Wednesday, November 08, 2006

# Posted 11:13 PM by Ariel David Adesnik  

I WAS SPECTACULARLY WRONG: My final words last night as a commentator for the BBC have proven to be spectacularly wrong. The question was whether Republicans were less likely to support the war now that they've lost one election because of it and are facing another in 2008.

I said that it is only natural for politicians to shy away from unpopular programs that party loyalty once forced them to support. For example, Bush pere sought to distance himself as a candidate from Iran-Contra and Reagan's hard line on Nicaragua.

On the other hand, we've been hearing since early 2004 that Bush and Rove would never let their party go into an election with the albatross of Iraq hanging from their necks. First we heard that Bush would never risk his own re-election by keeping 120,000+ soldiers in Iraq during the campaign. This spring we heard that he and Rove would be sure to engineer a substantial withdrawal before November. And now we will hear that a withdrawal is inevitable before the election 2008.

And here was the damning part: I said that the only thing more common than predictions of an imminent withdrawal from Iraq are predictions of the imminent resignation of Donald Rumsfeld.

Not that I am unhappy about being overtaken by events.
(5) opinions -- Add your opinion

I think the Rumsfeld prediction was just an expression of your natural contrarian attitude David. And you're being modest about your predictions on the election results.

Besides surely the first law of punditry is never to draw attention to disasterous misses..only your lucky guesses

Hope you can be spectacularly wrong on our airwaves again soon.
Awww, shucks.
I watched us "cut and run" in Southeast Asia in 1972-75. I watched Nixon ruin the authority of the American presidency through paranoia and felonies, and I watched the Democrats in Congress take over foreign policy in self-defeating ways after the Republican electoral implosion of 1974. I watched Gerald Ford govern like a prime minister who was about to be forced from office. It was ugly and shameful. Carter's impotent moralizing was (and is) embarrassing. Those who think the Sixties were great must have been snorting cocaine during the Seventies.

Whether we like it or not, America is the hope for much of the world. People want to come here and raise their kids as U.S. citizens. Peoples such as the Kurds (and even the Iraqi Shiites, though they can no longer admit it) anxiously hope for the U.S. Army and U.S. Marines to free them from political oppression (and then to go quietly). Tsunami victims in Indonesia love a gigantic supply of electricity and electrical power parked offshore, even when the ship is a U.S. Navy ship. And how many times have U.S. Air Force C-130s brought food and medical supplies to the victims of war, famine, and earthquakes?

We are Americans. We are sometimes moralistic and sometimes pragmatic and even "realistic." Impotence is not an option, even if it proposed by "realists."
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