Monday, August 22, 2005

Iraq and Roll

The fact that someone, a fairly famous someone, has written a song using that phrase, makes it very, very hard for some of us to try to ease back on the irony.

Just sayin'.

In the constant struggle to stay informed here so our kung fu remains strong, a quick info-post.

You know there's an Iraq Constitution being hammered out -- what's the frikkin' problem? What are the points of contention? Ezra Klein has a link to a summary from the Carnegie Endowment based on Iraq's own internal press. My favorite wrinkle -- looks like it'll be based on Sharia law.

Yes, that's right America, your kids got sent overseas in inadequate body armor with no real allies, doing more tours of duty than in Vietnam, to establish an Islamic government which most likely will be best buddies with Iran. How's THAT taste, Kansas?

Juan Cole from Informed Comment is that incredibly impressive but intellectually terrifying professor you had at college. He's been studying the mideast for decades, and unlike most Western experts actually speaks the languages and can translate press and documents on his own. The good one-two daily punch for me for a long time was Intel Dump for Phil doing the "Pentagon bullshit-to-English" translations, and then Prof. Cole explaining just how we seem to have killed our fifth "man who was number three in al Queda" and the intricate balances between Shia, Kurd and Sunni (not to mention a healthy dose of Iran).

I will warn you, some of you may be pissed off on his constant criticism of how Israel handled the Palestinian issue, but seeing as even Sharon's backing a pullout now, he looks frikkin' prescient. (By the way, this is how adults reason. I can disagree with Prof. Cole on some issues, but at the same time value his expertise and assimilate his obviously superior knowledge into my own opinion.)

Where was -- oh, yes. The good doctor, who probably understands the fragile political system in Iraq better than, well, pretty much every human in Crawford right now, suggests at least a trial framework for easing out of Iraq without letting the joint collapse into civil war. Probably un-doable, but this is how the grown-ups talk. Even if you think we oughtta stay there for another five years, we need to be having these discussions. No fireman would go into a building without knowing the way out, no cop would go blind into a room ...

I can think of no better summary of this situation than that of my favorite political thinker -- Representative Tom DeLay:

"I cannot support a failed foreign policy. History teaches us that it is often easier to make war than peace. This administration is just learning that lesson right now. The President began this mission with very vague objectives and lots of unanswered questions. A month later, these questions are still unanswered. There are no clarified rules of engagement. There is no timetable. There is no legitimate definition of victory. There is no contingency plan for mission creep. There is no clear funding program. There is no agenda to bolster our over-extended military. There is no explanation defining what vital national interests are at stake. There was no strategic plan for war when the President started this thing, and there still is no plan today."

Or, the current President, George W. Bush:

"Victory means exit strategy, and it's important for the President to explain to us what the exit strategy is."

Of course, they were talking about Bosnia (where my man Wes kicked all kinds of ass). But these are men of honor, not hypocrites, and I'm sure the same reasoning applies.

22 comments:

nolo said...

Excellent post. Have I mentioned lately that you're my hero?

Craig Perko said...

Quick info: It's "Informed Comment", not "Consent", and your link appears to need an "http://" in front of it, or Blogger greedily gobbles it up. :)

Rogers said...

thanks, fixed. so THAT's why my links go buggery every now and then.

cwbinkley said...

Hey, what are the sources for the Bush and DeLay quotes? I want to be able to name my sources when I'm debating my conservative friends and family.

Rogers said...

Both public record -- you can Google them. DeLay was speaking from the floor of Congress, I believe, and Bush said this during the 2000 campaign, in an interview right after the bombing started.

Rogers said...

Pardon me. Bush is from 1999 in an interview with the Houston Chronicle., Delay indeed was in Congress. Of course, none of this speaks to my soul the way DeLay does with:

"You can support the troops but not the president" -- Tom DeLay

writergurl said...

Ever notice how, when it come to taking responsiblity for something, anything that could be construed as "negative", Ol' Shrub (the littlest Bush) almost always uses the 3rd person? It's almost always "the President should/did/will/would" not "I should/did/will/would". Womder what that says about how his mind works.

Anonymous said...

I'm actually curious about your comment "...establish an Islamic government which most likely will be best buddies with Iran." specifically, what's to say an Iraqi government that is not based on (or inspired by, or with reference to) shariah law will necessarily be unfriendly to Iran. hostility to the West isn't rooted specifically in Islam or shariah law, but is a result of historical events. sure, it's getting a good strong boost from radical Muslims. on the other hand, Christianity sure is getting quite a bad rep - and Bush policies a great boost - from extremists pushing for a more God-fearing Christian government in the US, too.

-Octahedron-

Anonymous said...

heh. my point being: though very noisy, the radicals are certainly not the whole of the picture.

-Octahedron-

Rogers said...

Sistani's practical political alliance with Iranian clerics is well-documented. I make no assumptions based on religious -- strike that. I make no assumptions.

David said...

Re Sharon evacuating the Gaza settlements, he has now promised to keep expanding the West Bank settlements and refrain from further unilateral pullouts. So the cat's now out of the bag -- he's given up Gaza to keep the West Bank.

moses said...

With all due fairness to our Commander 'n Chief, I believe Bush's quote about exit strategies was in reference to the current President's responsibilities at the time of the comment. It is no longer applicable as we now have a Christian Lord of the Universe, different rules and all. President is so passe.

Great post.

Joshua said...

You're my hero, too.

Joshua said...

In fact, I think maybe I should just take down my site and leave a link to yours, since I keep referencing your posts (wrote about kfm again today, will appear this afternoon) -

I did want to draw your attention to this http://www.projectcensored.org/newsflash/voter_fraud.html to see what your thoughts were on it - I blogged about it yesterday - I found it to be very interesting.

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