Friday, December 01, 2006

In the last week the amount of time spent by the United States Armed Forces in Iraq has exceeded the amount of time it took us to win World War II. Granted we had much sterner allies in WWII than we do now. But still the threat of European fascism and Japanese imperialism was put down in less time than it has taken us to overthrow the despotic leader of a crippled nation and establish a stable government there. Of course our leadership during WWII and its aftermath was some of the finest we’ve ever been lucky enough to have, Roosevelt, Truman, Eisenhower, McArthur and Patton. Now we have a leader, George W Bush, that can’t even ride a bike without falling off.

This leader hasn’t even allowed himself to say that Iraq is in the midst of a civil war. He prefers the term, sectarian violence. Politicians, when they’re up to their butt cheeks in trouble, don’t like to use real honest language. They seem to think it helps gloss over the situation. Civil war would paint a fairly vivid picture of the situation in Iraq. Sectarian violence just makes people run to the dictionary to define sectarian. Of course if you think about it sectarian violence basically translates to civil war. If you have warring sects in a country both vying for control, then you got a civil war. It also bears noting that some people don’t think it’s a civil war either, they think it’s ethnic cleansing. Of course if they used honest language they’d call it what it is genocide. I hope it’s not. Civil war as awful and unspeakable as it is pales in comparison to the horror of genocide.

Getting back to our leader’s refusal to use the term civil war. It reminds me of a similar behavior and given our leaders past it has some relevance. If you have been in the company of heavy drinkers, those people that drink until their body shuts off the means of consumption, you’ve seen this behavior. Back in the days when George used to visit New Orleans to enjoy many a fine libation I’m willing to bet he was a belligerent drunk. You’ve seen the belligerent drunk. The guy or gal who sits there barely able to speak or stand and claims to hardly be drunk at all. They can drive home. They’re just fine. No matter how much the people around them tell them not to drive or that they’re hopelessly drunk they refuse to listen. A few friends near and dear or maybe even a little afraid of retribution if they don’t condone the behavior go along with the drunk’s little game. But these people are small in number and are greatly outweighed by the number of people who don’t want the drunk behind the wheel or to even try to walk home for that matter. The drunk just doesn’t want to listen though.

Our dear and belligerent leader has been behaving like this lately. No matter how many people call it a civil war or want our troops home he doesn’t listen. Sure his administration in an echo chamber for his faulty ideas but the voices against them is growing louder every day. He still talks of completing the mission. Never mind that big Mission Accomplished banner he spoke in front of over three years ago. Never mind that the mission has changed and shifted over the course of this war. The president refuses to yield. Never mind he won’t admit that this war was based on bad intelligence. The president needs to sober up and face the reality of the situation not what he would like it to be. If he does not come to terms with the worsening situation in Iraq and take the appropriate steps that are best for the United States, the Middle East and especially Iraq itself, then his legacy will be that of a president too stubborn or incompetent to do what is right or even logical. This president needs to sober up and face the reality of Iraq and not stagger around in the belligerent drunken haze of denial.


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