It's a shame we'll have to wait 20-30 years to start to get an idea of how all this stupidity will be regarded by history. The Neocons and their idealistic dream of flowering democracy in the Middle East. Dubya, the less than stellar intellect that served willingly as their tool. The utter arrogance and confidence that nothing could go wrong. The utterly partisan manner (without regard to competence or experience) in which it was undertaken. Supporting a known criminal, Chalabi, with the hopes he'd be the Prime Minister. Not controlling the looters right after the invasion. Disbanding the Iraqi Army. Giving Halliburton no-bid contracts, considering Cheney was the former company president. Not to mention billions of dollars that have gone missing.
And through it all, until recently, most of the American electorate swallowed it like Coca-Cola. That is the legacy of 9/11, methinks. We let 9/11 scare the bejeezus out of us, and gave the Neocons the golden opportunity to put their idealistic dream in action. Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11, but with a little oratorical sleight of hand, the Neocons and Bush could imply it. Truthiness would trump facts. Or in Cheney's case, bald-face lying would trump facts.
Freedom fries. Emblematic of our unreasoning fear, that.
Osama bin Laden still at large. How is that possible? For an administration as devoted to PR and staging things, you'd think Osama would be job one.
And now I hear that Bush administration officials are blaming the lack of success on the generals not telling them they needed more troops earlier. Huh. Does Shinseki ring a bell? I bet the CIA feels the generals' pain. After all, after all the Neocons created their own little intelligence group at the Defense department when the CIA wouldn't confirm what they wanted to believe. Tennant et al finally figured the Bush administration wanted the CIA to tell them what they WANTED to hear, not the truth. So goes Tennant with the famous "slam dunk" comment.
It could definitely be said that the CIA and the generals were in the wrong to tell the Bush administration what they wanted to hear. However, the threat of losing your job has to count as undue pressure.
Now the Bush Administration is sending 20K additional troops to Baghdad and from most accounts, this is too little, too late. When I first heard the idea that maybe we should a mess more troops over there, I thought the idea had promise. But we evidently don't have the troops for a proper surge, i.e. ~100K troops. In fact, the 20K is only about a couple thousand troops more than we had on had for the Iraqi elections (152K). So, technically, it's not much of a "surge" and it's not like we haven't done it before. It's a shell game.
So, we're working on close to 4 years into this thing. Saddam Hussein is dead and his country is a shaky democracy unable to stand without the U.S. troops. Iraq is embroiled in a civil war--excuse me, I meant "sectarian violence". Sunni and Shia at each others' throats, with no end in site. The Kurds want to be autonomous, and I can't say I blame them. And America? We seem to be stuck, caught in Vietnam-hangover syndrome. Democrats are meek because they don't want to be accused of not supporting the troops, like with Vietnam. Many, but not all Republicans are still holding on to the idea that maybe we can turn this around. Supporters cast aspersions on the American public for turning sour.
And me? I'm just tired of it all, which is easy for me. I don't have anybody close in Iraq, and never supported this war based on lies. Hopefully we can leave with some semblance of progress. I don't want us to fail, but it seems we just made a bad situation worse.