oops, did he do it again?
i've been sitting on this post for about a week and a half now, hoping that i wouldn't have to actually publish it in the event that our fine president actually came to his senses. but, as seems to be his habit, he has chosen to ignore reason in favor of his own misguided ambition. so, here we go.
in november, the nation made what it thought was a repudiation of bush's policy on iraq, wresting away control of both houses of congress from the republicans, essentially making the statement that the current state of affairs in iraq is unacceptable. soon after, army gen. john abizaid, the central commander (!) of u.s. forces in the middle east, expressed his opposition to a surge in troop levels in testimony to the senate armed services committee. his language could not be more clear: "i do not believe that more american troops right now is the solution to the problem. i believe that the troop levels need to stay where they are." two weeks later, the bipartisan baker/hamilton iraq study group issued its assessment of the iraq situation, making 79 recommendations of action, including a strong urging for a phased withdrawal. a december los angeles times/bloomberg poll found only 12% of americans favored sending more troops to iraq. just before the end of 2006, the u.s. military surpassed 3,000 lives lost in iraq, with nearly all (nearly 2,900) of those deaths occurring since bush so proudly declared "mission accomplished" in may of 2003.
so what does our president decide to do? send in more troops, of course. well make no mistake--hopefully it works. but is there any specific evidence that a troop increase of this size will actually make any difference? is there any timetable for an exit in case this doesn't work? and what will he do if prime minister malaki's government does not take responsibility for security throughout the country by november? is there really a strategy here?
maybe he truly believes that he is right and everyone else is wrong. maybe god is talking to him again and telling him that those muslim souls still can be saved. but it sure looks to me like he figures he's got nothing left to lose, so he might as well go for the hail mary. if it works--or, more likely, if it doesn't fail miserably, he can salvage what's left of his credibility. and if it doesn't work, well he'll still be considered the worst president ever--nothing new there. it just seems like his pride, his ego, his hubris makes him incapable of accepting advice that he doesn't want to hear. how stubborn, obstinate, and single-minded must this man be before he recognizes that this misguided attempt to change his historical legacy is not worth the cost of more american lives. how many times will he keep ramming his head on this wood rail before he realizes how much it is hurting the nation?
grant lee buffalo : "even the oxen"
from the lp copperopolis (slash/reprise, 1996)
here is the one here is the one here is the one mistake that cannot be made
there is a line that is crossed over once and only once let it be said
all of the hubris clenched in our fist won't punch our way out of here
you know what i've told and i tell but you won't let it pass into your ears
even the oxen ramming their heads on wood rails
come to know pain before the rusted barrier falls