Monday, August 21, 2006

Banging Head Against Garage Door -- Again

It's cheaper than a therapist. Try it sometimes. Today's treatment was caused by the utterance of our dear leader on the topic of Iraq:

At a press conference today:


BUSH: The strategy is to help the Iraqi people achieve the objectives and dreams which is a democratic society. That's the strategy. The tactics — now — either you say yes it's important we stay there and get it done or we leave. We're not leaving so long as I'm the president. That would be a huge mistake. It would send an unbelievably you know terrible signal to reformers across the region. It would say we've abandoned our desire to change the conditions that create terror.

So he is going to leave the mess for someone else to clear up. In the meantime lots more people will die, including American soldiers, and many more would-be-terrorists will learn their craft in Iraq, ready to be applied elsewhere later on.

What are the "reformers across the region" that would get a terrible signal if the U.S. left Iraq? Those reformers seem to consist almost totally of Islamists. In Iraq the "reforms" are well on their way towards creating a theocracy, and the same is likely true of any other currently dictatorial Middle Eastern country. If you remove the dictator you create a vacuum, and politics abhors vacuums. So in go whatever groups already exist that desire raw power, and in those countries it isn't the secular middle classes, you know.

I'd be curious to know what Bush means by changing "the conditions that create terror". It looks like having a "free" market, available to be picked clean by the Haliburton and Enron vultures, is an essential part of the fight. Sigh.

After all that, I agree that it wouldn't be a good idea for the American troops to leave Iraq first thing tomorrow morning. But I thought the idea was not to give any timeline which would encourage terrorists. Now Bush has given a timeline, or at least an estimate of the earliest date at which something can happen. Shouldn't this encourage the terrorists, too? Of course almost everything Bush has done has worked out exactly like bin Laden might have planned had he been the super-criminal we have painted him to be, instead of the rabid rat he actually is.

What is the psychological term for someone who refuses to change or adjust even when facts show that this is absolutely necessary? Whatever it is, that's what we have in the White House.