Thursday, December 07, 2006

Doomed from the start

I was sipping my first cup of coffee, the calming sound of a neighbor's leaf-blower wafting through my windows and clicking through when I came upon an article analyzing Iraqi reaction to the Baker Report.

The Iraq Study Group's prescriptions hinge on a fragile Iraqi government's ability to achieve national reconciliation and security at a time when the country is fractured along sectarian lines, its security forces are ineffective and competing visions threaten to collapse the state, Iraqi politicians and analysts said Wednesday.

They said the report is a recipe, backed by threats and disincentives, that neither addresses nor understands the complex forces that fuel Iraq's woes. They described it as a strategy largely to help U.S. troops return home and resurrect America's frayed influence in the Middle East. [Emphasis mine-CK]

Which last sentence engendered this reaction.

No duh. We're acting in our perceived national self-interest?




Correct me if I'm wrong, but nations ALWAYS act in their own perceived best interest, even when that perception or the perceiver (let's call him the decider for example) is dead wrong.

Which is why the US expedition in Iraq was doomed from the beginning.

In a nation where public opinion really does matter, (and despite valid questions about corporate control of the media and voting irregularities US public opinion does still matter) public opinion must be reflected, however imperfectly, in national policy.

So, in the US, especially in an undertaking as costly as war, public opinion is vital to successfully conducting said war.

And the only way the US public could have supported THIS war is if the leadership is both honest about why it perceives a need to go to war, is willing to make an honest case to the American people about that need, and is willing to accept the public's judgment should they fail to make that case.

BushCorp™, of course, did none of these things.

WMD claims aside, the real, overwhelming need this administration perceived for invading Iraq was the belief that regime change was necessary to effect a democratic, pro-western transformation in the middle-east. The neo-con wet dream.

The WMD threat, it's since been shown, was just the excuse they could agree on with which to sell the war.

That being the case, the American public never had an opportunity to decide whether it had the stomach to support the real goals of this war, or an opportunity to recognize the potential real costs inherent in this war.

Now it can, I believe, truly be said, that the highest levels of this administration never truly understood those costs themselves. But it is also apparent that many elements of the government did.

But by falsely positing the reasons for war BushCorp™ avoided that debate.

And if you say that BushCorp™ had to mislead us, that the US would never have backed this war if it knew the real reasons for its inception or the terrible losses of blood and treasure it would entail, I would say that's exactly my point.

We'd never have started this mess in the first place.

And wouldn't that have been a good thing?

All the finger-pointing being done now that the Iraqi adventure has devolved into chaos worse than civil war, all the earnest analysts pointing out how we could have won if we'd dont this thing or that thing are missing the most important point.

By failing to be honest about the goals and reasons for this war, by failing to enlist public support for those goals and reasons,BushCorp™'s Iraqi expedition was doomed from the start.

And failure to recognize that truth would be the worst mistake of all.

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