Sunday, August 14, 2005

Living in a Different Universe 

Kevin picks up on exactly the quotation that came to mind when I read this piece in the WaPo about the administration's "reality adjustment" on Iraq:
Summer 2002, a senior Bush official to Ron Suskind: "[Establishment liberals] believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality. That's not the way the world really works anymore. We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality."

Summer 2005, a senior Bush official to Robin Wright and Ellen Knickmeyer: "What we expected to achieve [in Iraq] was never realistic given the timetable or what unfolded on the ground. We are in a process of absorbing the factors of the situation we're in and shedding the unreality that dominated at the beginning."
Just like the brilliant Frank Rich column already mentioned by Lambert this morning, the administration is really in hip-deep and W apparently is the only one still bravely sticking to his guns. Everyone else in this administration is loudly whispering about the walkback of expectations.

I like the historical parallel that Rich makes here as well:
WHAT lies ahead now in Iraq instead is not victory, which Mr. Bush has never clearly defined anyway, but an exit (or triage) strategy that may echo Johnson's March 1968 plan for retreat from Vietnam: some kind of negotiations (in this case, with Sunni elements of the insurgency), followed by more inflated claims about the readiness of the local troops-in-training, whom we'll then throw to the wolves. Such an outcome may lead to even greater disaster, but this administration long ago squandered the credibility needed to make the difficult case that more human and financial resources might prevent Iraq from continuing its descent into civil war and its devolution into jihad central.

Thus the president's claim on Thursday that "no decision has been made yet" about withdrawing troops from Iraq can be taken exactly as seriously as the vice president's preceding fantasy that the insurgency is in its "last throes." The country has already made the decision for Mr. Bush. We're outta there. Now comes the hard task of identifying the leaders who can pick up the pieces of the fiasco that has made us more vulnerable, not less, to the terrorists who struck us four years ago next month.
We also now know the pullout is imminent folks. When Bush the Liar says "no decision has been made" you know that a decision has been made.

Remember how many times Bush in the fall of 2002 insisted that the decision hadn't been made to go to war?

BTW, aren't the Vietnam parallels extremely apt now?

I must admit that I find myself really upset when CNN runs their "A Soldier's Story" segments on Sundays. I really get upset when they tell us the brief bios on the twenty or so soldiers that have died during the week. I cried a bit last week as they listed all of the men and described how many wives and children they were leaving behind.

What a fucking disaster. But we'll be out soon -- and Iraq will collapse into civil war behind us.

And after our skedaddle from Iraq you can bet that W, Dick, Ann Coulter, and the Republican noise machine chorus will tell America that it's the Democrats' fault or the soldiers' fault or the fault of the career military people at the Pentagon or of the anti-war protesters or of Cindy Sheehan or Dan Rather or Peter Jennings or some such outrageous claptrap because it would never, ever, ever, ever be the fault of Dear Leader, would it?

Well, of course not. It just couldn't be W's fault, right? He's perfect.

And you know what the most outrageous part will be?

There will be a huge number of Americans (not just Glenn Reynolds) who will actually buy it.

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