Friday, February 16, 2007



Sean Hannity is outraged! Outraged, I tell you!

Today is a very dark day in America, and hundreds of thousands will die if Nancy Pelosi gets her way. She and Harry Reid, the entire Democratic party and 20 or so Republicans are out to "stab our troops in the back." These Democrats are all about politics, and they don't care about our troops. Nor do they care that our shores will be overrun with swarthy men with funny accents and all manner of doomsday devices strapped on their backs. So goes another day in Foxland.

Mark Levin, a more recent arrival on the right-wing talk circuit, the kind of guy who employs affected machismo, name-calling and outright yelling in lieu of eloquence, is even more outraged than Hannity. You want a performance, Levin will give you the most frantically strident show you ever heard on the airwaves. Nikita Khrushchev and his shoe have nothing on this guy. Nancy Pelosi is a left-wing extremist, Levin will have you know, and not only that, but she's from San Francisco.

Enough already. These talk radio demagogues can't stand that Americans have lost all confidence in President Bush and this ridiculous war that has only diverted from the true mission of fighting terrorism and so much worse. These talking head ideologues can't stand that they've lost America and that more and more people see folks like Hannity and Levin as the true extremists. These two and their ilk wish to paint the Democrats as radicals but don't want us to know that most Americans agree that the war was a mistake and the idea of sending in even more troops seems like even greater insanity.

Now let's forget about the talk radio buffoons and talk about how Americans apparently really feel. It's not at all what the war supporters would like, nor is it really what the antiwar people are getting at, either. According to AP-Ipsos survey results released today, 56 percent of Americans find the war to be a "hopeless cause," while 39 percent agree that it's a "worthy cause." Sixty-three percent oppose sending more troops, as opposed to the 35 percent (an admittedly growing figure) who favor it. But paradoxically, 68 percent of Americans do not want to pull out of Iraq. Only 29 percent do.

That seems like a contradiction, doesn't it? To believe the polls, the average American sees the war in Iraq as a lost cause but opposes a pullout. And I understand this reasoning. It's hard to pull out. Even though I essentially support doing just that, it's not easy to say that, and part of me wants to keep trying. Hell, part of me even wants to grant President Bush's wish for 20,000 more troops. Give the guy what he needs to have one last shot at winning, just so we can say we exhausted all possibilities.

But in the end, I believe it's time to pull out and go home, and I wish the Democrats would have the guts to stand up and say that, and not go with this chickenshit halfway stuff they seem to be advocating for now. I honestly don't think that these extra troops will do anything but prolong this four-year debacle and result in even more dead American troops. Since I oppose an escalation, and keeping them there without the extra support seems crazy, I don't see any choice but to accept defeat and go home. And that outrages some people.

I guess I can't make everyone happy, so here are some points I've made before that I'll make again:
1) The terrorists were not in Iraq to begin with. Saddam Hussein was not alligned with the terrorists. Therefore, I ask, how does starting a war with Iraq make us safer from terrorists?
2) While we were busy deposing Saddam, the terrorists regrouped and brought their jihad to us in Iraq. So now we really are fighting terrorists in Iraq, but it seems more like a self-fulfilling prophecy than any smart strategy on our part.
3) We were told this war was to be fought over weapons of mass destruction. Bush built this argument using a web of deceitful misinformation, so we shouldn't be surprised that we never found the WMD. I'm told that Bush had good intentions, nonetheless, so I guess that makes everything OK.
4) This war has been nothing but a mismanaged mess from the second Colin Powell opened his mouth about fictional yellowcake from Niger to Ken Adelman's "cakewalk" predictions to the burning and pillaging of Baghdad to the nonexistent body armor to KBR's $300 cases of Coca-Cola. After all this, why should I have the slightest confidence in our president that he'll lead us to victory in Iraq?
5) Frankly, this new "plan" looks like nothing more than staying the course, just in a bigger way. Bush still doesn't seem to have any new ideas about how to change things, and staying on a course that has met with nothing but failure will do nothing but lead us to more failure. It's almost guaranteed.
6) Sean Hannity is right. If we pull out, the terrorists will not go away. But guess what, even if we somehow won, they still wouldn't go away. Furthermore this notion that we actually have a choice of either fighting them over there or here at home is just plain foolishness. The terrorists will be a threat either way.
7) Why would we fight a conventional war against terrorism, anyway? We're fighting a war against a concept, not a real army. Our enemy is made of small, loosely affiliated, always dynamic bands of individuals. How can we fight a conventional war against such an enemy? Shouldn't this be a law enforcement and intelligence issue, with the military used in a limited, more precise way?
8) The rest of the world hates us these days. Anti-Americanism is at an all-time high, even among countries that we often consider our closest friends. Is this anti-Americanism sometimes over the top and unfair? Of course. Do these people also have a few valid points? Absolutely, and I'd say more than a few. Are we really right, and the rest of the world wrong?
9) I suspect quite the opposite would happen from Hannity's dire predictions. If we pulled out, I really do believe that tensions in that part of the world would de-escalate, at least a little. Maybe that's naive, but I do know that our presence over there is doing no good and lots of harm.
10) The Right can talk tough all they want. For some, it comes off like a therapeutic compensation for a self-perceived deficit somewhere. But as manly and tough as it makes them feel, no amount of tough talk can cover-up what most Americans see.

So there, that's what I think of our war in Iraq. And if Sean Hannity wishes to equate that with stabbing troops in the back, well, I suppose that's just one more lie about Iraq that the Right wishes to perpetuates.

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