Men are happy to be laughed at for their humor, but not for their folly

Kevin Drum on the decision to throw more troops at Iraq, ONE LAST PUSH…

There’s nothing we can do to stop them anyway, so give ’em the resources they want. Let ’em fight the war the way they want. If it works — and after all, stranger things have happened — then I’ll eat some crow. But if it doesn’t, there’s a chance that the country will actually learn something from this.

And from Atrios post on Kevin’s thoughts, Wrong

I’m sympathetic to Kevin’s thinking about this stuff, but it just doesn’t work this way. There has been no grand bargain between war supporters and the rest of us such that they get their “one last shot” and if things don’t work out then, you know, the dirty fucking hippies will finally be put in charge of things.

Atrios is right about this grand bargain bit, but Kevin is right too. Some people are so hard headed that even after they’re burned their hand they feel compelled to put it back into the fire to make sure that fire really burns. As it is with the right-wing they’ve learned nothing from Vietnam or Iraq except to be more shrill. On the other hand if Democrats stand back and take Kevin’s route letting the Right have one last final choke on their own bile the lesson will leave even more unnecessary blood shed. The moral course would be the one Atrios suggests while the political choice would be Kevin’s very tempting fatalism. Neocons are like mindless zombies they just keep plowing ahead regardless of the tactical consequences or the numbers of fatalities. Either scenario plays into their martyr syndrome. You didn’t let us have one last “surge” you liberal terrorists lovers or sure you gave us our one last push, but you weren’t supportive enough so you undermined the mission and doomed it to failure. The terrorist lovers meme had worn out its novelty this past election, voters had a hard time picturing Democrats like former Marine hero John Murtha as a terrorist sympathizer. But still judging voters by the last three election cycles they’re slow to get up to speed on the Rovian spin cycle so they might just buy into the bull about undermining a purportedly noble last effort. The conservative blogs are already blaming Democrats for Bush and Rummy’s failures which at this point is background noise like snakes hissing in the grass not the oh so high moral ground. One thing that is a sure bet is that conservatives will never ever take responsibility for anything, accountability just isn’t part of their repertoire. They should be thankful for liberals, else Republicans would have to take a long hard look in the mirror. It looks as though Senator John Kerry has decided to take the moral high road, When Resolve Turns Reckless

I say this to President Bush as someone who learned the hard way how embracing the world’s complexity can be twisted into a crude political shorthand. Barbed words can make for great politics. But with U.S. troops in Iraq in the middle of an escalating civil war, this is no time for politics. Refusing to change course for fear of the political fallout is not only dangerous — it is immoral.

I’d rather explain a change of position any day than look a parent in the eye and tell them that their son or daughter had to die so that a broken policy could live.

No one should be looking for vindication in what is happening in Iraq today. The lesson here is not that some of us were right about Iraq or that some of us were wrong. The lesson is simply that we need to change course rapidly rather than perversely use mistakes already made and lives already given as an excuse to make more mistakes and lose even more lives.

When young Americans are being killed and maimed, when the Middle East is on the brink of three civil wars, even the most vaunted “steadfastness” morphs pretty quickly into stubbornness, and resolve becomes recklessness. Changing tactics in the face of changing conditions on the ground, developing new strategies because the old ones don’t work, is a hell of a lot smarter than the insanity of doing the same thing over and over again with the same tragic results.

Half of the service members listed on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial died after America’s leaders knew that our strategy in that war was not working.

According to the Right the AP has no credibility yet they quote this Fox tabloidish type story without question, Another moron lights himself on fire posted at 7:41 pm on December 23, 2006 by Allahpundit

There’s some discrepany about what his sign said. According to the AP, “(expletive) the religious establishment and KHSD.” According to the local NBC affiliate, “Expletive religious freedom and the silent KHSD.” I’m guessing the AP’s right on this one.

The commenters over at Hotair really seem to get off on these kinds of stories. The guy that set himself on fire is not mentally ill, nope he is a “liberal”. With the acknowledgement that commenters do not represent the editorial content of the blog a couple comment highlights,

Hippies just don’t burn as well as they used to.

mesablue on December 23, 2006 at 8:23 PM

I like my moonbats extra crispy… but him back on the BBQ

E L Frederick (Sniper One) on December 23, 2006 at 8:36 PM

Two fine conservatives just speaking their mind or at least what they have of one.

This story Eleanor Clift: Bush’s Worst Lies of 2006 reminded me of this blast from the past, Published on Friday, September 27, 2002 Agency Disavows Report on Iraq Arms

The International Atomic Energy Agency says that a report cited by President Bush as evidence that Iraq in 1998 was “six months away” from developing a nuclear weapon does not exist.

“There’s never been a report like that issued from this agency,” Mark Gwozdecky, the IAEA’s chief spokesman, said yesterday in a telephone interview from the agency’s headquarters in Vienna, Austria.

“We’ve never put a time frame on how long it might take Iraq to construct a nuclear weapon in 1998,” said the spokesman of the agency charged with assessing Iraq’s nuclear capability for the United Nations.

In a Sept. 7 news conference with British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Mr. Bush said: “I would remind you that when the inspectors first went into Iraq and were denied — finally denied access [in 1998], a report came out of the Atomic — the IAEA that they were six months away from developing a weapon.

“I don’t know what more evidence we need,” said the president, defending his administration’s case that Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein was building weapons of mass destruction.

The White House says Mr. Bush was referring to an earlier IAEA report.

“He’s referring to 1991 there,” said Deputy Press Secretary Scott McClellan. “In ’91, there was a report saying that after the war they found out they were about six months away.”

Mr. Gwozdecky said no such report was ever issued by the IAEA in 1991.

“Men are happy to be laughed at for their humor, but not for their folly.” – Jonathan Swift