Sunday, January 14, 2007

Iraq: Great Progress, More to Come


It's easy to lose perspective when we see how things have turned out in Iraq. Sometimes it helps to take a moment from the intense self-criticism, and appreciate how far we've come:

Only a few short years ago, anyone who expressed doubts about the Iraq plan and the Bush Doctrine of Preemptive Strikes was attacked as a terrorist-appeasing traitor. To suggest that Iraq might not be a wise move, was met with smug overwhelming Right Wing wrath. Their army of radio talk show hosts and newspaper columnists - including our own Lars Larson and David Reinhard - were on a mission to help sell the Iraq War to the American People, and it was mission accomplished.

The White House used them to harness the emotions of 9/11, and to beat down any dissent. There was no real debate. The Bush White House ran all three branches of government so there was no need for debate. All that was needed was a powerful marketing blitz and the armchair soldiers of the Right were only too happy to jump in.

Protesters of the war were treated as enemy sympathizers by an arrogant media lynch mob. If a columnist such as myself wrote a couple of columns suggesting Iraq would be a Vietnam-style disaster - just prior to the Invasion of Iraq - then they lost their column. It was that simple.

David Reinhard kept his column, of course. He sucked up to the powers-that-be from positions Monica never even thought of, and it worked. Let's start there as a sign of the progress we've made. In today's Oregonian Dave calls those who opposed the war "honorable." Anyone remember any editorials in the newspapers just prior to the invasion of Iraq calling the opposition "honorable"? My, how polite we've become. Losing Congress sure makes people act nicer, doesn't it?

Of course, back then, things were different. The New York Times was actively rubber-stamping phony stories out of Dick Cheney's office without a hint of actual journalistic scrutiny. Our corporate media was reduced to a PR firm with Karl Rove in charge. Ironically, the Portland Tribune is one of the only right-wing owned newspapers in America that got it right. I did a good job for them, even if it cost me mine. It hurt for a while but now it's one of the 2 or 3 things I'm most proud of in my whole life.

So where's the progress? See, back then, the word "mistake" was never uttered by our President. He did not do mistakes. That was later adjusted to some new spin by the usual suspects. They tried to convince the American Public that lots of great things were happening in Iraq, but the darned media was emphasizing the bad stuff - the mistakes - way too much.

Now of course, things are so bad, the White House talks about mistakes like they're bragging: "See, we get it! We're not stupid! This is unacceptable!!!!" Of course, the spin part is that the mistakes are why the Iraq Plan did not go excellently. They still haven't made the final admission - that the whole damn thing was a mistake, that the Doctrine of Preemptive Strikes was a mistake, and that President Bush himself was a mistake.

So what do I think is the progress yet to come? Right now we are in the pre-Invasion days as far as criminality is concerned. The Giant Corporate Media structure that helped market this thing, is still silent on the legal issues. I believe in a few years, what happened with the subject of mistakes will happen with crimes. Eventually, the topic of criminality will break through the loathsome spin of the water-carrying clowns like David Reinhard and Lars Larson.

We will begin to discuss the numerous crimes of the Bush administration, and possibly even do something about them. If I wrote a column about this subject today for the Portland Tribune - about the many criminal acts the Bush administration has done from the torture to the fraudulent handling of intelligence to market this war - I'm sure I'd be let go again. Fortunately for me, I've landed in the blog world where a person's opinion can be expressed without the stifling corporate filters of the modern media.

Still, I believe in a few years, they'll get around to this subject as well. They'll look at the speech that President Bush gave the other night and call it what it really was: Criminal Negligence. They'll look at the Invasion of Iraq for the naked aggression it obviously was, especially given that the announced reasons for doing it were all wrong. In short, they'll begin discussing the many crimes of President Bush.

That's what lies ahead, but let's celebrate the progress we have made so far. It is now safe to talk about mistakes in Iraq. Even the Right Wing shills can discuss them because President Bush has done so. It is safe for them to talk. They can assume the new position and continue to suck.

It's a little funny really - Iraq is going so poorly, that President Bush had to acknowledge the mistakes or sound like a complete lunatic. That's real progress. That means there's less pretending going on.

I'm looking forward to the time when we can talk openly about the many crimes this man has done. We need to discuss his assault on our privacy and the Constitution. Then we can stop pretending this was all legal in the truest sense of our national ideals. That's the progress we still need to make.

When I pick up the Sunday Oregonian and there's an editorial about what a war criminal President Bush was, I'll know that we're almost back, especially if David Reinhard calls that assessment an "honorable position."

For now we should acknowledge how far we've come back. We no longer have to talk about President Bush's wretched plan with patriotic fervor and praise - that part is over. We've made great progress on Iraq, but we have a lot more to do. We've still got to address the illegalities of this craven group of power-hungry losers. Only then can we fully restore the promise of America.

15 Comments:

At 2:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well put - all of this - Bill.

BUT I don't see anybody DOING anything. And I don't EXPECT to see much action either.

The troops were already THERE for the 'surge' when the NUT made his speech - this is WHY he delayed. Further, they said they already HAVE the money for this activity.

So HOW will we know then the surge occurs? The effect may well be like a $10 payment on Paris Hilton's credit card bill. Except of course for the families of the missing.

They are scurrying for a 'hurry-up' move on Iran to entrench their whole long-range plan. But the exit from Iraq is a long way off.

And WHEN - after a very dragged out process - SOME limits are put in place by lawmakers, the total chaos in Iraq and the New War in Iran/region will make it quite impossible to leave.

THEN comes along the 2008 blame game.

