Time'

It does not take four years to win a war unless something goes very wrong. Some of the possible things that can go wrong include:

a) The two sides are evenly matched.

b) A guerilla war, insurgency, rebellion, whatever you want to call it, is fueled by the growing unpopularity of an occupying army and the leaders who sent that army to war.

c) The dominant military power in a conflict is led by incompetents.

Suffice to say, the two sides in Iraq are not evenly matched. We are a superpower but we have a poor idea what it is we are trying to accomplish and our civilian leaders have little concept of the place where we have gone to war and little understanding of the post-colonial world we live in. Bush and Cheney's war has gone wrong largely because of b and c.

Dan Froomkin of White House Watch writes:
When it comes to today's visit by the beleaguered, credibility-challenged vice president to leaders of the fractured, mostly powerless government of war-torn Iraq, the White House is setting expectations appropriately low.


The other message Cheney brings: "It's game time" -- raising the question what has it been up until now exactly?

Todd J. Gillman of the Dallas Morning News is liveblogging the vice president's trip -- complete with photos -- as well as filing pool reports to his print colleagues.

Gillman writes in a pool report that "according to a senior administration official who gaggled en route and on background, the message Cheney is bringing boils down to this:

"'We've all got challenges together. We've got to pull together. We've got to get this work done. It's game time.'

"The urgency of the situation also came through as this same senior official said: 'Everybody's got to sit down, raise their game, redouble their efforts.'"

Since the spring and summer of 2003, when has the situation not been urgent? Wasn't it 'game time' when Bush decided on war? Wasn't it 'game time' when Bush heard warnings of a possible terrorist attack just before 9/11? Wasn't it 'game time' when Bush repeatedly went on vacation, becoming the most vacation bound president of the modern era? Wasn't it 'game time' as Bush and the White House wasted hours and days and weeks stuffing the federal government with cronies, ideologues and political hacks instead of professionals (believe it or not they can still be found among Democrats, Republicans and independents) who know what they're doing?

Perhaps the reporters misread the meaning of 'game time' and it is a reference to the 2008 election? I know the American people have their own lives to live and are slow to come around on these things sometimes and I happen to be one who respects that because I respect our democracy. Democracy, by nature, is flawed, but it is by far still the best thing we've got.

But if the nonsense by Bush and Cheney continues for much longer, the American people are going to have to start pushing Congress to impeach the president and vice president. In my view, Bush and Cheney made themselves impeachable when they launched their war in Iraq with a long string of outright lies and then led us into a war we did not need and that has no purpose. No WMDs. No al Qaida connection. No democracy. No regional stability. But lots of very high-priced oil that a growing number of Americans cannot afford.

Let us say out loud the obvious: the motivations, words and actions of Bush and Cheney have not been honorable from day one of their fiasco in Iraq. And it's long past time for the media to stop pretending, despite the evidence to the contrary, that somehow Bush and Cheney mean well. They have broken too many laws and broken faith with the American people far too often for that charade to continue. I know, impeachment is not likely, it's messy and unpopular, but given the unwillingness of Bush and Cheney to mend their ways, it is now becoming the responsible course of action for our nation to take.

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