Tuesday, April 24, 2007

What Next, Mr. President?

By Christopher Truscott

Sometime in the next few days President George W. Bush will officially reject troop-funding legislation that calls for an end to major U.S. involvement in Iraq’s civil war by April 1, 2008.

He’s going to use his second veto as president to kill a bill that would end a quagmire.

Unfortunately that’s his prerogative. Despite George Mason’s best efforts at the Constitutional Convention of 1787, “maladministration” isn’t grounds for impeachment, so the president is free to do as he pleases in this regard. In fact, he can maladminister all he wants until he leaves office 20 months from now.

But before the president wipes the dust off his veto pen he should tell the American people where he believes we’ll be 11 months from now. Democrats have been clear on this: by next spring the bulk of the U.S. fighting force will be redeployed from Iraq. What about the president? Where does he believe we’ll be then?

Does he believe the death toll in Iraq will begin to slow, even though it’s held tragically steady since 2004?

Does he believe the Iraqi government will be able to exercise real authority outside the Green Zone? (And of course the Green Zone isn’t even safe today.)

Does he believe Iraqis will somehow change their opinion on the U.S. occupation? For the first time since the invasion, a majority of Iraqis believe it is “acceptable” to attack American troops. Is that number supposed to go down?

Does he believe we’ll be any closer to “mission accomplished” than we are today?

Does he believe his horrendous failure of a policy will somehow take hold and Sunnis and Shiites will magically stop killing each other and embrace western-style democracy?

Sadly, the president – with his faith-based approach to governing – has become the personification of a timeless Danish proverb: “The sky is not less blue because the blind man does not see it.”

Of course that’s no consolation to the 70 percent of Americans who see the world and our president as they really are.

Christopher Truscott can be reached at chris.truscott@gmail.com. Perhaps the next president will make Bush ambassador to Iraq.

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At 12:16 AM, Blogger Prendergast said...

This is going to be "death by inches," isn't it? That's not a metaphor here; I'm talking about real death, for our troops, prolonged by the White House as long as possible.

If the Dems don't stop him: Bush is going to hold on forever in Iraq, to the very last day of his term, no matter what the consequences. A White House call for a drawdown or pull-out would be tantatmount to an admission of defeat by Bush--and he just doesn't have the strength of character necessary to admit defeat; to publically admit his responsibility for this horribly ill-conceived adventure by calling the troops home.

I really think he'll continue to do exactly what he's doing now--stand by spouting empty rhetoric about victory (words that he doesn't even believe himself) and let thousands more American troops die as the situation continues to deteriorate.

His dream scenario would be for Democrats to cut off funding for the war completely. That would get him and his party and the conservative movement off the hook, politically and historically--to have the Dem Congress end the war. Then he and his followers and his "thirty four per cent of those polled" could spend the next few decades claiming that they would have won the war in Iraq if it hadn't been for those liberal Democrats who "betrayed our troops." That would be the most effective outcome for the conservative GOP at this point--like the Nazi movement during the 1920s, they could claim that they hadn't "really" lost the war, that they would have won, but the left had "stabbed them in the back."

They're already claiming that.

But it still amazes me how heartless and bloodthirsty Bush and his crew are. If the Dems won't stop him--he'd rather see thousands more Americans kids dead and maimed than bring the troops home himself and take personal and historical responsibility. It's a kind of madness--"if it comes down to my reputation or these volunteer soldiers' lives: no contest, I'll keep sending them out to die even though I have no strategy for victory." This guy's crazier than LBJ at the height of Viet Nam.

And as for the hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians that have perished and will continue to perish--they don't even count, they never even showed up on the Bush radar.

At 10:34 AM, Blogger Stillwater Infidel aka NSA said...

This war will continue until James Baker and the Saudi mob says so. Baker has too much on Bush for Bush to let this mayhem stop. Big oil is making billions with artificially high prices due to the war. This is all a big game with our men and women as pawns.

Congress needs to be held responsible for allowing this charade for profit to continue. It will happen at the polls in 08 regardless of party affiliation.

Read Greg Palast's book Armed Madhouse. He spells it out with all of the nuances from behind the scenes.


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