Friday, October 13, 2006

Iraq: Cut & Run?

Well, harrrumph, Bush. Egads and pshaw. No less a personage than General Sir Richard Dannatt, the muckiest of all mucky-mucks in command of the British army in Iraq, has come out and stated the obvious: Britain, he said should “get ... out sometime soon because our presence exacerbates the security problems.” In an interview with the Daily Mail, the good General added: “I don’t say that the difficulties we are experiencing round the world are caused by our presence in Iraq but undoubtedly our presence in Iraq exacerbates them.”

Not sure, Bush, whether the General was making a planned assault on the policies of Britain and the United States, or whether it just slipped out from the depths of his military widsom and experience. “It was never my intention," he told the BBC later, "to have this hoo-ha, which people have thoroughly enjoyed overnight, trying to suggest there is a chasm between myself and the prime minister.” Okay, no chasm. This might have even have been Tony Blair's sneaky way of letting you know that he's had enough. No doubt the British people would be relieved to hear it.

To add insult to injury, this fine British General was by implication somewhat politely critical--in that nice British way--of the planning and conduct of the war. “I think history will show," he continued in his Daily Mail interview, "that the planning for what happened after the initial successful war fighting phase was poor, probably based more on optimism than sound planning.”

Ouch! You'll be relieved to hear, however, Bush, that he stopped short of adding his voice to what you have been pleased to describe as the "cut-and-run" policy of those Democratic straw men. Well, nearly stopped short. Britain should “get ... out sometime soon because our presence exacerbates the security problems,” he suggested in his clarification with the BBC--but hastened to add that the last thing he was suggesting was an immediate withdrawal. Oh, no. "I’m a soldier," he protested. "We don’t do surrender. We don’t pull down white flags. We’re going to see this through. But we’ve got to get on with it. We can’t be there for years and years."

Hmmm. I wonder, Bush, if Sir Richard, God bless him, had a slip of the tongue in that last comment? "We don't pull down white flags"? I suspect that what he meant was rather, "We don't hoist white flags." But be that as it may, his heart was in the right place: Let's get out of here. We're only succeeding in making a bad situation worse.

I've been hearing a lot of mumbling recently from people in high places, people who are normally your allies--people like your James Baker, Bush, your personal kingmaker--about the now obviously bankruptcy of your "stay the course" policy in Iraq. I heard Baker making sounds like his advisory committee might recommend something other than blindly pursuing a policy which to everyone but yourself has patently failed in the most miserable and calamitous ways. I heard even you, Bush, speculating out loud, albeit in a clumsy kind of a way, about the meaning of "stay the course." If the course is wrong, you told the media just the other day in that belittling manner of yours, you change it. As though that were obvious. And added immediately that it wasn't--not to you--since you reiterated your absurd "cut-and-run" argument against your critics.

Well, good for Sir Richard at least, who blurted out some truths that needed to be said in a public forum, and to come from the mouth of such an impeccable source. With all his later clarifications and attempted take-backs, his message was indisputably clear. The chorus gets louder, Bush. It's not just Jack Murtha any more.

1 comment:

PK said...

To be quite honest with you Peter, I don't believe Tony wants to be there either... I've seen the look on his face, the inflection in his voice, and it doesn't sound like a convinced man to me. He, as well as all there in the government, know that the only reason everything has been happening to England is because he stood by Bush to go into Iraq. If he were to pull all out of Iraq, I don't believe there would be problems in England, at least not as many. The 'good General', as you put it:), may be testing the waters to see how far he can go with this. After all, our retired Generals are up in arms over this mess Bush has us in... I have a feeling 'pull down the white flag' had a different meaning to it... Murtha has been sending letters out through the DNC as of late, not too pleased with this administration:). Gotta love that guy! Well, it's off to see what Our Town has to say, enjoy your evening my friend...