It isn't just Mr. Bush who is in a tight corner now. Ms. Sheehan's protest was the catalyst for a new national argument about the war that managed to expose both the intellectual bankruptcy of its remaining supporters on the right and the utter bankruptcy of the Democrats who had rubber-stamped this misadventure in the first place.As I was watching David Letterman the other day he had a poignent joke - which rang true as all good jokes do - Well, we don't really know what to do. Should we try Saddam or just put him back in power and get the hell out? This is a paraphrase and the delivery is lost in print, but you get the idea.
When the war's die-hard cheerleaders attacked the Middle East policy of a mother from Vacaville, Calif., instead of defending the president's policy in Iraq, it was definitive proof that there is little cogent defense left to be made. When the Democrats offered no alternative to either Mr. Bush's policy or Ms. Sheehan's plea for an immediate withdrawal, it was proof that they have no standing in the debate.
...And what exactly is our task? Mr. Bush's current definition - "as the Iraqis stand up, we will stand down" - could not be a better formula for quagmire. Twenty-eight months after the fall of Saddam, only "a small number" of Iraqi troops are capable of fighting without American assistance, according to the Pentagon - a figure that Joseph Biden puts at "fewer than 3,000." At this rate, our 138,000 troops will be replaced by self-sufficient locals in roughly 100 years.
Sunday, August 28, 2005
Utter Bankruptcy - Sub Title: Can we afford Several Billion Dollars a Year (for 100 years) to Prop up Democracy in Iraq?
Iraq is our generations' Vietnam - one our country swore never to repeat. Frank Rich says: