Monday, September 20, 2004

the options are all bad

kevin drum on robert novak's explosive column today.

You see, it's a choice between two implicit lies:
Option 1: Because there's a presidential election coming up, Bush is claiming he'll stay the course. Gotta look resolute, after all. But Novak is right: it's just a sham, and as soon as some travesty of an election gives him an excuse, he'll leave and let Iraq turn into chaos.
Option 2: Because there's a presidential election coming up, Bush is claiming to have a plan to stabilize Iraq and withdraw. Can't look like a warmonger, after all. But in reality he considers Iraq a strategic beachhead in the Middle East and has no intention of ever leaving, come what may.
You see my problem? There are people who want to believe both these things, and Bush's team has every incentive to make sure each faction believes that Bush agrees with them. He's lying to one of them, but which one?

and this is the big unmentionable in this campaign. iraq is a problem with no solution. the left KNEW this before the war and shouted it from the rooftops. there simply is no way for a foreign power to invade this country and remake it in some alternative image. the functional realities of islamic fundamentalism combined with ethnic rivalry in that nation made it IMPOSSIBLE from the get-go.

john kerry knows this, and he knows that there are no good solutions when he takes office. i'm sure that's why he's reluctant to committ to any of them, because they're all crap.

so this election is very simple really. president bush has made a stunning, spectacular mistake. its tempting to remove him from office simply as punishment. but the more urgent, pressing need is to get him out before he does it AGAIN . . .

- LH

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