|Something I think is just about undeniable at this point is that we have a president who has decided that "leaving Iraq=losing." Even aside from whatever reason we're really there for, or what our long term ambitions in the region are, he's settled into this little narrative that can't be broken. Iraq is the central front in the war on terror. The terrorists are attacking us there. The terrorists want us to leave. If we leave the terrorists win.|
We are not going to see significant troop withdrawals in '06, '07, or '08 absent a major rebellion by Republicans in Congress, which I can't see happening. Even a Democratic sweep in '06 won't help end this thing.
All the talk of benchmarks, timetables, withdrawal, whatever is somewhat moot. There's nothing which will cause Bush to call for withdrawal. It's his mission, his purpose, his raison d'etre. It's all he's got, and he's not going to let go no matter how many people die.
Forget the hurricanes, indictments, supreme court nominations and so on. The one constant of the Bush Administration until the Democrats win back the White House in 2008 is the Iraq War. The war will continue to provide a huge revenue source for Bush/Cheney-connected contractors. It will keep Americans depressed, angry and fearful, thus insecure and reliant on any kind of government-declared action that claims to improve their lives (fight terrorism; the "ownership society"; privatization of retirement savings, health care, education and public utilities) which will provide Bush a constant base of support. At the end of his term, Bush et al. will escape from town with their million$/billion$ and damn-the-consequences, leaving the war in the lap of the Democrats.
They won. They fucking won. They won when they hijacked the Ohio vote in 2004. As soon as you heard the election results, and then Kerry's premature deference to Bush as victor, you knew in your heart that the chance to completely reverse the damage to the country during the first four Bush years was forever lost. You suddenly realized that the '90s would end up being the best years of your (and maybe your kid's) life. You know in your gut that the Democratic Party Leadership really is essentially, gently Republican, and that any successful attempt to move it towards Progressive ideology will take many years, which are many years that we just can't afford. You grudgingly accept the fact that an in-the-street revolution, South American style, is the only solution unless we end up nuking ourselves into oblivion, which actually is now a much higher risk than at any time in history.
It's just that we're all too fat and lazy to make the effort to start the revolution. All the blogging, activism, environmentalism, punditry, and bumper stickers won't change the results; in the end it's all just an elegant form of bullshitting ourselves. Hillary and Obama won't save us. MoveOn, Code Pink and MediaMatters won't save us. We are all alone in this, folks, and we are the only ones who can save us.