Standing in front of a full bookcase, of all things, our Prince President tonight (a curse upon the timestamp – it’s still 11:43 p.m. here in al-Abama) made many annoying remarks. Here are some of them:
When I addressed you just over a year ago, nearly 12 million Iraqis had cast their ballots for a unified and democratic nation. The elections of 2005 were a stunning achievement. We thought that these elections would bring the Iraqis together – and that as we trained Iraqi security forces, we could accomplish our mission with fewer American troops.
Who is this “we” who had such sanguine hopes for the Iraqi elections? There were plenty of people around at the time explaining why such optimism was ill-founded.
Al Qaeda terrorists and Sunni insurgents recognized the mortal danger that Iraq’s elections posed for their cause. And they responded with outrageous acts of murder aimed at innocent Iraqis.
In otherwise, Sunnis became insurgents because Iraqi democracy posed a threat to the Sunni insurgency. The point of this circular logic is to prevent us from recognising that it was not qua Sunni insurgents but simply qua Sunnis that they were placed in “mortal danger” by Bush’s pseudo-democratic majoritarian scheme.
The situation in Iraq is unacceptable to the American people – and it is unacceptable to me.
Where mistakes have been made, the responsibility rests with me.
Ah! an empty, consequenceless accepting of responsibility! Where have we heard this before? Oh yes, Janet Reno.
The consequences of failure are clear: Radical Islamic extremists would grow in strength and gain new recruits. They would be in a better position to topple moderate governments, create chaos in the region, and use oil revenues to fund their ambitions. … we concluded that to step back now would force a collapse of the Iraqi government, tear that country apart, and result in mass killings on an unimaginable scale.
Since all these developments were the result of the U.S.’s entering Iraq, the thought that they would also result from the U.S.’leaving creates a pleasing symmetry.
The most urgent priority for success in Iraq is security, especially in Baghdad. Eighty percent of Iraq’s sectarian violence occurs within 30 miles of the capital.
There’s reason to think that figure is exaggerated; but I’ll readily admit that there’s probably a lot more violence near the capital than elsewhere. The reason for that, however, is that the existence of a central government to seize is one of the chief causes of the civil strife in Iraq, so it’s no surprise that the melee is most pronounced nearest the prize. Here Bush’s policy of propping up majoritarian centralism in Iraq is the problem, not the solution.
In earlier operations, political and sectarian interference prevented Iraqi and American forces from going into neighborhoods that are home to those fueling the sectarian violence. This time, Iraqi and American forces will have a green light to enter these neighborhoods
Oh goody. Can they juggle nitroglycerine while they’re doing that?
This new strategy will not yield an immediate end to suicide bombings, assassinations, or IED attacks. Our enemies in Iraq will make every effort to ensure that our television screens are filled with images of death and suffering. … The year ahead will demand more patience, sacrifice, and resolve. … Even if our new strategy works exactly as planned, deadly acts of violence will continue – and we must expect more Iraqi and American casualties.
Oh, I guess the answer to my previous question is yes.
To show that it is committed to delivering a better life, the Iraqi government will spend 10 billion dollars of its own money on reconstruction and infrastructure projects that will create new jobs.
Its own money! Cool! How did the Iraqi government earn 10 billion dollars of its own money?
And to allow more Iraqis to re-enter their nation’s political life, the government will reform de-Baathification laws
Oh yes, those wretched de-Baathification laws! What looney-tune suggested them to begin with?
Succeeding in Iraq also requires defending its territorial integrity – and stabilizing the region in the face of the extremist challenge. This begins with addressing Iran and Syria. … We are also taking other steps to bolster the security of Iraq and protect American interests in the Middle East. I recently ordered the deployment of an additional carrier strike group to the region.
Ohhh yeah, there’s the de-escalation we were hoping for.
It is the decisive ideological struggle of our time. On one side are those who believe in freedom and moderation. On the other side are extremists who kill the innocent
And Bush is on which of those sides?
Our new approach comes after consultations with Congress
Post hoc, sed non propter hoc.
Such a scenario [= withdrawal] would result in our troops being forced to stay in Iraq even longer
I could let you live, but then I’d have to kill you.
We also need to examine ways to mobilize talented American civilians to deploy overseas – where they can help build democratic institutions in communities and nations recovering from war and tyranny.
I wish he’d use a less ominous word than “mobilize.”.
These young Americans understand that our cause in Iraq is noble and necessary – and that the advance of freedom is the calling of our time. … And throughout our history, Americans have always defied the pessimists and seen our faith in freedom redeemed.
We go forward with trust that the Author of Liberty will guide us through these trying hours.
What? Benjamin Tucker?
“We also need to examine ways to mobilize talented American civilians to deploy overseas – where they can help build democratic institutions in communities and nations recovering from war and tyranny.”
This, in a speech full of gut-busters, was the best for me. Now, just recently we were told that what Iraq needed was a “New Deal” type program of government make-work to get Iraqis employed fruitfully. And yet, we’re planning on flooding their market with our civilians to take the highest paying jobs (and most likely the jobs that most need people with local knowledge)! So, basically we’re saying “We don’t trust you guys to fix your own country, so we’re going bring in our buddies ** cough, cough** have the U.S. taxpayer pay them an obscene salary ** cough, cough** to do the real work, meanwhile, we’ll pay you approximately $.50/hour to be on the dole doing make-work.”
Yep, sounds like exactly every solution any state has ever come up with…