While watching the Sunday political gabfest programs, The Liberal Examiner was amazed at the number of references Republicans made to the much ballyhooed surge in Iraq. The discussion was originally about the President’s new Afghanistan policy, yet Republicans couldn’t help themselves from looking back on their greatest policy disaster (and there are so many disasters to choose from) with all their usual “factual obliviousness” and hyper-partisan smugness. Ignoring the fact that America had no legitimate reason to launch Bush’s Iraq (mis)adventure in the first place, dismissing the fact that pre-emptive war is illegal by international standards, and completely undaunted by the fact that it operated as the distraction that allowed the actual perpetrators of 9-11 to escape, Republicans were basking in the glow of misguided “I-told-you-so-ism”! After spending 3 + years making every possible wrong choice in Bush’s “Iraq-mire”, they seemingly couldn’t contain themselves from lauding the one decision they somehow think, facts notwithstanding, that they got right. In 2006 President Bush, rather then simply withdraw the American forces from a country that they should never have been deployed to in the first place, decided to double down on his foolish, arrogant, illegal, immoral and brazenly hawkish decision to invade Iraq by ordering a highly controversial escalation of the war (the troop surge)! When asked by the slumbering, enabling and disinterested host of these mindless political talk shows http://www.examiner.com/x-21075-Baltimore-Liberal-Examiner~y2009m9d29-Meet-the-Press to comment on the President’s new Afghanistan policy, their Republican guest couldn’t contain themselves from pointing out that the President “couldn’t even bring himself to admit that the surge in Iraq worked”, as if saying so makes it so http://www.examiner.com/x-21075-Baltimore-Liberal-Examiner~y2009m9d1-Say-anything-or-just-the-facts-maam!
Setting aside the fact that such a comment is completely unresponsive to the questions they were asked (their enabling media host certainly set this fact aside), has the surge actually worked? If the purpose of the surge was to prevent the Iraqi people from killing members of the United States Armed forces, then it was indeed a success. However, if one considers that our military should never have been there in the first place and that almost 6 years and nearly one trillion dollars after our initial invasion we are still there, then the much ballyhooed success of the surge becomes even murkier! If one would also consider that the 130,000+ troops (post surge numbers) that have been in Iraq for nearly 4 years have not stabilized that country to the point where the 30,000 additional troops President Obama has earmarked for his misguided (my view) surge in Afghanistan are unavailable for that mission, then the professed success of Bush’s surge becomes a tragic fallacy! Putting your finger in a leaking dike may be successful in plugging the leak, but if your unable to remove you finger (after nearly 4 years) even when that finger is needed elsewhere, has the policy that put your finger in the dike actually been a success? The Liberal Examiner wonders why Republicans boastfully trumpet a policy as successful when said policy continues to coast the American taxpayer hundreds of billions of dollars for which they are provided no tangible benefit, it deprives them of a resource (troops & money) that could be put to better use elsewhere and it furthers a mistaken immoral and illegal policy! Aren’t American voters entitled to expect American politicians to focus all their policy proposals on making life better for Americans in America? Building schools and roads and hospitals in a foreign country (when we still need those things in America) that had neither the intention nor the ability to attack America and doing so with the American taxpayer picking up the tab, seems to be the polar opposite of making life better for Americans in America!
The vast majority of the world’s leaders, including the leaders of those nations that counted on Iraq to act as a counter balance against Iranian aggression, begged President Bush not to invade Iraq. World opinion notwithstanding, after his rational for launching his invasion was undermined by the facts on the ground (a constant for Republicans) and all manner of mayhem ensued, the never to be humbled Bush decided to give the world his middle finger and up the anti! Three plus years and hundreds of Billions of dollars later, America is still stranded in a nation that was of no threat to its security and Republicans boastfully taught this as a policy success and openly mocks those who disagree! The Liberal Examiner believes this to be a learning moment in that the Republican’s boastfulness in promoting the escalation of an illegal invasion, the benefits of which accrue solely to people of a foreign land (and their campaign contributors) and for which the American people are left to pay the cost (in lives and treasure), demonstrates the complete worthlessness of their caucus and their governing philosophy http://www.examiner.com/x-21075-Baltimore-Liberal-Examiner~y2009m11d23-Wasteful-Government-Spending! Even where other topics are being discussed (why does anyone ask them anything), they can’t contain themselves from openly mocking those who didn’t support their utterly foolish policy mis-diagnosis before they can mis-diagnose the next topic at hand!
How did it come to this? Americans used to value intelligence and we would declare the making of good decisions as evidence of intelligence (Duh). We would brag to the entire world about the quality and quantity of our fine institutions of higher learning and argue that (in large part) it was our advanced degree of education that enabled our nation to make so many scientific and cultural advances. Americans (and much of the world) considered America to be an exceptional nation, in large part because Americans were an exceptionally intelligent, rational, adventurous and decent people! We used tout the number of noted scientist, respected academics and Nobel Prize winners amongst our countrymen, but now, due to craven, electorally motivated, fake populous politicians, many Americans see our highest achievers as egg-headed elites! It’s unfortunate, but far too few Americans understand, even as the rest of the civilized world acknowledges, what continues to define American exceptional-ism http://www.examiner.com/x-21075-Baltimore-Liberal-Examiner~y2009m10d19-USA-USA-Nobel-Prize-edition. We have embraced a culture, not simply of know-nothing-ness but of arrogant and braggadocios know-nothing-ness! Thus the nation altering (and embarrassing) rise of the Palins, Limbaughs, Becks and Hannitys of the fake populous, anti-intellectual, “just us” conservative rightwing http://www.examiner.com/x-21075-Baltimore-Liberal-Examiner~y2009m10d11-USA-USA-Oylmpic-edition ! Of course, our distracted and disinterested media can’t be counted on to provide any objective analysis, so who can blame the American people for their failure to understand this foolishness? After all, not only are we uncritically told that the surge worked, but the President of the United States is openly mocked for his failure to admit this non-fact by those who have (as all objective evidence clearly demonstrates) been wrong about almost everything! In a perverse way, the President’s Republican critics are correct, the surge (the entire Iraq folly) has been a colossal success for Halliburton, Black Water and many other Republican campaign contributors!
America has 130,000+ troops still in Iraq at a cost of tens of billions of dollars during the worst economic recession in over 70 years and we can’t move 30,000 of those troops to Afghanistan to aid our new war policy for fear that it might risk our success in Iraq and Republicans are bragging that they supported this policy and mocking those who did not! Americans have to stop voting for people who fail to demonstrate a basic level of intelligence and fealty to those policies that are in the best interest of the American people!