It took clueless Britney only two years to wake up to K-Fed’s loser-ificness, and America three to realize the folly of Operation Iraqi Freedom, or at least to bear enough dissent that a peacenik like Ivan Eland, director of the Independent Institute’s Center on Peace & Liberty, could get away with calling the invasion “colossally horrendous `with` ill-effects” without being tarred a Frenchman and feathered a Dixie Chick.
You can only ignore mistakes for so long, and by 2006 an architect of the first Gulf War, James “I never did anything to stabilize Iraq before” Baker, can criticize his dark lord’s son. And that blind and lame bellwether sheep Bob Woodward is piling on, too, after waiting in the bushes until he saw which way the wind was blowing, peacenik Eland said.
Even the intelligence community (the faulty W.M.D.-paranoid cause of this all) took off its war blinders. Our evidence? The classified National Intelligence Estimate leaked in September, which said the war in Iraq has done more to spread radical Islam than five years of bin-Laden video blogs.
After falling victim to “you’re either with us or against us” appeals, America finally grew balls. Note defiant acts by NBC’s news-lite Today Show, which halted niceties like “sectarian violence” and “extensive-campaign-to-promote-non-living” and finally called the ethnic cleansing in Iraq a “civil war.” And, in the strongest blow to President Bush’s solar plexis (and “stay and pray” foreign policy): the outcome of this year’s midterm elections, a mandate to at least deviate a little from the course already, gawd! War-weary Americans will be warmed by b-roll of former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld making his way from the White House with a “kick me” sign taped to his back. But don’t celebrate yet. It still costs $6.4- to $8-billion a month to wage war in Iraq, according to Bloomberg. Include the almost 3,000 military deaths in the Iraqi theater (and all the the secret detentions and detainee trials, and harassment of people trying to expose CIA and military wrongdoing like Truthout.org and the ACLU), and our defense policy outlook is still looking cloudy, with a chance of being labeled an enemy combatant: the possibility of which comes from this year’s Military Commissions Act.
The act turned even the steely stomach of a man trained in liquidating everything you ever owned, bankruptcy judge and San Antonio resident Leif Clark, who wrote to NPR saying the act and Bush’s tactics reminded him of the old Soviet Union.
“The very idea of holding anyone without trial, without the right to see the evidence that was used to justify naming them an ‘enemy combatant,’ and depriving them of the ability to challenge why they are even there is so repugnant to a constitutional democracy,” Clark wrote. “How easy it would be for a president to use such a law to make his political enemies simply disappear. Can this be America?”
Maybe now more of us will address that question.