Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Bush and Iraq

I stated before I was against the Iraq war. I had several reasons, including my doubting the WMD intelligence, my feelings that Saddam was not an immediate threat, the Administration's way of making the case (which was basically mention "Iraq" and then "al-Qaeda" or "9/11" within six words or so of each other), and some other reasons.

But one of the most important ones was I felt that if we went into Iraq, we would have to be prepared for a long haul of nation-building, recovery efforts, etc. We couldn't leave until we did it right. And I didn't think that Bush and co. were ready for that, or had even considered the thought.

This is another reason I am not a fan of Bush, to say the least. His glib responses to actual problems, his mismanagement of the rebuilding, his continued defense of Rumsfeld, his fumbling of the insurgency, the "meddling" in the Iraq Constitution done with the finesse and skill of a drunk person doing brain's been a long list of errors and misdeeds.

And how has he responded? With cliches. With comparisons of himself to FDR and Iraq to WWII. With accusations that people who don't agree with how he's screwing up Iraq are against the troops and the war on terrorism by association. With a month long vacation. With his mismanagement of Cindy Sheehan, which has now given the fervent anti-war people an icon, and if not a tipping point at least a large weight on the scales of public opinion.

And what is the consequence of all this ineptness? People are starting to lose faith in our mission in Iraq - maybe "lose faith faster" would be a better thing to say. Which will make it harder to stay in there for as long as we need to. I'm not saying that if Bush had done a better job of, oh, say, treating the citizens of the United States as actual ADULTS people would be more behind the Iraq efforts. But his facile sound bites and smears didn't help anyway.

So thanks, President Bush. Not only have you managed to screw up Iraq, you've also managed to make more people feel we can't win anyway. Forget the media...take a look in the mirror. If you ask people to help on a job you swear will only take a month and not be hard, and they're still working and sweating hard two years later, people WILL tend to not believe you anymore and lose faith.

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