Thursday, July 26, 2007

I suppose I could do better that that...

...Ankush, but I don't need to. If you want to take a panoptic view of what every party in every party has to say about how to extricate ourselves from Iraq, then, yes, eventually it's possible to throw just about everyone into the category marked: "advocates a phased withdrawal." That must have been a fun little intellectual exercise! But what people say they support--and for my part, I hear Hillary, for instance, offering to simply become CEO of the current miasma, not end it--is irrelevant when it's all just a bill of goods that's getting sold just to get someone elected.

And, as far as the Democrats indulging themselves in a little wish fulfillment to get John Q.'s hopes up, the walk I have to take to substantiate it is only as far as...let's see...oh! Look! This week's debate! Where Bill Richardson basically offered up "We'll get everyone out in six months!" only because "six months" sounded prettier than the "one year" Joe Biden was offering. They battled and battled over that point, and somewhere, someone was led to believe that Richardson was a superior candidate to Biden because he could magically do something in half the time! And he can't, and Duffy's article details some of the reasons why he can't, and he likely KNOWS he can't, but whatever--gotta get some distance in the polls, right? Can't afford to get picked off the back of the pack, right? That's what honestly answering the people's questions is all about right?

No serious discussion on withdrawal can survive if the Democratic candidates are, in this fashion, going to spend the next year bargaining outside of reality, tossing out numbers in a battle of political oneupsmanship as if withdrawal could be procured on eBay. What Duffy did, soberly, measuredly, was simply state an important truth: everything you've been told about withdrawal is wrong.

ADDENDUM: Ahh, also, I remember. Chris Dodd. In the same debate. Dicked around with dates. Dodd, of course, knew there was a chance he'd have to play a part in some vote at some point in the future, so his frame was: we'll get this done, late '08-early '09. Sure, as of this moment, that's what? Sixteen months? Okay, sounds perfectly feasible. But the clock, as they say, is tick tick ticking away, and Dodd hasn't a clue when the start date for withdrawal is! What if it's ten months? Eight months? And what about, uhm...how? Dodd hasn't a sodding clue, and while he could spend a little time levelling with people, on any of the matters Duffy brings up (agricultural inspections...mitigating vulnerabilities...what military assets do we leave behind to save time), he didn't do that, did he? (Compare to Biden, who at least made a token effort.) But he did find the time to offer a caveat: And if, for whatever reason, this isn't done by inauguration day, no worries! If elected, I'll just snap my wee fingers and get it done! NONE OF THAT IS OFFERING A COGENT STRATEGY FOR WITHDRAWAL. Rather, it is high-toned electoral bet hedging.

In short: Duffy says, "What's needed is not the sloganeering (*cough cough* Dodd *cough* Richardson) of certain politicians but a clear-eyed, multifaceted policy." I say, sure, but the problem is that the "ongoing Presidential campaigning and the Iraq conflict has become less about finding a solution to terrorism and more about generating a set of outcomes that will get people elected to office." And LAND'S SAKES! Not even a week later: SO IT IS WRITTEN THAT THIS DID COME TO PASS! Hallelujah!

But, heck, you were definitely right about one thing! I could do better. So ordered, so done!

P.S.: Hillary Clinton, frontrunner, not a fan of even phased withdrawal.

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