January 13, 2007

The Escalation in Iraq

You are thirsty as hell when you spot the soft drink machine. At last! You drop in the correct change and hit the button for your choice. Nothing happens, and the change return does nothing. Dumbfounded, you stand in front of the machine not knowing what to do. You dig into your pocket for more change. This is going to end up being one expensive can of soda, but you really want it. Again the money goes in, and again nothing comes out. Now from somewhere behind you, comes the words you had feared, "Dude, that machine's been broken for about a week now. The 'out of order' sign must have fallen off." Now what?

If you are George W. Bush and this vending machine represents Iraq, you keep putting money into the machine. When you have none left and it is obvious to all rational persons that trying again is not going to result in a different outcome, you borrow more and keep going. Nobody can talk you out of it, and even though a part of you must recognize the futility, you are compelled to continue.

After hearing about everything Bush was going to say in his recent speech days before the actual speech, watching the speech was not particularly informative. Little in this "new" plan seems new at all. Then again, maybe I just wasn't listening closely enough. I didn't even notice that he omitted any mention of his god and his Jee-zuhs who told him to invade Iraq in the first place!

What I did notice during the speech was how Bush still doesn't seem to get it. Despite the words about taking responsibility, there seemed to be an emotional disconnect. I do not believe for one second that he feels responsible or regrets any of his Iraq-related decisions. The speech only solidified this opinion. He continues to feed the soda machine in a defiant manner, daring reality to deprive him of success once again.

I also noticed that Bush (and the mainstream media at large) seem to have decided that it is appropriate to blame the Iraqi people for not having their country put back together by now. Every time I watch the news, I hear once again about how Bush is losing patience with the Iraqis and is going to use the growing domestic displeasure with his war as a way to pressure them.

This was America's war. America's unjust, unprovoked, preemptive war that Bush started because his god and a bunch of his fellow Christian extremists wanted it. Losing patience with the Iraqis for not cleaning up America's mess quickly enough just doesn't seem to fit the circumstances. We made mistake after mistake in toppling their government and destroying the infrastructure of their country. Worse, we don't even know why (not that we don't all have our theories). Now we have the nerve to blame the Iraqi people for the mess!

Perhaps this is what happens when one bases one's imperial conquests on faith while being openly hostile to reason. It is time for Congress to step up and reverse this dangerous trend. If the opinion of a majority of Americans are important to them, they will do so. If not, maybe we need to elect some rational folks.

For an excellent analysis of Bush's speech, check out this video. It is one of the best commentaries on Iraq I've seen, and I think it should be essential viewing for all Americans.

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