Archive for September 7th, 2004

Why Can’t Johnny Read?

20

It
kills us the way the pundits prognosticate the political future by rehashing
the past. "Never before…" "Every
election since 1865…" "At this point in previous campaigns…" Give
it up! The sample is simply too skimpy to make categorical predictions.

Just when it seemed Kerry was irredeemably mired in his
own pretentiousness, real life is conspiring to breath new life into
his moribund movement. Turns out he was right to be centering his campaign
on the war. He just happened to have the wrong war. Nevertheless, Kerry
is doing his best to fumble the ball, and the clock is ticking down in
the fourth quarter.

The news from Iraq today was a depressing bit of Vietnam
deja vu.  A milestone was reached; 1,000 American men and women
killed since we invaded. We truly believe a majority of Americans, although
they will always support our armed forces when they are sent on a concrete
campaign or mission to defend our interests, will NOT, in this day and
age, support an indefinite status quo in which our guys and girls are
being shot at and killed day in and day out, with no end in sight.

We have opened a Pandora’s box of wicked ills in the Middle
East, and we are discovering a whole world of pain, which is destined
to affect our society as deeply as Vietnam did a generation ago. Suddenly,
we are not in control of the situation on the ground. US forces have
withdrawn from city after city across the center of Iraq. Faluja, Karbala,
Ramadi, Najaf and large sections of Baghdad are in the hands of militants
whose entire existence is based on a desire to kill Americans and drive
us from their lands.

Worse, we have lost the support of the people we have come
to liberate.  The scale of our destruction has been so awesome and
indiscriminate that the rank and file, the teachers and bakers and washer-women,
the millions of peace-loving people of Iraq, see us as an evil army of
death and are increasingly willing to feed and hide the insurgents. As
anyone who has tried to help an alcoholic or drug addict who hasn’t
hit bottom knows, saving someone who doesn’t want to be saved
is an impossible quagmire.

The military says that they have a plan.  if the Incipient
Iraqi security forces can’t maintain control in these cities, US forces are ready
to retake them, one at a time. How a series of bloody urban battles,
mosque-to-mosque combat, with heavy casualties on both sides and even
more so among the doomed civilians, will play in the midst of a Presidential
campaign will be interesting to see.

More interesting, we hope, than the insipid display of
ham-handedness we just saw on the nightly news.  John Kerry, asked
to comment on today’s milestone in Iraq – a political softball to his
wheelhouse, just begging to be swatted over the wall
answered, in his gaunt, sonorous and sepulchral tomes, "Over 1000 of
America’s sons and daughters have now given their lives to the war on
terror."

NO, NO, NO, John.  That is the Bush lie. They have
given their lives to an obscure, oil-drenched Texas family feud, to a
personal vendetta that has nothing to do with the real security of the
United States and in fact is making us less secure by breeding a million
widows and orphans who blame us for their misfortunes and will spend
the rest of their lives trying to get back at us.

The Real War on Terror is tracking down Osama, rooting out the
entrenched hate-mongers in our "allies", Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, stopping
the massacres in Africa, finding the Anthrax killer, and getting real
about protecting our borders, airports and container ports.

This is the message. Is it too late for the messenger to
figure it out?

article from the New York Times