"Who controls the past," ran the Party slogan, "controls the future: who controls the present controls the past."
— George Orwell
There is something basically counterintuitive about the viral pettiness of partisanship. The diametric opposite blood sport imperatives of what passes for political debate has been reduced to sound and fury signifying nothing . . .
That perpetual "us" versus "them" sophomoric battle of red-blue/Dem-GOP/lib-conservative nonsense may be cool for a high school pep rally and political fundraising dinners, but it is a cancer which genuinely threatens our national security.
Itching and moaning about past errors, motivations and results are frankly an insignificant waste of effort.
I recall the sage wisdom of a crusty old Army master sergeant telling a group of diffident young second lieutenants, “Make a decision. If it is wrong, fix it . . . but make a decision. Indecision is more dangerous than being wrong.”
Instead of a multi-media harangue of "neener-neener" we need grown ups to develop, implement and maintain policy. Instead of smart people doing dumb things, we need a basic analysis of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. And that "SWOT" analysis should be focused on national security instead of partisan advantage.
I previously (http://www.newsmax.com/metcalf/partisan_bickering/2007/09/03/29511.html ) observed that, “In order for the partisan pusillanimous pettiness to persist, we need to maintain at least the structure of the republic if not the substance.” That remains axiomatic (and the alliteration of pusillanimous is kinda cool).
The reasons for our Iraq situation are, at this point, best left to historians to pick at the nits. The negative consequences of extricating our fist from the tar baby needs to be addressed by reality check motivated adults, not partisan hacks.
Partisans may get a visceral rush out of throwing rocks but reality reveals "do overs" are not an option. Bush is a lame duck. What is done is done . . .
Teddy Roosevelt said, "It is not the critic who counts, not the one who points out how the strong man stumbled or how the doer of deeds might have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred with sweat and dust and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause; who, if he wins, knows the triumph of high achievement; and who, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory or defeat."
If or when some collective liberal brain flatulence caused us to tuck tail and remove our military from Iraq, we would be replaced (in a New York second) by Iranian Islamic fundamentalists. That would be a bad thing.
The "maybe" threat of a Saddam Hussein Pan Arabian presence restructuring the Ottoman Turkish Empire would morph into a for real (far worse) Iranian erotic dream.
Iran would quickly stop using "Arab" as a pejorative to the lofty "mo better" Persian, and embrace their oil rich neighbors as Islamic brothers. The U.S. Iraq vacuum would be filled by Iran . . . and quick! Iran would consolidate strengths and assets against anything and everything tainted by the Great Satan/and and all Western culture.
The U.S. and our allies would be epically S.O.L. (simply out of luck).
The ’08 presidential wannabes pontificate ad nauseum about when to withdraw troops, what troops to withdraw, "if I could, I would, I shoulda…" etc., etc., etc . . . Bullfeathers!
Alan Greenspan suggests in his new book Iraq was about oil . . . and the crowd goes wild. Duh!?!? Of course oil was and is a key contributing fact to Iraq. If there were not oceans of oil under the Mideast, does anyone really believe we would or could care less what serial atrocities a gaggle of 13th century street gangs did to each other . . . Not even!
We are addicted to oil. We need oil. To suggest oil is not a contributing factor to Mideast strategic considerations is disingenuous, duplicitous, and myopic.
Even French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner says the world should brace for a possible war over the Iranian nuclear crisis. "We have to prepare for the worst, and the worst is war," he said.
"We must negotiate right to the end," with Iran, he said, but underlined that if Tehran possessed an atomic weapon, it would represent "a real danger for the whole world."
Iran consistently denies any and all allegations it is seeking an atomic weapon. They claim its nuclear drive is focused on electricity for a growing population. Come on?
Iran sits on a flipping Ocean of oil. They don’t nuke power . . . they want it . . . and all that goes with joining the nuclear nabobs.
As I have said before (http://www.newsmax.com/metcalf/partisan_bickering/2007/09/03/29511.html)
“clear and present dangers threaten us daily and our elected officials chronically demonstrate malfeasance, incompetence, and myopia.”
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