George Bush's Bowling Ball ( And Ours)
Many conservative luminaries objected to invading Iraq as much as some left intellectuals like Christopher HItchens or neo-liberals like Thomas Friedman supported invading Iraq.
General William Odom, a conservative and highly distinguished former advisor to President Reagan, strongly objected to invading Iraq.
We point him out because, properly understood, there is nothing particularly 'conservative' about the decision to invade Iraq or supporting such a radical policy.
Odom , a conservative, thought invading Iraq would not only not help the U.S., but would actually hurt our national efforts against the very enemies who attacked us and continue to threaten us.
Odom postulated that the Iranian regime,far more than America, Iraq, or our allies, would end being the chief beneficiary of our invasion and occupation.
Only time will tell if that particular admonition proves totally acccurate, but in many respects, things seem headed in that direction.
Further, Odom, in so many words, warned that our very presence in Iraq would strain resources better deployed elsewhere, unite our enemies rather than divide them, divide Americans rather than unite them, and lead to an increase in terror attacks instead of a reduction.
Odem's concerns on that latter point have come to pass; the actual number of terror attacks has demonstrably increased.
However, rather than confront this reality, the President responded, not by changing or adjusting a flawed policy, but by trying to obscure or hide the very facts that call that policy into question.
This seems to be a form of wishfull thinking on the President's part.
Afterall, our enemies are obvously aware of these facts, so trying to hide them won't fool them.
Perhaps this is a human reaction, but we should expect more from our President.
Recall when you were very young and you used to attend birthday parties at bowling lanes.
We recall the big bowling balls were often diffficult to roll down the lane.
Usually, after we tried to roll the ball down the lane, the ball would start to veer off to the right gutter or the left gutter about halfway down.
Often, when this happened, we would find ourselves frantically using hand gestures, vainly trying to wave the bowling ball into the center of the lane and away from the gutter.
This was fruitless, of course.
The bowling ball, after it left our hands, was going to go where it was going to go. Arguably, the ball was destined for an uneven journey as soon as we picked it up off the rack.
However, at that time, it seemed as if some wishing thinking, along with some adroit hand gestures, waved at the ball halfway down the lane, would be enough to adjust the course the bowling ball took after the ball had left our hand.
Bush's recent speech about Iraq seems to be a similar form of wishfull thinking.
We see his Iraq policy, if you will, lacking the kind of force and direction necessary to make it down the lane and hit some pins, but the President talks as if not noticing the problem will help straighten the policy.
Now it seems that a combination or pride and partisanship are preventing an honest re-evaluation of the policy and his allies are getting argry because they do not want to let Bush's opponents seem to win.
Meanwhile, America pays the price and it is getting more and more expensive with no end.
Meaningless tautologies like "We will stay till the job is done and not one day later!" are still accepted as normal comments by a weak press still insecure for allowing so much nonsense to go by unchecked.