Wednesday, July 18, 2007

"it's the imperialism, stupid"

Neither Bush nor Cheney were ever honest about their war aims. Not being bound to persuade anyone to cooperate in their actual aims, they have been free to fight the public relations battle with whatever narrative was most effective or convenient, in the moment.

As their credibility has eroded, however, it has gradually become easier for people to consider actions, rather than words. This may well be the critical factor, in the final undoing of George W. Bush -- the loss of credibility, that lays bare and undeniable the mendacity and callous cruelty at the heart of Bush policy.

Matthew Yglesias:
here we are, over four years after the invasion, and it's time to face up to the possibility that the Bush administration's policies in occupied Iraq haven't been driven exclusively by a sincere and idealistic commitment to the well-being of the Iraqi people and the principles of liberty and democracy. Shocking, yes. But not to put too fine a point on it, it's the imperialism, stupid.

Bush won't adopt a bargaining strategy that involves walking away as an option, because he's not willing to walk away. The objective is to retain Iraq as a platform for the projection of American military power in the region, to continue a larger regional struggle against Iran and Syria, to maintain physical control over Iraq's oil resources, etc. That means Bush can't walk away and can't "let Iraqis sort this out on their own." To accomplish his objectives, the United States needs to be intimately involved in Iraqi affairs to give us leverage and prevent the possibility of the dread "Iranian influence." It's unrealistic war aims that launched this war, it's unrealistic aims that have made it last so long, and it's unrealistic aims that prevent it from ending.

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