Please Sir, Can I Have Some More?

Ah, I remember the good old days.  You remember those?  The days when the architects of the Iraq war were so confident that it seemed like the endeavor would cost hardly anything?  We were going to be welcomed as liberators, so after the fact costs didn’t even need to be considered, and because Iraq was so rich with oil, the invasion was going to pay for itself…

Ah… the good old days.

While Oliver Twist was more than humble when approaching the governor of an orphanage for a second helping of slop in the Dickens classic, George Bush’s soon to come pleading for more will lack any smattering of humility.  In fact, the $50 Billion sum simply smacks of the trademark Bush Hubris we have all come to know and hate.

With the Patreaus report yet to even be released, and Congress’s action yet reaction yet to be measured, the Administration already sees itself as being well positioned to keep the current efforts going well into 2008.

This is, of course, not only a testament to Bush’s arrogance, but also a function of the fact that despite everything, those “Mayberry Machiavellis” still know how to play politics like nobody’s business.

Only these guys who have fallen so far and led to such disaster can still manage to play the politics of fifty plus one to their great benefit.  Here this upcoming request is a direct product of the PR blitz that has come as of late; the touting of modest military progresses, and the minimizing of the political failures of the Iraqi government.

Indeed, it turns out that Bush’s choice of Patraeus was an incredibly good one as he seems particularly adept at playing the PR game of the Iraq War.

There are two things to really think about as we get ready for this most audacious of requests.

The first is the game of chicken that will undoubtedly come, or at least be called for by the most vocal factions of the anti-war left here.  Just like the 87 billion dollar appropriations bill earlier this year, there will be those who look at this situation and see it as an opportunity to force an end to the war.  By cutting the funding, the logic will go, you pull Bush’s ability to keep boots on the ground thereby forcing his hand in a major troop withdrawl.

Don’t bank on this, and don’t start blaming congress for their inability or unwillingness to go down this particularly dark road.  Despite whatever political games we may play here, one thing that must not happen is a scenario where our troops are on the ground without funding; a very real possibility with the insane Bush at the helm.

The other thing to consider, however, is where this money is coming from.  Keep in mind that war appropriations don’t affect our defecit… because it is going straight to our national debt!  Our debt, which has skyrocketed under Bush’s stewardship, is a direct reflection upon the policies he has maintained; waging two wars while still lowering taxes.

It’s a terrible parody of the Spend and Spend Republicans who seem almost dead set on passing off the burden on future generations.  In the meanwhile, this merely gives the Chinese government significantly more power over us as they are one of the biggest owners of our natioal debt.

While using this request to draw a line in the sand regarding our presence in Iraq would be dangerous and unwise, I do think that perhaps this could prove to be a an opportunity to at least try and responsibly change our bookkeeping.

But this is all beside the point.  We shouldn’t even get to this point.  Bush is taking an awful lot for granted in getting ready to ask for another 50 billion when the fate of US involvement in the war is yet to be decided.

In truth, the real task, the real challenge, is for Congress to not be fooled by the smoke and mirrors that the administration will display through much of this upcoming month.  We are nowhere near where we should be and it is long past due for us to make the real difficult decisions and actually start the real hard work in repairing our shattered reputation and actually attempting to start at least progress in the region.

Oh who the hell am I kidding?  Bush will get his continuation of the war and his 50 bill.

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