Thoughts About "Fiasco: The American Military Adventure in Iraq"
They showed Tim Russert's interview of Thomas Ricks, the author of "Fiasco: The American Military Adventure in Iraq" on CNBC yesterday. It was hard to pick out the most depressing part but I'd have to go with the author's personal story of writing near a school. He would look over at 3:30 in the afternoon and see the kindergarten class come out, and think to himself that some of those kids could grow up and die fighting in Iraq. This has been a personal journey for all of us to come to grips with, and yesterday I realized I am almost there. I get what happened, I think I know why, and I certainly see what went wrong. The author pulled out a Sam Goldwyn gem when Russert asked him what to expect long-term: "I never make predictions especially about the future." Iraq is now the ultimate problem - a mess so vast that President Bush's plan is to try and keep the lid on for the next two years, and then just hand it off to someone else. As we stand now, none of the results are good. And don't bring up the removal of Saddam - Ricks thinks this could lead to a more brutal version. He said where we are heading could make 2006 look like the good old days. What Bush Jr. didn't get was Iraq's role in walling off Iran, so what we have done has helped Iran considerably - which could be why we might try and over-correct that with another military attack. Ricks said a military man told him Iran had a better post-invasion plan for Iraq than we did. Certainly Tommy Franks and Donald Rumsfeld will go down in history as the worst post-invasion planners of all time. There is human tragedy everywhere in this, and right in the center is President George W. Bush. He was our only chance of standing up to the insane aggression of Dick Cheney, and he blew it. There are many horrible things that could happen if we pull out - chief among these would be a really high-energy civil war that could go regional and ultimately lead to Israel using nuclear weapons. I mean we know those exist. Then we could get the World War 3 these chicken hawks insist is happening now.
There are also many horrible things that could go wrong if we stay. In fact, everything that could go wrong if we pull out, could happen anyway. Ricks said he's visited Iraq 6 times and each time he tells himself that the hellish place can not get any worse. Each time he comes back it is worse. Thank you, President Bush. On behalf of all the parents who will lose sons and daughters riding herd on this disaster, we salute you. Enjoy your vacation. And to all the Bush supporters out there, please, have some class. Take at least 10 minutes off before you continue bragging about how good Republicans are at foreign policy.