Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Hip Deep In The Big Muddy

The subject of this post comes from a song which was mildly popular in the late ‘60s. It was an anti-war song, the refrain of which was “we’re hip deep in the Big Muddy, and the damn fool says ‘push on’”. Well, we’re up to our hips in it again, and although things are a lot drier in Iraq, the fools keep telling us to push on.
I watch a reasonable number of talking heads on TV, the Newshour/Charlie Rose types for information, the Chris Matthews types for inside the beltway “wisdom”. It’s not that the reporters who show up on the latter are ignorant, they’re all smart people with a goodly amount of knowledge. It’s that they are all getting information from the same sources and talking to the same people, which leads most of them to the same conclusions. It’s also useful to know what the perceived wisdom is in Washington – since that often determines policy (rather than actual wisdom).
Regarding Iraq, the perceived wisdom is that we can’t leave. If we leave, the place will collapse, quite possibly spreading a war throughout the region. This was the viewpoint of the ISG, it is the viewpoint of the military, and almost no one of consequence is willing to buck that. Yes, this reflects a stunning lack of political and moral courage, but that is life in the big city.
The most interesting occurrence of the last week was Thomas Freidman’s NY Times article suggesting that the best chance for Iraq involves our setting an exit date. When Tom speaks, especially on Middle Eastern issues, NY and DC listen. Charlie Rose was actually referring to the column in questioning people about Iraq. If Freidman, who pimped for the war back in the day, actually has made this suggestion, surely it is worthy of discussion. Well, not all that worthy, it turns out. Perceived wisdom trumps bold ideas every time in DC.
Of course, in the near future, this doesn’t matter much, because George W. Bush is never pulling out of Iraq. Not on his watch. History may say many things about Dubya, but he will make sure that it never says that he lost the war in Iraq. That’s for the next President to do – or the one after that. And when that happens, Bush and his cadre of supporters will claim that it was a lack of will that lost Iraq, that his policies would have worked if we had the intestinal fortitude to stay the course (or whatever phrase is not readily mockable at that time).
Apparently Bush will be giving us his Iraq update early next year instead of before Christmas. This means Dreamgirls will have opened and will be in America’s consciousness. Maybe the best move for Dubya would be to sing his speech – since the big number in the show seems quite apropos to his view of the world.

And I am telling you
I'm not going,
Even though the rough times are showing.
There's just no way, there's no way!

Tear down the mountains,
Yell, scream and shout.
You can say what you want,
I'm not walking out.
Stop all the rivers,
Push, strike and kill.
I'm not gonna leave there,
There's no way I will!

No, no, no, no way,
No, no, no, no way I'm living without you.
I'm not living without you,
I'm not living without you.
I don't want to be free.
I'm staying, I'm staying,
And you, and you, and you, you're gonna love me.
Ooh, you're gonna love me.
You're gonna love me!

Well, 35% of us will love him – that’s something. As for the rest of us -- keeping with our musical theme, I suggest Takin' It To The Streets.


Blogger Minor Ripper said...

Great post, thanks. Don't know if you've seen this David Letterman clip with Our Fearless Leader in it, but its pretty funny--

11:42 AM  

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