Saturday, August 27, 2005

We need a leader

Bush has been taking time off of his vacation to stump for the war here and there. Namely, Utah, Idaho and the like. Instead of reassuring the American people by offering even a hint that he knows what he's doing, he's just repeating the same tired, old rhetoric he's been offering for years. Years.

Now, like it or not, George Bush is in charge. And although I think the democrats need to offer solutions ("props" to Wesely Clark for actually doing so), W. needs to do something other than chant, "stay the course." We see the course. It's the same course we've been on for years. (It makes me throw up in my mouth a little, thinking that we've been in this conflict for multiple years.) It's a collision course. Iraq isn't a hot-bed of terrorism, it's a civil war. But he needs to make people beleive that it's under control, not raging out of control like it is. He needs to act like a leader instead of a puppet. He has a moment here to save his legacy, to break the chains of his handlers and do the right thing and actually lead this country.

I don't know the answers. No one does. I'm sure there are people out there with pretty good guesses, but no one has a definitive answer, they can't. But George Bush needs to at least have the appearance of a solution. He needs to set definite goals. He needs to give us an indication of when we can expect troops back. This doesn't mean timeline. He needs to come out and say, for example: "We can reduce troop levels once we have X number of X kind of Iraqi troop trained. We can further reduce troop levels when X political occurence has happened, etc."

Then he needs to take all of those conditions, and work hard for them. Harder than he's worked in his life for anything. He needs to at least give the appearance of light at the end of the tunnel. If he wants his opinion polls to go back up, he needs an exit strategy. No more of this "stay the course" bullshit. He also needs to stop his sensationalizing. People are starting to realize that every time Bush connects Iraq to 9/11 it's a sleight of hand trick. It's pissing people off. People don't like to be played with like that. It was a cunning ruse for a while, but that ship has sailed.

And the democrats can win if they offer a bi-partisan solution that people can get behind. Is there anything preventing them from mandating pull-out conditions in the senate? If they can offer a solution and pass it in a bi-partisan way through the house and senate, not only would they stand a better chance of gaining in the 2006 elections, they'd also do their part to save the unnecesary loss of life.


Anonymous said...

I think "Divided State" looks like an interesting documentary of a volatile window of time, with two of the most mouthy and biased of individuals being at the center of the storm.

That said, I have to say, I don't think you, or I, or anyone knows the truth about Iraq. We know what the media tells us, which is most definitely biased.

We know what gets sound bytes and headlines, and garners ratings and audience share. Sensationalism, which credo is, "if it bleeds, it leads". We know that American troops are dying.

I don't think President Bush entered into a war (the most suicidal of political moves) on a whim, nor did the Congress back it to keep "face" for popularity.

You say you don't want any more mentions of 9/11 - sleight of hand, cunning ruse, you say. I find that fascinating. It did happen didn't it? Can't we bring it up as a fact of recent history? It seems to be taboo for any discussion regaring the war.

I don't pretend to be fully-informed on international terrorism: who funds what, where their headquarters and hotbeds are, etc. But I also don't pretend that it is all one man or one party's "selfish quest" that has us in Iraq.

Like you, I do want more answers, more definition, and for our direct involvement in Iraq to be over sooner than later, but I also think our generation has no comprehension of what it means to be in something for the long haul.

Our mettle is weak.

Bryan said...

The reason I don't want him mentioning 9/11 in reference to the war in Iraq is because it has as much to do with the War on Iraq as the Oklahoma City Bombing. Sadly, Bush has used the strong images and feelings of 9/11 to garner support for a war that has been proved time and time again as a war of choice. And you're right about congress not voting for it for popularity, but there are shades of gray to the vote. The vote wasn't a declaration of war, as was passed on December 8, 1941, it was a mandate to the president that he could engage in a conflict if diplomacy failed without question.

I don't think anyone would agree that diplomacy had failed so absolutely as to involve ourselves in a conflict of which we were unsure of the consequences.

But it's troubling to me that Bush uses 9/11 for Iraq as though it was Pearl Harbor was for World War II, but Pearl Harbor is just a good a reason to go into Iraq as 9/11. It's disingenuous.

It's one thing to discuss it as something that happened, it's entirely another to use it for a rationale for war when all of your other rationales have been proven wrong repeatedly.

As far as not knowing the truth from the media, I agree that we don't know the whole truth, but I think we all have a good idea. Enough to know that what we're doing there isn't working.

The problem I tried addressing in my post is that what we're doing isn't working. That much is clear. And we aren't doing the job we need to to get out. That much is also clear. And instead of grandstanding, we need Bush to lead us to a withdrawal.

Is he leading us to that end? I doubt it. He hasn't inspired me to believe otherwise, which is what I was pleading with someone to do in this post.