Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Blogger, McCain, Iraq, et al

I'm not posting my day 8 NaPoWriMo draft poem yet.... because it has yet to be drafted, but we are at day 8 of the month and blogger still has my NaPoWriMo blog (created just for this April project) hostage because "I may be in Violation." Somehow, I think this should like make me feel dirty or something. I don't. In fact I'm feeling really pissed. I wake up each morning and it's starting to feel like it's dragging on into.... gee I don't know, the same place the Iraq war is going- infinity.

There, now see what you did blogger? You got me started on the war. And speaking of the war, the military top brass will be up on the hill today to update us on the current situation in Iraq.

Here in Kansas City, Sen. John McCain delivered a speech on Iraq. ABC World News said last night McCain "accused Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton today of a failure of leadership for promising to withdraw US forces from Iraq." McCain "told the Veterans of Foreign Wars that promising withdrawal from Iraq without considering the consequences is in his words, 'the height of irresponsibility.'" NBC Nightly News said McCain "delivered a glass-half-full message about progress in Iraq." McCain was shown saying, "We are no longer staring into the abyss of defeat. And we can now look ahead to the genuine prospect of success."

This brings me to the question I'd like McCain to answer. Exactly would "success" in Iraq look like. It's interesting that both McCain and the Bush Administration have dropped the term, "victory" that has been used for so long. We were told over and over the Democrats wanted to "lose" the war and the Republicans wanted to "win" it. When pushed to describe what a "victory" or "win" in Iraq would constitute rather than define that elusive term, they have now chosen the term success. It question remains. What would success in Iraq look like. What would be the benchmark that we could look at and say, yes, we are there? The fact of the matter is McCain can't look the American people in the face and tell us what it is because he hasn't figured it out himself.

Because he can't define it, he can only use evasive terms about the future. We are suppose to accept that because there was a downward turn in violence during the surge, "we're closer". Closer to when and What?
The violence has picked up. It's Iraqi against Iraqi violence and America in right in the middle. Now they want to freeze troop levels at pre-invasion levels. Our military presence has weakened our readiness for American defense elsewhere.

There are serious questions aside from the obvious Military ones. None of the massive expenditures on this war are part of any budget. For five years we have waged a grossly expensive military operation on credit. $12 billion a month is what it's costing presently, and that is not including costs to benefits and medical care for returning veterans that will be continuing for many years. When we are asking ourselves, are we safer because of this war? I think we have to ask, what the cost to our security is if we are economically crippled because of it?

Meanwhile, a related breaking story of interest: Draft agreement could allow US troops to remain in Iraq 'indefinitely'

Oh, and how about the special Pulitzer for Bob Dylan, citing the mark he has made on our culture over decades. Isn't that an interesting bit of news?
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