September 11, 2007

Good News (I Think)

The President apparently plans to announce troop reductions to the tune of 30,000 soldiers in Iraq to be completed by next summer. Withdrawing more does not seem to be an option. Withdrawing completely, in my opinion, is not desirable in the sense that it produces too many bad results and leaves us with little, if any, net gain for our five-year misadventure in Mesopotamia.

It's a big, gigantic, and dreadful shame that General Petraeus' report to Congress has been so politicized, so polarized, and built up so much that it has become simply another platform for political theater. I doubt anyone in Congress has actually listened to anything the man has to say. (Don't even get me started on those eeediots at MoveOn, who have lost whatever very minimal credibility they might otherwise have enjoyed as agents provocateurs; they can start hanging out with this guy as far as I'm concerned.)

I've been wondering for a long time whether the surge is working; it appears to be achieving its military objectives but the Iraqis also appear to be fundamentally incapable of using the breathing space it was intended to provide to reach any kind of a political consensus capable of governing that country. As it is, the members of the Iraqi Parliament don't seem able to form enough of a consensus to order a falafel plate for lunch, much less figure out what to do with their oil revenues and unreliable national police. (Mmmm... Falafel. But I digress.)

I would like to know the truth. I would like to have some idea of what's really going on, unfiltered by either the Fox News Channel narrative or the New York Times narrative. I would like to know if I am safer now than I was five years ago. I would like to know that Osama bin Laden has been caught and will be denied access to dye for his beard in captivity, but that doesn't seem to be happening. I would like to know if the vision of a lengthy struggle against terrorism will be able to join the historical ranks of the struggles against piracy and slavery -- never to be 100% completed, but enough to make such crimes so irregular and unusual as to be remarkable. I would like to one day be able to feel safe traveling in the Middle East. I would like it, in short, if a strong United States of America could lead the world to a more peaceful phase of existence, one in which people would stop fucking killing each other because their neighbors believe in the hallucinative rants of the wrong Bronze Age misogynist.

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