Monday, May 28, 2007

We Must Be Able To Do Something

I understand where Adele is coming from. We're good liberals, we gaze on the horror that we (yes, all of us) are responsible for, and are compelled to try to fix it. To make it better. To somehow unshit the bed, if just a little bit. To unpollute the river which is now a sewer of trash, filth and bodies. To fix the civil infrastructure. To somehow make it up to them.

You see this in Michael Ware, who understands full well what a clusterfuck things are but doesn't think the US can leave. They fucked it up! They have to fix it!

But even if we imagine that somehow there exists, if not a magical pony plan, at least something, some way to improve things just a bit. The reality is George Bush and his merry band of incompetent psychopaths are in power for the next 20 months. 20 more months of the war-as-product-for-domestic-consumption rather than as an occupation to be understood. 20 more months of thinking about this being about "terrorists" and "the enemy" instead of series of conflicts we're in the middle of (yes there are people engaging in terrorism and yes there are "bad guys," but this problem isn't solved by rounding up all the bad guys and killing them).

And 20 months from now when President Wise and Benevolent Democrat takes office there will be no political interest in helping Iraq. We'll pay $100 billion to fund the war, but there will be no interest in paying $100 billion to support the peace, if such a thing were even possible.

We can dream of bringing in the international community, but they will largely have no interest in contributing funds as long as the money pit of US contractors is still there. Who would be stupid enough to throw more cash into that giant black hole?

The fact is that right now the choice is, as it has always been, between Bush's war and getting out. There's no Peter Beinart's war, there's no Tom Friedman's war, there's no Adele Stan's war. There is no good liberal way out of this mess.

We will owe the people of that country tremendously, but the reality is we'll be far more likely to send them the bill than to try to repair the damage we have done.