Sunday, July 01, 2007

A Horrible Admission

See if you can figure out what’s so horrifying about this particular Iraq story from last week. (Hint: it's what Lugar said.):

White House faces tough crowd on Iraq
By ANNE FLAHERTY, Associated Press Writer 19 minutes ago

WASHINGTON - President Bush is sending his top aide on national security affairs to Capitol Hill on Thursday to confront what has become a tough crowd on the Iraq war.

A majority of senators believe troops should start coming home within the next few months. A new House investigation concluded this week that the Iraqis have little control over an ailing security force. And House Republicans are calling to revive the independent Iraq Study Group to give the nation options.

While the White House thought they had until September to deal with political fallout on the unpopular war, officials may have forgotten another critical date: the upcoming 2008 elections.

"This is an important moment if we are still to have a bipartisan policy to deal with Iraq," Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., said in an interview Wednesday.

If Congress and the White House wait until September to change course in Iraq, Lugar said "It'll be further advanced in the election cycle. It makes it more difficult for people to cooperate. ... If you ask if I have some anxiety about 2008, I do."

Did you catch that? The most horrifying part of the Iraq War turns out to be that—for the Republicans and conservatives like Lugar--the decision about whether to keep fighting in Iraq turns out to be all about the election chances of the Republican Party in 2008.

And the unspoken premise in the Lugar assessment of the war is that continuing the occupation of Iraq--or deciding to end it—really has no effect at all, either positive or negative, on the security of the United States and its people.

How do we know that? Because we know that Lugar and other Republicans bucking the President on the war would not permit a withdrawal if they really believed the war in Iraq was necessary to US security. Conservatives have been arguing for more than four years that the war in Iraq is necessary “so that we don’t have to fight the terrorists over here.” (And that is what the troops are told, too.)

But if Lugar and other Republicans in Congress are calling for withdrawal before the next round of elections—we know that even they don’t believe that argument any more, if they ever did. Why would they be calling for withdrawal from Iraq prior to the next elections, if they really believed that more successful terrorist strikes on America will ensue as a result? They obviously don’t believe that’s going to happen.

All of which means: the Republican Party has officially won the “how low can you go in American politics” contest: a public, de facto admission that 1) the war is largely useless with regard to preventing terror, 2) the Republican leadership understands and accepts that fact, 3) the conservatives in Congress continued to back the war and the escalation despite this knowledge of the war’s uselessness, and 4) the only reason they are considering an end to this policy of sending American combat volunteers to possible death and dismemberment—is that it will adversely affect their election chances in 2008.

Horrible. An admission of the moral bankruptcy of the conservative argument for the war and the Republican political philosophy. Anti-war Americans regularly charge that the rationale for the Iraq war was and is a lie; and now the thing is as much as admitted by the GOP itself. What is more, the conservative leadership is so narcissistic and has such contempt for the public, the president, and the people in uniform fighting the war—that they are announcing that their reason for ending the war sooner rather than later has nothing to do with the waste of human life. They want to end it because it will hurt their chances for re-election...

If you ever needed proof that the GOP and the conservative movement are partisan and perverse to the point of being sociopathic, you have it now: a party and movement of the maniacally self-obsessed. The mission of sane Americans is to drive people like this out of power and keep them out of power for the rest of our lifetimes.

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