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Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Bush's Optimism: Warranted?

Yesterday morning President Bush gave a one hour press conference in the new press room accross the street from the White House. It was a good Q&A session with the President I have to say. Bush seemed relaxed and comfortable, something he has been getting better at since he has been forced to make more public appearances with the press to battle sagging poll numbers. He was his usual self, consistent in his stances, however right or wrong they are, though a couple of times the President rambled on about terrorism and Iraq in such a convoluted way that he sounded like he was delirious, his arguments making no sense to anyone. Beyond that, he did well, though as I said before he still mantained his stances on the issues, and that is the main problem. Until the Administration faces reality, the will not adjust the direction they are going in and will just dig themselves a deeper hole. Even with staunch Bush supporters in Congress turning against White House policy, the Bush Administration stood its ground. Which begs the question: resolve or stubborness?

Iraq is more violent now than it has been since the war started, yet the Adminstration paints a portrait of victory, one that every Republican in Congress is trying to hold on to. I can understand their position. But when do the facts overtake optimism? The argument is that if we pull out now Iraq will disolve into chaos. You have no argument from me there. But, is it not in chaos right now? Was it not supposed to be better after three + years? Yes, the country would fall into a civil war if we pull out now, but the same will most likely happen if we pull out later. So, if a reasonable assumption is that Iraq will evolve into a civil war regardless of when we pull out (after all U.S. military presence is the only thing stopping a full-blown civil war from exploding), what is the logic in staying the course, losing more soldiers and spending more money, when the outcome will most likely be the same, a civil war? Of course, the optimistic side of the coin is that we will somehow shore up Iraq's government and it's own security forces will be able to keep the country secure if we stay long enough. How many actually believe that? What are the odds 10 to 1, 50 to 1, 100 to 1? The point is the odds are heavily against us.

Do not take this as argument for military defeat. This war will not be lost by the military, it will be lost by those folks in Washington who launched an ill-planned and ill-conceived campaign. We will leave right or wrong of it out of this discussion. Under those circumstances our military has performed to excellence, considering all the handicaps it was given. When ideology overtakes reality, disaster occurs. That is why ideology is not reality, it is based on an ideal, not on fact. I could sit here and write over and over about all the things that have gone wrong, but it would be redundant. And what you have is that all the mistakes are coming to frutition now that we have been in the conflict for a while. The Administration is slowly being force to admit to face reality, but that still will not stop it from trying to paint an optimistic picture of a free Iraq. I don't suppose I cannot blame them. Hey, you have to hold on to some form of hope, right?

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