Saturday, December 16, 2006

Not Going to Happen


A frighteningly large number of people seem to be counting on the idea that the war will be mostly over and the troops mostly withdrawn by 2008. But then again, people said Bush would "declare victory and go home" in time for the '06 midterms. And they said he would do it in time for the '04 election. But it's not going to happen. The troops will leave if and only if a new political leader is elected and that leader wants to withdraw the troops.

Indeed. I don't know why it seems like inhabitants of a certain corner of the blogosphere seem be the only ones who understand this, though I suppose people are finally starting to get it. I imagine Bayh dropped out in part because he recognized that the Iraq bed isn't going to unshit itself. While I've been rather disappointed in Obama's leadership on the subject, he did at least call for the beginning of troop withdrawal in a few months (the question is what he says when that doesn't happen). That of course leaves Clinton who is busy protecting us from violent video games.

Anyway, I try to resist criticizing the presidential hopefuls too much (except for, you know, the ones I clearly find comical) and I recognize that these people don't have magic powers which allow them to cause George Bush to do something different. But aside from the fact that they're running for president and I'd like one of them to win, these people will increasingly be the face of the Democratic party. More than Reid and Pelosi they will be the leaders from the perspective of the media. Given their lack of superpowers it isn't necessarily the case that what they say about Iraq is all that important right now, but at a bare minimum what they do need to understand is that two F.U.s from now the Iraq bed will still not be unshitted. At that point the media will be hanging on their every word, including probably a few they just make up. Serious candidates need to understand that whatever they're saying about the subject now, they need to say it based on the understanding that things are not going to be better a year from now.

Most importantly, they need to know what they're going to be saying a year from now.

I know I'm just a dirty fucking hippie with the stupidest blog on the internets, but I've known for a long time that Iraq is not going to magically get better and that George Bush isn't going to leave because he equates leaving with losing. One of the biggest disappointments with our broader political class is due to the failure of them to understand this rather obvious point. George Bush is stubborn and incompetent, wishes are not ponies, and hope is not a plan.