Saturday, October 16, 2004

LRC picks
How the war in Iraq will be perceived if either Bush or Kerry win
Let's review very quickly why the Mesopotamian venture is failing. It is not because the soldiers and Marines in Iraq are poorly led, or have inferior equipment, or are badly trained, or even don't have the support of enough of the country. It isn't even because the political leaders are incompetent, though the incompetence of Bush Jong Il and his politburo got us there in the first place. The US military in Iraq is solidly led and reasonably well equipped. No, it is failing because the political objective those soldiers were sent to accomplish – the democratization of the Middle East, or the scaled-down desire to simply create a pro-American Iraq – is simply unachievable at any price we are willing or able to pay.

If Bush Jong Il gets re-elected – or reappointed, or whatever – then the domestic political fallout of a withdrawal from Iraq will be manageable. Team Bush will paint a happy face on Iraq, call the January "elections" a success, and probably start a six-or-ten month pullout that will likely be accelerated. Last American out of Iraq shut the lights and don't let the door hit you on the butt or blow up as you leave.

The mindless minions of Bush Jong Il will probably live with that, though many will go looking for someone to blame. Certainly Democrats – those powerful, evil, omnipresent, obstructionist Democrats – will come in for their fair share of blame. Anti-war types of all stripes – Howard Dean, Brent Scowcroft, Pat Buchanan, LRC – will also be recruited for team blame. (Will they blame neoconservatives? Gawd, I wish, but probably not.) But because the Party Faithful must believe the story told by Bush Jong Il, and because he will call the whole thing a "a victory" (and then change the subject after the first coup in Iraq) and "a success," it will be fairly calm, sedate and well-managed.

However, if the patrician junior senator from Massachusetts is president, then the political consequences of the war will become downright toxic. Because then Iraq will become one of those dreaded "Democrat Wars" Bob Dole (and more than a few cranky Republicans) decry in less guarded moments. Because a Kerry administration will simply be able to do nothing right. The endeavor in Iraq will suddenly have very few friends in the Republican Party.

It is common currency among many committed Republicans that Democrats know nothing about the military and are simply incapable of commanding it properly.
Yeah, uh-huh, sure - John Kerry, who commanded a Swift boat in combat (see article in yesterday's entries), knows less about the military and command in same than George W. Bush, who blew off Air National Guard duty and never left the United States.

So, if Kerry presides over a withdrawal from Iraq – even the same withdrawal that Bush would have undertaken in virtually the same way – be prepared for the big lie, a "stabbed-in-the-back" theory that will bitterly and angrily poison American politics and society, likely worse than post-Vietnam recriminations damaged our national politics.

Expect to be told – to be lectured and hectored – that were it not for likes of us, for dissent, America would have won, if we had just been as united as we were on September 12, 2001.

Never mind that there was no winning.
Kerry will win
Charley Reese's prediction

Sci-fi and the military-industrial complex
Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. This is not a way of life at all in any true sense. Under the clouds of war, it is humanity hanging on a cross of iron.
- Dwight D. Eisenhower

What’s with those bizarre wife/mother ‘trading places’ shows on US TV?
I've never watched - they seem too painful, messing with people's lives - but this is a good look at them

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