Friday, September 14, 2007

If Michael Scott was President, his name would be George Bush

President Bush interrupted an Office rerun last night to give a speech about the war in Iraq. I feel bad being annoyed by that, since it was really a pretty important speech - outlining his future strategy for the war. But I was annoyed nevertheless. I've really been a pretty bad citizen this week. I've barely been following the news. I didn't really read any of the coverage on Petraeus' testimony before Congress on the surge...but in my defense, I did see the "Meet the Press" pre-game on Sunday.

I'd like to draw attention to the end of his speech:

Earlier this year, I received an e-mail from the family of Army Specialist Brandon Stout of Michigan. Brandon volunteered for the National Guard and was killed while serving in Baghdad. His family has suffered greatly. Yet in their sorrow, they see larger purpose. His wife, Audrey, says that Brandon felt called to serve and knew what he was fighting for. And his parents, Tracy and Jeff, wrote me this: "We believe this is a war of good and evil and we must win even if it cost the life of our own son. Freedom is not free [thanks, 300!]."

That's cool. I just really hope Ann Coulter jumps on that. You know what I'm talking about. Remember last summer how she made all the media circuits bitching about the Defeatocrats being so sleazy for trumping around Bush-criticizing 9/11 widows as human shields to ensure against rebuttal? For all the crap she took for it, I actually thought it was a fair point.

But here we've got President Bush doing the same thing. A dead National Guard's family thinks the Iraq War is swell? Well zippity-do-da. Who gives a shit what they think? In what manner are these people qualified to speak on the Iraq War? Oh, I'm sorry, they lost a son in the war, so of course they're in a special position to advise the President on the longterm nuances and implications of his international security strategy.

Here's the real problem with the war in Iraq: we've reached a point - been there for a couple years now, really - where too many people's egos are wrapped up in it to permit any real solution. The Democrats need it to fail so they can say they were right. The Republicans need it to succeed so they can say they were right. My greatest concern is that if, somehow, we do in fact establish a flowering democracy in Iraq, conservatives will feel vindicated and declare the war a success. They'll overlook the lessons we (should have) learned from the war. They'll fail to grasp the fact that, fundamentally, invasion is the incorrect manner to combat terrorism.

Sure, if you stick with it long enough you can move a pile of sand with a pair of tweezers, one grit at a time. But a shovel does the job much better. And when you eventually succeed with the tweezers, you should view that success less as a testament to your endurance and resiliency and more as a testament to your stupidity.


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