Fear of Clowns

"Faith may be defined briefly as an illogical belief in the occurrence of the improbable."
- H. L. Mencken

Thursday, September 13, 2007

My criticism of Bush's speech before he makes it 

The main thing I see, W, is that early this year you signed into law 18 benchmarks to be met by this month - benchmarks by which progress could be judged at this time. You gave yourself an F. Does it really matter that you can "see some good" that's happened amongst your overall stellar failure? The only reason I'm even listening at this point is to remind myself that you and you alone own this war and are singularly responsible for the catastrophe.

I can't believe you actually credited the reduction in violence in Anbar to the surge, that's funny. Here, look at your boy Petreaus' bar-chart of attacks in Anbar over time. They peaked in October 2006 and have been falling steadily since. You didn't even announce your "surge" until four months later - and aren't you also , trying to make the case that the "surge" has only been going on at force for a few months?

Besides, all the benchmarks were predicated on the assumption the "surge" would give the room needed for them to happen. Reduced violence wasn't the goal of your surge - you don't get any points for just showing up.

You began telling us, "We're turning the corner" during your 2004 campaign, usually adding something along the lines of "The next few months will be hard but crucial to our success" and "Pulling back now while we're making good progress would be turning victory into defeat." Like an upside-down boy who cried wolf, such claims have long lost credulity.

Why don't I come up with a plan then if I'm so smart? I've had a plan for years. We ought to pull back. We need keep some troops on the borders to ensure Turkey doesn't annex Kurdistan and Iran doesn't annex the southern oil fields. We ought to provide air support to the central government. Since ethnic cleansing began last Fall, we should also be prepared to intervene if it turns into genocide. No more ridiculous missions like "Operation Iron Eggbeater".

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