Monday, May 28, 2007

But what if we stay?

Glenn Greenwald balances the ledger on risks associated with Iraq. In selling the product surge proponents (the original invasion proponents) catalogue only one set of risks -- those that favor their view. While invasion proponents were busily hyping the risks of taking no action against Iraq, Howard Dean was pointing out the risks associated with invasion: fanning anti-American sentiment, civil war, regional instability, etc.

The current "should I stay or should I go" debate features the same conservative pundits repeating the same mistakes, Greenwald insists.
But these same pundits who dole out lectures about how Seriousness requires an acknowledgment of risks focus -- just as they did when advocating the invasion -- on only one side of the risk ledger. These Serious War Pundits studiously ignore the risks of keeping 150,000 troops in the middle of that region under the control of George Bush and Dick Cheney. There is virtually no discussion of the risks of that course of action.

The most glaring of these risks is the prospect of military conflict with Iran -- the by-product not of some deliberative democratic debate over whether to go to war with that country, but rather a natural outgrowth of our occupation of Iraq.
That and the fact that war with Iran and Syria is just what the war hawks want.
All of the super-serious and responsible pundits may be drowning in angst over the fact that we cannot leave Iraq because it is so very vital that, before we leave, we stabilize that country and turn it into a beacon of democracy, or at least avert even worse violence. But however laudable that goal might be, that is not the goal of the people controlling our actual strategy in Iraq. Stabilizing Iraq in order to leave is not what they are interested in.
As Atrios suggests this morning, this isn't a bad war that more time, money and lives will magically turn into a good one.
The reality is George Bush and his merry band of incompetent psychopaths are in power for the next 20 months. 20 more months of the war-as-product-for-domestic-consumption rather than as an occupation to be understood. 20 more months of thinking about this being about "terrorists" and "the enemy" instead of series of conflicts we're in the middle of (yes there are people engaging in terrorism and yes there are "bad guys," but this problem isn't solved by rounding up all the bad guys and killing them).
It's a policy run by George W. Bush and Dick Cheney. What are the risks of leaving them free to run further amuck in the Middle East until they leave office.

Assuming they plan to. Even the conservative World Net Daily is fretting over this:
President Bush, without so much as issuing a press statement, on May 9 signed a directive that granted near dictatorial powers to the office of the president in the event of a national emergency declared by the president.

[. . .]

When the president determines a catastrophic emergency has occurred, the president can take over all government functions and direct all private sector activities to ensure we will emerge from the emergency with an "enduring constitutional government."

Translated into layman's terms, when the president determines a national emergency has occurred, the president can declare to the office of the presidency powers usually assumed by dictators to direct any and all government and business activities until the emergency is declared over.
Time to pull the plug.

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