I don't know why he is crying and I don't care. Don't get me wrong. I am all for compassion and empathy, but it's a little late in the day for him to start realizing how badly he has screwed up.
He didn't get hired to reflect the mood of the country. He got hired to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. By most accounts, he has failed miserably. That's not news. George Will, point blank said as much. So has Buckley, Buchanan, Viguerie, and Lou Dobbs. Remind me which one of those guys is a liberal anti-American, terrorist-sympathizing, surrender monkey... I forget.
He was warned repeatedly against taking unilateral action. He refused to take the warnings seriously, so I refuse to take his "suffering" seriously. I save my sorrow for people who deserve it, like the ones described in The Night My Daughter Cried. Given Bush's prior behavior, one can legitimately question the authenticity of the contrition and wonder if it is just a ploy for sympathy. The man may live in a bubble, but he doesn't operate in a vacuum...
Listening to Condi's testimony, it is clear they are out of ideas. In fact, they are just replaying the marketing strategy from the Iraq war only this time with Iran. I'm not talking about the trumped up charges of WMD or whatever. I'm talking about the positioning of this as inevitable. Rhetorically, the tactic is called Hobson's Choice. It's a ploy that makes it look like you have a choice, when you really have none at all. It's like Henry Ford's famous line about Model T's: You could have them in any color you wanted, as long as the color you wanted was black. If you have ever done card tricks of the "pick a card, any card" variety you will recognize it as a forced card. Same basic idea.
First a quick review of what they did to land us in Iraq, then a recap of how that is being applied to Iran, followed by a suggestion of how to break the cycle.
We can't back down now. We told the UN if they didn't do it we would.
We can't back down now. We have troops sitting in the desert.
We can't back down now. We have tried a decapitating strike.
We can't back down now. We have invaded.
We can't back down now. We overthrew the government.
We can't back down now. We have a magnet for terrorists.
We can't back down now. We will have a new reason for you next week.
We can't negotiate because we set preconditions.
We can't negotiate because we will reward bad behavior.
We can't negotiate because we will be seen as supplicants.
That is why Condi can sit there in front of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and say "we have no choice" but to escalate. Of course, she tried to deny that adding 20,000 new troops is not an escalation. Hagel called her on that with a tone of derision and contempt.
Now that we've repositioned major naval assets, it is only a matter of time before we hear arguments like "We can't leave them sitting there" and "leaving will send the wrong signal."
We've been down this road before. I've lost count of how many times we were told "give us six months" to fix this mess. I've lost count of how many times we were told "we have no choice." I've lost count of how many times they have said "show us a plan" and then rejected it when it was handed over in a collated, indexed, cross-referenced and custom bound report along with twenty-seven 8 x 10 colored glossy photographs with circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one explainin' what each one was, to be used as evidence to support the claim there had to be an alternative to the madness. The fact is they just ignored everyone who didn't agree with them and fired anyone who had the temerity to warn Icarus about the consequences of flying in the face and teeth of reality. Now that his wings have melted and he is plummeting to the sea, we are supposed to feel sorry for him?
What about the innocent victims of his misguided adventures? I doubt it was a coincidence that the same day Bush was delivering a speech about how we were going to win, they were bombing Somalia and claiming they had killed the guy responsible for financing the 1998 embassy attacks. Great timing! Unfortunately, the day after story wasn't so pretty. Here's what is being reported outside the US:
The Independent has learnt that several groups of nomadic Somali herdsmen in the south of the country have been attacked by American and Ethiopian helicopter gunships, which have mistaken them for fleeing al-Qa'ida suspects.
Local Somali aid agencies said that the bombing was indiscriminate. They reported that groups of pastoralists wandering across southern Somalia's barren terrain searching for water supplies had been attacked during the day. At night, those that lit fires were targeted. Analysts in the region said the attacks could destabilise the Horn of Africa further. A Somalia expert in Nairobi said: "Trying to find a few individuals in Somalia when military intelligence is so weak is like looking for a needle in a haystack. It seems they cannot distinguish between Islamic Courts fighters and pastoralists watering their animals."
Gee... didn't that happen to an Afghan wedding party? Didn't that happen to Iraqis fleeing into Syria? How dumb do they really think we are?
Here's the bottom line: There is no military solution to this mess. Pursuing one guarantees failure for generations. If Bush refuses to accept that, then Congress needs to step in and exercise it's oversight authority. I think Russ Feingold is right, it's time to starve the beast.
No More Blank Checks!