Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Four years and counting

The Decider has asked, again, for patience on the Iraq War. How much longer do we have to be patient with a president who has no clue what his decision to invade that country has wrought for the United States and the Iraqi people for whom this war was supposed to benefit? Listen to this:

"As Iraqis work to keep their commitments, we have important commitments of our own. Members of Congress are now considering an emergency war spending bill. They have a responsibility to ensure that this bill provides the funds and the flexibility that our troops need to accomplish their mission. They have a responsibility to pass a clean bill that does not use funding for our troops as leverage to get special interest spending for their districts. And they (read: Democrats) have a responsibility to get this bill to my desk without strings and without delay."

"It could be tempting to look at the challenges in Iraq and conclude our best option is to pack up and go home. That may be satisfying in the short run, but I believe the consequences for American security would be devastating. If American forces were to step back from Baghdad before it is more secure, a contagion of violence could spill out across the entire country. In time, this violence could engulf the region."

"The terrorists could emerge from the chaos with a safe haven in Iraq to replace the one they had in Afghanistan, which they used to plan the attacks of September 11, 2001. For the safety of the American people, we cannot allow this to happen. . . ."

"The United States military is the most capable and courageous fighting force in the world. And whatever our differences in Washington, our troops and their families deserve the appreciation and the support of our entire nation." (Read: if you don't support the war, you don't support the troops)

Could . . . could . . . could?

The future tense isn't appropriate here. At this point, the "consequences for American security" are devastating if the United States remains in Iraq. Violence has engulfed the region. And terrorists have "emerge[d] from the chaos with a safe haven in Iraq . . ." And most offensive of all is the false relationship between the Iraq war and the September 11 attacks.

Patience? This country has been far too patient with W. If anything, it is time that the public begins to make its voices heard on the war. But until this war affects the lives of people other than those who have chosen to gfight and their families, Bush will be able, sadly enough, to ride this out on his terms.