Sunday, June 05, 2005

No More Corners

It's certainly possible that things will magically start getting better in Iraq. The good news for those of us in the reality based community who would like to actually understand what's going on and think seriously about it is that I think we've reached the end of our artificial milestones that cause yet another round of "things are getting better!" and "I was against the Iraq war but maybe I was wrong!" and "why do you hate freedom?" opeds.

The importance of this Washington Post article cannot be overstated, though it will probably large overlooked. First, we do have some signs that the Democrats have recognized that they need to stop running from this issue. I'm not confident that they'll be willing to do so in the necessary way - admit they were wrong to support the war, wrong to trust this administration to do it right even given what they believed at the time, and sorry for their mistake - but maybe I'll be surprised.

The most important thing about this article is that we have a Republican essentially saying that Bush is full of shit.

"I am pleased that in less than a year's time, there's a democratically elected government in Iraq, there are thousands of Iraq soldiers trained and better equipped to fight for their own country [and] that our strategy is very clear," Bush said during a Rose Garden news conference Tuesday. Overall, he said, "I'm pleased with the progress." Cheney offered an even more hopeful assessment during a CNN interview aired the night before, saying the insurgency was in its "last throes."

Several Republicans questioned that evaluation. "I cannot say with any confidence that that is accurate," said Rep. Steve Chabot (R-Ohio), a member of the House International Relations Committee. "I think it's impossible to know how close we are to the insurgency being overcome."

And, we have McCain at least very quietly telling Bush to cut the fucking happy talk:

McCain said Bush needs to carefully balance his reassuring statements to a troubled nation with frank talk about the arduous and unpredictable future. "It's a long, hard struggle and very gradually maybe we are making progress," McCain said. "There are tough times ahead."