Tuesday, July 25, 2006

# Posted 10:44 PM by Ariel David Adesnik  

THE WAR IS A FIASCO. KEEP ON FIGHTING. WaPo journalist Tom Ricks recently published a book by the name of Fiasco: The American Military Adventure in Iraq. Just in case you don't believe in judging a book by its title, have a listen to Ricks' discussion with Tim Russert on the most recent episode of Meet the Press. Here is how the discussion ends:
MR. RICKS: I think it’s an extremely worrisome situation. We kind of have a low-level civil war there. If it becomes a more intensible [sic] war, it easily could spill over its own borders and across the Middle East and we’d have a regional war on our hands.

MR. RUSSERT: But you do not think American troops should withdraw immediately.

MR. RICKS: I think it would be irresponsible to go in there and do what we’ve done and then walk away from it. There’s a lot of Iraqis out there who have committed their lives to helping the Americans do something there. And to abandon those people, I think, would be absolutely shameful as well.

MR. RUSSERT: How long do you think we’ll be there?

MR. RICKS: Ten to 15 years, at least.

MR. RUSSERT: At what size force?

MR. RICKS: I think they’ll probably get it down to maybe 110,000 by the end of this year, and probably 50,000 by the end of next year. And then you could have a steady stay for five or 10 years, even 15 years, but I think it’s going to be a long, hard struggle.
If I were a Kossack and I heard the interview end like that, I would've been jumping up and down in my seat. How could any rational human being argue vociferously that the war has been waged with rank incompetence since Day One, then turn around and insist that our military should spend another decade in Iraq?

How could Russert not challenge that kind of nonsensical position? If I were a Kossack, I might suggest that this is definitive proof of the conservatism and cowardice of the mainstream media. But the fact is that Russert didn't challenge any of Ricks' criticism of the administration either. As I suggested earlier, Russert apparently exempted Ricks from cross-examination on the spurious grounds that Ricks is a journalist.

But getting back to the more important, is it rational to have little or no faith in this president and still believe we must keep on fighting? Or perhaps that isn't the right question, since Ricks' response wasn't based on a calculation of interests but rather a calculation of ethics. He said it would be simply wrong, "absolutely shameful", to abandon the Iraqis after what we have done so far.

I agree.

I don't often have nice things to say about journalists. In fact, I have criticized Mr. Ricks pretty harshly in the past for his biased coverage. (Although sometimes less harshly.)

But at this moment, I think there are two words that best describe Mr. Ricks' conclusions: Moral clarity.
(5) opinions -- Add your opinion

This is a throw-away comment, but it is pretty fucking lame to photo-shop an american flag onto a soldier or marine on a stretcher to get a nice cover shot. Ultra-lame.
Apparently he doesn't believe his own hyperbole.
"But getting back to the more important, is it rational to have little or no faith in this president and still believe we must keep on fighting?"

Yes, if one beleives the next President willl execute the war more competently.
Incompetence? Ah, but no matter what Bush did he'd be called "incompetent". But next to Truman, he's done a good job...
What naive yuppies want is Bush to lose, even if it means those bombing civilians win...
And the dirty little secret is that much of the "insurgency" has been encouraged by Iran and by ex Baathist, both of whom watch CNN spin the Democratic criticim of Bush, and figure that they will win the same way the thugs of North Viet Nam won: By political pacifism that ignores the atrocities caused by their actions.
You know, not one anti war commentator has bothered to notice the war crime trials in Cambodia.. (of course, they also ignored the "reeducation camps" and the boat people's plight)which were a direct result of American withdrawal, allowing a power vacuum that was filled by thugs.
But to aging yuppies who still remember the glory days of protesting Viet Nam, it was not about dead Asians, it was about "me me me"...
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