Monday, June 26, 2006

Into the Media Bloodstream

I'm glad it's okay to write things like this now:

The Bush administration is actively working against the wishes of the elected Iraqi government and the expressed preferences of the American public to pursue an indefinite occupation of Iraq. This is a perpetual deployment on behalf of no stated goals, no wish-list of accomplishments, and no obvious purpose. I can't say whether we want the military bases, the oil, the regional foothold, or anything else; but invading a country, overthrowing their government, and then remaining against the wishes of the elected successors is the very definition of an occupying power, and in any international context, the neocons would be quick to define it as a hostile occupying power. Folks sometimes wonder why we don't have an exit strategy. The answer, now obvious, is because we don't want one.

Bush wants to stay in Iraq forever. We don't know what the presumed benefits of that are because they won't tell us why, and nobody will ask. We have some sense of how costly the ongoing occupation is, and how costly it will be in the future.

We can't have a sensible public debate about this issue until the public understands what the issue is. Our pundit class is blissfully unaware of why we're in Iraq. No one has yet been able to answer the question.