I'm listening this morning to Bo Dietl on the Imus program as he prattles his support for young Mister Bush's misdirected, oafish war on terror. Sometime I think Imus letting Dietl on the airwaves is a good thing--it reminds us that people like Dietl still exist in this country, and how they think.
Let me rephrase that. People like Dietl don't think. They have opinions, opinions that have been programmed into them by generations of ultra-conservative propaganda. And they've been indoctrinated in a unique sort of discourse. When critics deconstruct their Simple Simon talking points, they respond with invective, much of which they learned from the lowest common denominators in the right wing noise machine. These venom vendors--the Limbaughs, the Coulters, the O'Reilleys--have trained their loyal followers to reason with their genitals and talk out their fundaments.
Do not fear these people. And don't try to censor them. Let them expose their own malicious idiocy to the light of day, and whenever possible, refute them, not with their own methods, but with logic and good sense. Don't abandon your principles just because the fear and hatred merchants have abandoned theirs (if, in fact, they ever had any in the first place).
Despite his promise not to politicize the occasion, young Mister Bush used the fifth anniversary of 9/11 as a bully pulpit opportunity to reconstitute support for his woebegone war in Iraq. Are there any surprises there? When has Mister Bush ever kept a promise? Well, I guess he has kept one. He's promised to keep America embroiled in a counterproductive, costly war in Iraq, but that's a promise I'd just as soon see him break.
Michael R. Gordon of the New York Times reports today on the Hobbesian quagmire in Iraq's Anbar province. According to Gordon, a Marine Corps intelligence report says that "The political and security situation in western Iraq is grim and will continue to deteriorate unless the region receives a major infusion of aid and a division is sent to reinforce the American troops operating there." However, "Since the intelligence assessment was prepared in August, however, no reinforcements have been sent. To the contrary, the strain on the American troops in Anbar has increased. An American Stryker unit, which was under the overall Marine command, has been sent from Rawa to Baghdad to help with the operation there. Also, military police who had been earmarked for training the Iraq police in Anbar have also been sent to Baghdad."
"Wishful thinking" is probably the kindest term we can apply to the strategy in Iraq. Yet Mister Bush continues to exhort America to stay the course and pursue a "total victory" that he cannot describe of a war that he seems bound and determined not to win.
In political science terms, the price paid so far for the Iraq debacle is "sunk cost." We cannot bring back our dead, or completely heal the brave American service members maimed physically or mentally in this misguided conflict. The only reasonable strategy on the table is Jack Murtha's proposal to redeploy to the periphery of the Gulf region. And yet, what is Murtha's reward for attempting to inject a note of sanity into American grand strategy? He's called a coward, a defeatist and worse.
And that's the brush with which the Big Brother Broadcast is attempting to paint everyone who objects to the administrations hapless conduct of the war on terror. The Bo Dietls of this world would have us think that if the war in Iraq "fails," it will because the limp wrested sissies in the mainstream media and the political left didn't have the stomach for a fight.
But the truth is, as Murtha has stated many times, the longer we allow ourselves to be ground into powder in Iraq in a civil war/insurgency that no longer really concerns us, the more we weaken ourselves and the more we strengthen adversaries and competitors like China, Russia, Iran and, yes, Osama bin Laden.
And the best way for Americans to aid in weakening their country further is by continuing to support a bad war started bad reasons by bad men who ran it badly. At the end of the day, the only real reason to back continued U.S. presence is to save the face of one George W. Bush, and that's not a face worth saving.
George W. Bush is not America.
Commander Jeff Huber, U.S. Navy (Retired) writes from Virginia Beach, Virginia. Read his commentaries at ePluribus Media and Pen and Sword.