A War We Just Might (Not) Win

I love the smell of rose colored goggles and government kool-aid in the morning. Clears the sinuses.

Like most Monday mornings, the first thing I do is scoot the kids out the door, slump in front of my computer, and blearily check out what’s up on memeorandum. Right there at the top of the page, “A War We Just Might Win.”

Hmmm, I thought to myself, what war might that be? War on Drugs? War on Poverty? War on Terrorism? War on Global Warming?

Oh… War in Iraq. That’s the war we might just win, the war in… uh… Iraq. Penned by Michael O’Hanlon and Ken Pollack, the two analysts go through great lengths to make a big fuss over how much better Iraq is now. More of the security is being provided by Iraqi forces, real Iraqi forces, and not just American soldiers. Some people are actually getting water and electricity, and sometimes, where the insurgents have left, they actually haven’t returned… yet. Rivers flow with chocolate and wine, children sing and dance and rainbows are everywhere! We are again being greeted with flowers and sweets.

Betsy, from Betsy’s Page is hopeful. “…this is the New York Times! Perhaps their editors read their own paper.” Er… this is so embarrassing, does anyone actually remember Judith Miller? Not that Betsy’s a liberal who prays at the leftist Mecca of the Times’ publishing headquarters. In fact, her zeal seems to come from what is perceived to be a liberal think tank, published in what is perceived to be a liberal pamphlet (with a very wide circulation). It’s almost like there’s a secret cabal of warmongering neocons off in some dark corner chuckling, “We got the liberals to bite… AGAIN!”

For, as The Big Tent Democrat points out, these guys have been cheerleading the way for the war for four years. Oh, and as the Christian Science Monitor contradicts, “We are frankly in the midst of the worst crisis.”

Now that’s more like it, just the way I prefer my liberal think tanks, fiendishly pessimistic.

What I find most disturbing about the NYT article is the lack of specifics, the lack of statistics. This is, largely, the same kind of anecdotal evidence that Bush used to make the case for things going well in Iraq in 04, and then again in 05, some more in 06, and I really haven’t heard him talk too terribly often about Iraq this year, other than to say we should keep fighting it.

It is disturbingly unspecific, and I’m sorry, but I’ve grown extremely callous to such evidence. There is a lack of context without taking these improvements and showing where on a measurable scale we are. There’s just been… improvement… in certain areas, but we’re not even going to tell you exactly how much.

And yet, through the obfuscation, all the authors seem willing to do is say we should continue the war through to the end of 08. That’s it? That’s all the article makes a case for after all the happy happy love love evidence. Despite the title that says we might win the war, the summation makes no such lofty claim. It is merely until the end of 08. Not until we win this thing, not until we have managed to provide stability throughout Iraq and not in select neighborhoods in select cities. Just through 08.

Which is funny because that’s how long we’re going to stay anyway assuming we don’t get up to 67 votes in the Senate.

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