Four years on – As split as ever

Happened to notice this bit in the “Letter from the Co-Chairs” at the beginning of The Iraq Study Group Report. It’s the fourth sentence:

The idea that a “bipartisan approach” is somehow necessary
is a crock

Our political leaders must build a bipartisan approach to bring a responsible conclusion to what is now a lengthy and costly war.

To put it bluntly, that is a total crock.

Ignore for now the choice of the phrase “responsible conclusion” and all that that could imply. What Murdoc believes is a crock is the idea that a “bipartisan approach” is somehow necessary.

For the past several years, we’ve all been hearing more and more about how US politics are so “polarized” and that the “gap” between Left and Right (or between Democratic and Republican or between Liberal and Conservative) is dangerously wide. I’m not arguing that it isn’t wide. I’m just arguing that it’s not anything to be worried about. Anyone who wants to pretend that the differences haven’t always been so great hasn’t been paying attention for the past two hundred plus years.

Four years after the campaign in Iraq began we certainly don’t need to be hearing about how a “bipartisan approach” is what’s needed. We need to be hearing about what the “right approach” is. I think everyone will agree that doing the “right” thing is, obviously, right. The problem, of course, is that everyone will define “right” as something different.

And there you have gaps.

Now, I’d be in favor of getting consensus from whatever group we’re talking about. Murdoc, for all of his warmongering, really does just want to get along. The wish for world peace and harmony, or at least the wish for peace and harmony in US politics, ends when one side is hell-bent on defeat.

And make no mistake. Pulling out of Iraq, particularly if dictated by some arbitrary deadline and/or arbitrary budget maneuvering, would be a defeat of the United States. A major defeat. The sort of defeat that invites trouble.

I don’t care how many people voted for them…
Wanting to lose is wrong

I have no interest in reaching any sort of consensus with those determined to bring about the defeat of the United States in Iraq. Our enemies, the real enemies–the ones with AK-47s and RPGs and suicide bomb vests and improvised explosive devices–are working hard enough and fighting tenaciously enough to leave the outcome on the battlefield in doubt. No one would recommend a “bipartisan approach” with the leadership of Al Qaeda in Iraq or the with the Sunni Insurgency, would they? So why would consensus with folks who have been very clear about what they want and what they’re willing to sacrifice to get it be any better?

Our system of government is based upon differences of opinion. Setting terms of agreement between two sides so clearly opposed to each other on this issue is pointless. One side wants to win and one side really seems to want to lose. I don’t care how many people voted for them. Wanting to lose is wrong.

Note that I’m not comparing the defeatist element of the US Congress and the American public to the terrorists and insurgents in Iraq. Not directly.


  1. Guys, I like you site, but disagree with some of the things you say from time to time. My big issue is port and border security which appears nonexistent. I am soured on the war in Iraq and believe it to have been a mistake. I came across this comment at from a reader named John and felt it summed up my gripes and bitches. ———————- What are we trying to win? To ‘win’ is only possible when there is a specific thing we are trying to win. Are we trying to free Iraq from the power of Saddam Hussein? In that case, President Bush was correct with the ‘Mission Accomplished’ banner. Are we trying to establish a model democracy in Iraq? If so, are we prepared to accept the consequences? When the Palestinians democratically elected their current government, we hypocritically disapproved and ultimately cut off our support. Many evil leaders, such as Hitler, were democratically elected. Why are we trying so hard to establish a democracy in a country that is likely to elect a religious regime hostile to the country’s minorities and sympathetic to countries that oppose us? Were we trying to establish a U.S. ally in the Middle East? If so, how? War is generally not the best method of accomplishing this as people tend to resent lingering liberators, especially when peace, justice and security remains elusive. Are we trying to combat terrorism? If so, why is Iraq our focus instead of Pakistan or Saudi Arabia? And is our continued efforts in Iraq eliminating terrorism, or is it worsening the situation? Can we truly combat a violent ideology with violence, or do we just feed the fire? What is it that we are trying to win? If we have no specific achievable goals, than we will never win. ————

  2. Hudson: Let’s just bug out and call it even, OK? What are we talking about this for? Ripley: I say we take off and nuke the entire site from orbit. It’s the only way to be sure. Hudson: Fuckin’ A… Burke: Ho-ho-hold on one second. This installation has a substantial dollar value attached to it. Ripley: They can *bill* me. Dunno, seems apropos…