Friday, April 20, 2007

Truth and turning one's back

President Bush ordered the armed forces today to turn water into wine. When this failed because it is not humanly possible, Harry Reid declared that Bush's task has failed. Republicans bitterly accused him of turning his back on the troops. After all, to claim that the troops can't do something that is simply not possible is to disparage the troops and damage their morale, right?

Oh, right. Silly me. President Bush ordered the troops to do something as impossible (for them) to do as making water in to wine. He told them to conquer Iraq and create a peaceful democracy. Troops can't do that. It depends upon a huge number of factors.

But the rest of the story was accurate. Yes, Reid declared that Bush's folly was, well, folly. The war is lost.

And it is; can you call a war that has gone on this long and cost so much anything other than a failure, a loss?

What, if Iraq stabilized tomorrow, would it bring back the hundreds of thousands of civilians who've died, or undo the suffering of millions? Would over three thousand of our soldiers regain their lives, or the many thousands more regain their wholeness? Would we gain back the hundreds of billions of dollars we've thrown away to create an Iraq in the middle of a civil war?

The war in Iraq was a failure. Bush lost the war in Iraq.

Telling that truth is not turning one's back on the troops. Denying it, saying that the soldiers deserve "victory", which is to say, the soldiers deserve to be kept in the meat grinder until they can be withdrawn without making Bush look bad, is turning one's back on the troops.

They deserve to be brought home. They deserve to be honored for their brave service and sacrifice, and they deserve to have politicians stop asking them to do the impossible.

That's what you'd tell soldiers if you could look them in the eye, and see how hard they're working towards an impossible task.

I'm getting increasingly sick and tired of these rhetorical tricks the Republicans are playing. I can only hope the rest of the nation is, as well.

Well the good news is that most of the country and the troops know the truth about how badly Bush has screwed everyone. I retired from the National Guard after 21 years of service in both the active army and reserve early in 2005 and while I admit that just two years ago most of the people in my unit were very gung-ho these days those still in speak of Bush, at best, as a joke. Polls taken of those in the military tend to agree my former unit's view.
The bad news is that no matter what the majority may think of Bush and the rest of the warmongers they will continue to play to their wing-nut base leaving the cleanup for the next president with them looking for an easy excuse to blame the coming defeat on the Democrats.
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