Thursday, January 04, 2007


Larry Beinhart: 2007 - Year of Madness

Buzzflash - Excerpt:

George Bush can't leave Iraq.

Look at it from where he sits.

Getting Saddam was going to be Bush's jackpot.

He was going to go in, win it, bring democracy to the Middle East, make it clear that no should ever dare challenge America, and establish America's vision as the world's vision. If Bush had won that hand he would have been declared one of history's great men.

He went all in.

He used all the political capital he'd acquired from 9/11. Plus he gave up on Osama bin Laden, Mullah Omar and Afghanistan. He told lies about why we went to war. He violated the basics of international law. He alienated our allies. If he won, all that would be forgotten and forgiven. Worth the price. Proof of his daring manliness. Success erases more sins than being born again ever will. Just ask Jimmy Carter.

But he lost.

Can he get up and walk away from the table?


The moment he folds his Iraq hand, all that's left is to ride out of history on a Greyhound bus. There he goes, President Loser, bet his poke on the wrong war. Played the hand all wrong. Was he the worst president ever, or just second or third worst?

His only choice is to stubbornly stay at the table, ignore the voices telling him that he's broke, and chase his losses. Maybe a miracle will happen. People do win the lottery. But you do have to be in it to win it.

Maybe he won't hit the jackpot, but he has to hope he can at least break even. Cut his loses. Something. At this point, he, personally, has nothing more to lose. He's playing with other people's lives and money.

Even if the war remains a quagmire, death and destruction with no end in sight, Bush -- personally -- is better off. American service men and women, Americans who are paying the bills, Iraqis, and the rest of the world, may not be. But he's better off. Because that will force someone else to pull the plug. Bush will then maintain that had we just stuck to it, it would have succeeded eventually. He will then hire an army of payable pundits and whorish historians to churn out books and papers to say so. That's what the half billion dollar presidential library is for.

Bush is "commander-in-chief." Congress can't undeclare the war they so foolishly gave him permission for. The generals won't mutiny or organize a coup (and we should be very thankful for that).

The war will continue.

The opposition to the war will grow. The more it grows, the more Bush will hunker down and the more he will insist that it continue. Either as a small force, to be whittled away, death by death, cripple after cripple, or, as much as he can, he will escalate. Doubling down. There is no formula for getting out of the war that eliminates the moment of recognition that he is a failure, an abject and utter failure.

h/t Bergs


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