If the NeoCons win that, then it is off to South America we go - for Chavez.

Someone is headed for a disappointment.

TommyLee

 
At 9:14 PM, Blogger Jack Bog said...

He still doesn't get it. Never will.

"Failure in Iraq would be a disaster for the American people." Would be? Come on, coke head. It simply is, just like the career your father bought you.

 
At 2:54 PM, Anonymous butch said...

jack, the dribble you posted on your own blog made more sense than that comment. If you're going to post mindless bush-hate drivel, at least put some substance and detail into it. Oh, and jump to a few unsubstantiated conclusions like you did in your blog's bush rant. At least that was entertaining.

 
At 3:52 PM, Blogger Bill McDonald said...

Butch, I wondered what you thought of the President's claim that he has the right to read our mail if he alone decides. Are you defending that?

 
At 3:59 PM, Anonymous butch said...

Bill,

I think this is yet ANOTHER round of 'much ado about nothing' from bush-hating partisans. Just as in the 'domestic spying' case. The same people decrying this (wrongly) were oddly silent when the Clinton Administration was physically ransacking peoples' residences without a warrant. They were silent when Carter was spying more intrusively than the accusations against Bush without a warrant. The only difference in our civil protections now is that because dubya is in office, people are trying to use common sense security measures as a stick to whack the President with.

Postal Vice President Tom Day added: "As has been the long-standing practice, first class mail is protected from unreasonable search and seizure when in postal custody. Nothing in the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act changes this protection. The president is not exerting any new authority."

But don't let facts get in the way.

 
At 4:05 PM, Blogger Bill McDonald said...

It's not in the legislation. It's in the signing statement where he claims the right to ignore the legislation, and do whatever he wants.
That's the problem: He doesn't believe he has to follow the laws. He did the same thing with McCain torture bill. He signed it but immediately said he wouldn't follow it if he didn't want to. That's partly why he doesn't veto bills. To him they're just suggestions that he can ignore whenever he wants. This form of government has been tried before - it's why we rose up against King George.

 
At 4:37 PM, Anonymous Roger said...

Let's keep in mind that history will regard the invasion of Iraq as one of the Bush Administration's most successful ventures.

You laugh, but look at the record. In Iraq, we toppled one dictator and one statute.

Compare that with the domestic track record, where the BEST results from the Bush Administration come in areas that have been ignored:

EDUCATION: Pros: Devised clever slogan. Cons: Didn't fund program that inspired clever slogan. Cut scholarship funds.

ENERGY: I guess we shouldn't completely discount the possibility that Cheney and Ken Lay devised a plan so brilliant that it's had to be kept secret from the public for five years because it was actually so radical and inventive.

BUDGET MANAGEMENT: Cooked books -- remember, Iraq doesn't show up on the budget -- and sky-high deficits even with the fuzzy accounting.

FISCAL POLICY: Nothing exemplifies the Bush Administration better than last summer's minimum-wage bill, into which they tried to cram even more tax breaks for wealthy people.

HEALTH CARE: The complete fiasco that is Medicare Part D.

Etc., etc. Face it: Iraq really and truly is the Bush Administration's Greatest Hit. It's going to take decades to recover from the damage this group has done.

 
At 9:00 PM, Anonymous butch said...

Hey Roger....because you are such an intellect at judging how history will see our Presidents.....I'd like to hear your projection of the Clinton legacy. And please only include accomplishments that were the result of his initiative and not the Republican congress that ruled most of his tenure. This should be good......

 
At 10:23 PM, Blogger Rat said...

just keep in mind that cowardly Jack can't control and censor this blog as he does with his own....the far left has become so filled with hatred for this administration that i fear they have lost their collective mind. With respect to rabid roger's rantings, the economy is doing great...stock portfolios are going through the roof and many of us will retire early to enjoy the fruits of our labor. My greatest concern is that we aren't doing enough to rub out the islamo-facists of this world. at some point we are going to have to take the gloves off and start killing them wherever they are. a good sign, however, is our recent action in somalia...

 
At 12:01 AM, Blogger Bill McDonald said...

All that's happening with the stock market is the transfer of wealth from future generations to make today's rich richer. America is being looted, and driven into bankruptcy.

 
At 11:34 AM, Blogger Rat said...

Now Bill, u fail to take into account that most pensions for blue collar workers derive from investments in the market. a rising market actually decreases the annual deficit because of increased tax revenue. Oh, by the way, Marxism sucks.

 
At 11:52 AM, Blogger LaurelhurstDad said...

Thank you, Roger, for itemizing just a few of the horrors of this administration.

In a just world, Bush would be lying next to Saddam, punishment for his war crimes and crimes against the United States.

Why should we stop with just one mass murderer?

 
At 7:33 PM, Blogger Bill McDonald said...

Dear Rat,
Do you think the widening gap between rich and poor is healthy in this country? And don't hide behind the Marxism class warfare jive. We're talking about what works versus what could cause the collapse of this country.
The forces of government have been purchased by the rich and they bought the media to sell you a story about how great everything is. Not surprisingly, you went for it.

 
At 10:36 AM, Anonymous butch said...

Bill,

The average standard of living amongst ALL wage classes has steadily increased.

 
At 11:45 AM, Blogger Rat said...

A little more optimism, please. The houses we purchased 15 years ago are now worth a fortune...IRAs and SEP plans are doing great since the dot-com collapse..goverment pensioners are doing great...the price of oil is below $50...low fat foods are in vogue...with the exception of crazed muslims and illegals immigration, the US is doing well...

 

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