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January 02, 2006


I for one am not sorry in the least if we scale back our efforts here. We're (by which I mean the people we have chosen to represent us) not capable of doing any better at this than the Iraqis are. All of the problems are Iraqi problems, and all of the solutions should be Iraqi solutions.

I've got no problem at all with spending the 'peace dividend' from withdrawal on a grants program that has standards and accountability. And a prohibition on using grant funds for lobbying.

CharleyCarp: I more or less agree with you -- most of what I think should happen in the world, even the fairly simple and easy stuff, would not be done right by this administration.

What gets me are two things: first, that this is another one of the responsibilities we really did assume in invading Iraq. That one way or another we won't discharge it, since either (a) we won't try or (b) this administration will try and make a mess of it, only makes me more furious about our having assumed it.

Second, the dishonesty of doing this while (OMG, an unsupported prediction) continuing to depict Bush as Mr. Stay The Course and Democrats as the weak cut and run crowd.

We don't disagree. Given what we can expect in the way of execution, though, I have to just say that two wrongs don't make a right. Or thirty wrongs. Or three hundred wrongs.

I wonder if Bush's lack of will to sustain commitment is part of why his support is dropping within the military. I inarcurately sited a poll from Military Times--it should have been Army Times--that shows an decreasing support for his administration. There's an article about this on the TPM Cafe.
Military peoplew will know that shifting from ground troops to airwar is absolutely the wrong thing to do when figting an insurgency.
Bush is cutting and running but he will be the last one to admit it.

All the Bush sound-bites (quoted by hilzoy above) are from 2003.

It's just criminal to see what those pesky liberals have done to W's resolve in just two short years!

What, no trolls here defending the Bush administration? C'mon guys, what does the White House pay you all that money for? Well, in hopes of getting a little scratch thrown my way, I'll give it a shot:
"Dont you weak-kneed defeatist Howard Dean ass kissers realize that things are so much better there and that by giving them more money we'll only make Iraq into a failed welfare state like the ones you love so much in, um, Mississippi..."
OK, I was going pretty good until that last part, but I still that's worth a few thou, don't you?

this is consistent with Bush's remarks from the 2000 election:

    "I don't think our troops ought to be used for what's called nation building," Bush told an audience at Wake Forest University in North Carolina. "I think our troops ought to be used to fight and win war."

    A few minutes later, moderator Jim Lehrer asked whether it was time to create a civilian force to come in after military interventions and do the job. Bush replied, "I think what we need to do is convince people who live in the lands they live in to build the nations. Maybe I'm missing something here. I mean, we're going to have kind of a nation-building corps from America? Absolutely not."

we have simply mis-remembered the intervening 5 years.

Hmm. I would have thought one of them often-mentioned "lessons of 9/11" was:

Don't leave undeveloped countries lying around where Al Qaida will gladly move in.

Ask the Afghanis how well we do with reconstruction.

What, no trolls here defending the Bush administration?

Well, there's only one troll hanging out here these days, as near as I can tell. Possibly two, if you really mean to say that any defenders of Bush are trolls on the take.

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