Let The Scapegoating Begin
With all the bad news coming out of Iraq, and the hard reality dawning that our military -- once perceved more or less universally to be invincible -- is in fact a mortal creation with limited powers, the word seems to have come down from the pigs who direct the Republican Noise Machine that it's time to begin preparing for the end.
In the past week, Bill O'Reilly, William Kristol, William F. Buckley and a host of lesser lights in the media/thought apparatus that drove the effort to whip up suppport and launch the war have all shifted stance to accomodate a result which no one really wanted to see, but which most of us on the anti-war side always feared and suspected: failure.
UPDATE: See also the intellectual Father of Neocoservatism denouncing Iraq in relation to his ideals. Oh, man.
The most important aspect of this for all the so-called conservatives, of course, is who to blame. Glenn Greenwald has another great post on this. Latest Iraqi war casualty -- conservative belief in "personal responsibility":
Those who insisted on this war, who started it, who prosecuted it, who controlled every single facet of its operation â€“ they have no blame at all for the failure of this war. Nope. They were right all along about everything. It all would have worked had war critics just kept their mouths shut. The ones who are to blame are the ones who never believed in this war, who control no aspect of the government, who were unable to influence even a single aspect of the war, who were shunned, mocked and ridiculed, and who have been out of power since the war began. They are the ones to blame. They caused this war to fail.
The point here is that no one with a shred of opposition to this whole endeavor was ever in any position to influence any decision which could have had any effect on the outcome. But they're (we're) gonna get blamed.
The argument that's going to be made is that we didn't participate in the Tinkerbell Strategy: we didn't clap loudly enough, believe hard enough.
And that's why this thing was such a catastrophe. Not because it was a crazy idea in the first place. Not because it was sold to the Public though flim-flam, fear and outright lies. Not because Rumsfeld wanted to prove his pet theories about how a modern military worked. Not because Bush alienated every possible ally. Not because the Green-zone staffers in charge of reconstruction were political appointees with no experience, concerned with setting a flat tax rate and insuring that the eventual Iraqi judiciary they were trying to create would stand strong against abortion. Not because of corrupt no-bid contracts. Not because we couldn't keep the electricity on, or even prevent mile-long gas lines in an oil rich nation. Not because we disbanded the Iraqi army and purged their entire pre-existing power structure.
Certainly not because we tortured people, kicked in doors, kidnapped wives and daughters. America always has the moral high ground, of course.
No. It's my fault (and maybe yours) because I (we?) didn't want any of this to happen.
Get ready. You're gonna hear it loud and proud.