Congress Last Night: Passengers on the Titanic
I've taken a day to analyze the State of the Union speech, partly because I watched it with the sound down. Here's what I believe is happening: We're about three-quarters of the way through the realization process that Iraq is a huge mistake. Everything I've heard from both parties seems to indicate a willingness to pretend we can still luck our way through this. It's called postponing the inevitable.
Historians who watch last night's speech and see the assembled faces will say, "They were still in it. Why didn't they see?" It will look like those pictures late in that doomed relationship you had, when you were still trying to make it work. Nancy Pelosi and company will look like passengers on the Titanic. In that sense, I see this stretch of American History as an unbelievable heartbreaker. Somewhere down the line we will call it what it is: an unmitigated disaster and head for the lifeboats. Or at least we should.
If I had one question for the Bush officials, and they were on truth serum, it would be the following: Let's say we knew that Iraq would become a beacon of democracy in the region, a stable presence and not a theocracy, but only if we got out. Would you leave even then?
I don't think they would. My suspicion is we're not there for these lofty goals - we're there for the oil, so all this hand-wringing is nothing but a charade from an administration built on deception.
I bet if you looked into Cheney's inner thoughts and posed that question, the answer would be, "Hell no, we're not leaving even if Thomas Jefferson time travels to Iraq and agrees to start their new democracy. We're not there for that, and we're not leaving no matter what." Those bases aren't called permanent for nothing.
So we continue on with the madness, at least until these wretched leaders are gone. The trouble with mistakes like Iraq, is that they're like that messy relationship most of us were in: It always takes way, way too long before we pull the plug.