So Hanson was a key voice arguing against the counter-insurgency strategy now being pursued belatedly and with too few troops in Iraq. But now Bush has signed on, Hanson is on board and busy excoriating the media. Let’s not hold our breath for intellectual accountability, shall we?
He was against the surge before he was for it in other words. Hanson like his beloved leader Dubya also has a weird fetish for absurdist analogies that never quite work. Why would Bush cite ‘The Quiet American’?
Bush seemed to be seizing on Greene’s idea of U.S. naivete on entering the war and trying to turn it around and apply it to those now calling for a timetable for withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq.
But Greene wrote his book about the way America bumbled into Vietnam, not how it left it.
By reminding people of Greene’s book, Bush was inviting listeners to recall the mistakes his administration made in entering and prosecuting the Iraq War. Did he really want to do that?
Bush’s bumbling was of the political stripe, but we’ve all seen the result. The lesson being that Bush should have read Greene before destroying the country of Iraq and turning it into the bottomless pit of of American tax dollars and a killing field for wasted American lives. Lives not lost to make America safer, but spent supposedly showing the nebulous “them” how tough we were after 9-11. Historian: Bush’s ‘distortion’ of Vietnam ‘boggles my mind.’
“We were in Vietnam for 10 years. We dropped more bombs on Vietnam than we did in all of World War II in every theater. We lost 58,700 American lives, the second-greatest loss of lives in a foreign conflict. And we couldn’t work our will,” he said.
“What is Bush suggesting? That we didn’t fight hard enough, stay long enough? That’s nonsense. It’s a distortion,” he continued. “We’ve been in Iraq longer than we fought in World War II. It’s a disaster, and this is a political attempt to lay the blame for the disaster on his opponents. But the disaster is the consequence of going in, not getting out.”
Leadership requires a few things that have been singularly lacking from this administration and its supporters, some level of insight. The fact that Bush didn’t know the difference between Sunni and Shia before kicking the U.N. inspectors out isn’t just fodder for late night comedians. That fundamental failure to see the quagmire that Bush was injecting the U.S. into is a large part of what explains the continued cycle of failure. The Bushies still can’t see a way out because they never had a real clear or rather realistic idea of could could be accomplished once we got in. This speech was so unglued, so specious that at least one of the possibilities is that Bush isn’t so much looking for a way out – a political solution for Iraq – but laying the groundwork for a narrative for conservatives to cling to. Something in the ball park of here we were on the edge of victory and those long haired hippie liberal pinko commies didn’t cheer loud enough so we lost – oh well conservatives did the best we could for god and country. Bushes speech and the coming echo is the poorly drawn and scripted cartoon that passes for deeply serious thought on the Right. Using ‘The Quiet American’ as another desperate analogy is not just proof of that, its proof that conservatives don’t really care. For many of the war bloggers, while they sincerely love this unnecessary and counter productive fiasco in Iraq for most of them it was just another fun day at the park where they could use Iraq as a rhetorical club to beat people with. Excuse me, but there is another possibility, Bush, Hanson and the other kool aid drinkers could actually sincerely believe this crap and think that Greene makes a great analogy. In that case here’s some other comparisons they might try – Iraq is like a layer cake and we don’t know what the filling is until we stay another Friedman, or Iraq is like a donut and we have to stay to fill the hole.
McConnell: FISA Debate Will Kill Americans
So it is Director of National Intelligence Michael McConnell’s assertion that if America doesn’t become at least as authoritarian as China we’re all gonna die. Tell that one to the relatives of those that died in the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989. Literally day after day the Right asserts that we can’t be safe as long as we hang on to those freedoms that thousands of Americans fought and died for. As long as those damn liberals and libertarians hang on to their freedom the graver the threat, burn the Constitution so the terrorists won’t get us while we sleep. This would be the same Right that swears we live in a nanny state as they work tirelessly to make us the ultimate nanny state.
“He entered the territory of lies without a passport for return.” – Graham Greene