Saturday, March 31, 2007
Rove's Strategy To Resell The War
March 31, 2007 - “The war,” Sen. Mitch McConnell told me last week, “is the reason you are speaking to the Republican leader, not the majority leader.” Yet McConnell and his fellow Republicans in Congress have chosen, nearly unanimously, to stick with George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and Karl Rove in a confrontation over the Democrats’ proposal to tie $100 billion in Iraq funding to a timetable for withdrawal. “The war is a difficult issue for my party, which is a statement of the obvious,” he said. But the goal remains the same: “to establish a stable government in Iraq” that can be an ally in the “war on terror.”
The GOP survival strategy rests—not unreasonably—on the hope that Democrats fall to squabbling over competing House and Senate versions of a funding bill. Republicans will argue that Congress is not able, and constitutionally barred, from a lead role in the war. And they’ll decry the pork-barrel spending the Dems used to grease passage of their plans. Rove, meanwhile, is talking up internal polls that purport to show an uptick in public optimism about Iraq. Bush, on the road this week, plans to argue that the surge is working and tout the “new realism” of the American commander in Iraq, Gen. David Petraeus. With not the least bit of irony—let alone shame—Republicans will contend that they care more about the soldiers, the sordid evidence at Walter Reed notwithstanding. They will unveil an online “countdown” clock showing the days allegedly left until money runs out for the troops—a made-up number in the world’s capital of flexible arithmetic.But, at their core, Republicans will rely on Rove’s argument that emerged after 9/11: that the GOP, led by Bush, does not flinch from war; that the war on terror is unlimited in space and time; and that those who think otherwise are misguided, weak-kneed or naive enablers of the enemy. Democrats, McConnell says, wrote a bill that has a “surrender date for Iraq in it.”
In the meantime, in the real world beyond Rovian public relations bonanzas and administration spin, the war goes as badly as always:
BAGHDAD, March 31 — The Iraqi government on Saturday gave its first official reckoning of the truck bombing Tuesday in the northern city of Tal Afar, putting the death toll at 152 people, a number about double that in early reports.
The bombing, which left 347 other people in a poor Shiite neighborhood wounded, set off a wave of reprisals by Shiite policemen and others that left another 47 people dead and shattered the image of Tal Afar held up by American politicians last year as a model of a turbulent city turned peaceful.
When the bomb detonated, younger Shiite policemen “were motivated by emotions when they saw their parents and siblings getting killed, but this is not acceptable,” Brig. Gen. Abdul Karim Khalaf said Saturday. He said that 16 policemen and 2 civilians were under arrest and would be fully prosecuted for the reprisals.
Sectarian violence continued around Iraq on Saturday, when 27 people were killed in shootings and car bombings and 10 bodies were found in Baghdad, according to the Interior Ministry....
In the Interior Ministry’s first news conference since the bombing, officials underscored the event’s scale and horror. “It is a very painful attack,” General Khalaf said.
If the death toll of 152 in the Tal Afar attack is correct, it was the highest total from a single bomb in the four-year-old war.
So on the one hand, you have Karl Rove, George Bush and Mitch McConnell calling war critics and opponents "surrender monkeys" (or some other euphemism for cowards) and on the other, Iraqis continue to die at horrific rates and nothing has changed for the better in Iraq.
It's takes an amazing amount of confidence and/or self-delusion to keep backing the preznut's failed war. And yet GOPers, fresh off their November spanking, continue to do it (albeit very, very nervously.)
Let's see how much longer that continues.
You can make believe a change in policy has brought a change in the conditions on the ground for only so long before it becomes plain that Rove and Company are simply flinging more horseshit around in the hopes that they can fool most Americans ( who are, to be fair, kinda stupid to begin with - that's how all this shit started in in the first place.)
UPDATE: Here are some more stats that show the surge policy hasn't changed a fucking thing in Iraq:
The Associated Press count of U.S. military deaths for the month was 81, including a soldier who died from non-combat causes Friday.
At least 83 American forces died in January and 80 in February, according to the AP tabulation.
The Iraqi ministry figures listed 1,872 Iraqi civilian deaths for the month, about 300 more than the AP tabulation, which is mainly gathered from daily police reports nationwide.
The civilian death toll for the month was down significantly from 2,172 in December, the highest month casualty figure since the AP began keeping records of civilian deaths in April 2005.
However, the number of civilians killed in March was in the same range as for the first two months of this year; 1,604 in January and 1,552 in February, according to the AP count.
Nearly a third of the Iraqi civilian deaths, more than 500 people, where killed in three big bomb attacks in the last week of the month and revenge killings of Sunni men in Tal Afar the night after a Shiite market was bombed in the northwest Iraqi city.
The preznut, his spinmeisters and his apologists (e.g., Joe Lieberman, John McCain) say the surge is working because Shiite death squad killings are down.
Whoop-dee fucking doo.
Tell it to the dead 81 Americans and 1872 Iraqis.
That's the plum Bush can't veto regardless of his posturing about timelines.
Why does "my" government keep making me feel ashamed to be an American?
nyc educator, can you imagine the level of self-deception and/or silliness one must have to continue to support this failure of a preznut. Looking at all the GOPers and conservatives who have turned on this preznut (Buchanan, Buckley, Will, Sullivan, now Matthew Dowd), you really have to either be one cynical sonuvabitch or one self-deluded person to stay on board.
You may notice in the names of the oil companies there has been a lot of consolidation going on in just the last decade or so. That makes me very uneasy -- when I was growing up, there were a dozen or more marques of US automakers than there are today (Studebaker, Packard, Kaiser/Frasier/Henry J, Hudson and the like), and the liklihood of the US auto industry actually satisfying the consumer has gone to hell in a handbasket in the interim. There's just barely enough competition in banking from independents to keep the big guys generally honest, and you can forget getting a fair shake from the credit card industry now that there are only four majors. (It used to be that if you got a BAC or MC from a bank, the bank serviced the account and set the rules -- no more.)
Scary stuff. True conservatives would be very afraid of all this consolidation and all this economic power being held by a very few multi-national corporations. Hell, true conservatives like Pat Buchanan and some of the other disgruntled wingers at the American Conservative are concerned with this. But the Bush Repubs, corporate whores and CEO's all, and many of the DLCers like the Clintons, have sold the country down the road in "trade deals" and other economic policies that benefit the moneyed few and screw the rest of us.
Sorry for the rant. it's a pet peeve of mine. Thanks for the link, kicksiron. I'll check it out later.