Yep, you read that title right. So stop the presses, whatever other news you were thinking about ignoring, ignore this one first.
I know, I know, you were hoping I would comment on Georgia Representative Paul Broun setting a new North American land speed record, and coming in a close second to the world record time, for calling a newly minted world leader a “Hitler.” Last week, displaying his lightning fast GOP-style smearing techniques, Rep. Broun labeled Barack Obama a Hitler less than ten days after his election. The only faster recorded time was that of the Berlin press corps who on Jan. 30, 1933 called Hitler a “Hitler” on the pretty much the same day of his appointment as Chancellor. It will stay a hard record to break.
I also do not intend to expound on Fox News finally noticing that Obama did indeed run as a centrist; nor will I re-demonize the de-demonizers who are currently trying to demonize the demonizers of President Bush. I apologize for not bashing those apologists. This is better than that whole roundelay, here’s the news: Little Georgie just lost his very own Iraq War.
That’s right, in breaking news on Monday Nov. 17, 2008, the US and Iraq signed a finalizing peace accord with a, gets this, a “timetable” creating a schedule for US troops leaving the country, evacuating according to terms dictated not by Bush, but by Iraq. Iraqi government spokesperson Ali al-Dabbagh framed impending departure like this: the “best possible, available option” was for US “forces [to] withdraw on June 30, 2009 from cities and districts to bases agreed upon by Iraq and the US administration. This date is not liable to change according to the situation on ground. The date is definite and final."
The US would further be required to vacate the country entirely, including all the personnel for all those big beautiful bases we just built/bought, all 150,000 Americans, by New Year’s Eve 2011. Let me repeat that last line from the Iraqi spokesman for you: “This date is not liable to change according to the situation on ground. The date is definite and final.”
Ladies and Gentlemen, that is definitely what we call ‘getting told’ and who gets told in a war? The losers. If you win, you stay however long you want, like McCain once said. We still have troops in Japan and Germany after 60 years and everybody knows we kicked their butts. In comparison we don’t have soldiers in Vietnam, do we? Well, no live ones.
As of yet, realization of this defeat has probably not registered on your American viewing public. Last word we had from Bush and the “stay-on-message” team of GOP operatives, the Repub talking point was to not set timetables. It was tantamount to admitting defeat. McCain for example, Bush’s bitch since the ’04 election, would never broach anything that could even remotely be construed as somehow related to defeat.
In fact the GOP philosophy of “don’t ask and don’t tell about timetables” eventually jumped the shark while in McCain’s fumble-fisted fingers when he stretched it to a point of being proud of himself because he was willing to keep fighting in Iraq for hundred years just to show how repulsive the very idea of timetables were to him.
But look, if Iraq can tell us when and how to leave, we are not in control of the country anymore. Though as many would note who have swum through this quagmire these last six years, in many ways America lost the war in Iraq right around the time we thought we had won it and decided not to leave. Late ’03, Saddam was finally captured, wrapped up like a gift wrapped X-mas turkey. That was the good news: one of our two clearly stated goals had just been actually accomplished: topple Hussein.
The other stated goal wasn’t going quite as well. We had already ruined the occupation on the ground with L. Paul Bremmer’s de-Baath-ification program and dismantling the Iraqi Army so they could re-assemble as the Iraqi Insurgence. We’d let five thousand years of history be looted so we could guard the oil ministry records of wells that were on fire. But most importantly by that point it had become all too obvious America had failed in our other noble cause: the WMDs.
We never found any because they hadn’t been there in the first place. Like many of us knew all along. Some of us who knew better protested the genocide. While others, who also knew all along, conducted it. Right then, right there mid-December ’03 a moral world leader would have said, “We were wrong about the whole WMD thing, but hey, we got Saddam. Sorry for breaking your country. We’re outta here.”
And that moment, when the US didn’t say that, was when we lost the war. The rest of the world knew a long time ago what we finally had to be told: we don’t belong in Iraq and we need to leave.
Thanks again, George Jr. You have outdone your dad when it comes to ruining a war for us.The man who once made the whole world fixate on his trussed up codpiece as he boasted before a banner proclaiming “Mission Accomplished,” who would later whisper to Bob Woodward in private that his advice on Iraq to the next president would be “don’t let it fail,” just got told “get out” of the country he once so willfully occupied. Defeat never tasted so sweet. The irony is almost too delicious, except for all the dead Iraqis.
And their blood on our hands.
--mikel weisser writes from the left coast of AZ