Wednesday, July 11, 2007

The depressing message

No matter how bad things get, just remember, things could be worse.

In the spirit of that cheery thought, let us recall that all of the earnest efforts being made in Washington, to get the U.S. out of Iraq, real soon now, are premised, as they must be, Constitutionally, on a withdrawal managed in its details by the same hopelessly incompetent President, who "planned" and "managed" the Occupation and Reconstruction.

Fred Kaplan at Slate:
A precipitous and total U.S. withdrawal from Iraq probably would have 'serious consequences.' Iraq could erupt into sheer chaos. (If you think the country's already as bad off as it can be, think back on Lebanon during the civil war or Cambodia under the Khmer Rouge.) This chaos could impel neighboring countries to intervene, either to contain the violence or to fight alongside their respective sectarian allies.

However, this warning is beside the point. Few Democrats, much less Republicans, want a rapid and total pullout, for precisely these reasons. The defecting Republicans are telling Bush—either directly or through his aides, who have been scrambling to Capitol Hill this past week—that the only way the congressional leaders might vote for a total pullout is if the White House forces them to do so. If Bush fails to present an alternative strategy—if the only choice Bush gives them is "Stay the course" or "Cut off all the funding"—the weary legislators might well call his bluff.

Like the moth to the flame, so our President is drawn to catastrophe.

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