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The International Writers Magazine: Reality Check

PUNCHLINE IRAQ
James Campion
Study Group Report Final Nail In Bush's War Coffin


    "Grave and deteriorating."
    "Decades to play out."
    "Enough troops are simply not available."
    "Withdrawal would only lead to bloodbaths."
    Ouch.

The above are just some of the ominous lowlights strewn along the 142-page Iraq Study Group Report released the first week of December to what can only be described as the walking corpse of a presidency.
    "The ability for the United States to influence events is diminishing."
    Thud.
    There is the end, and then there is THE END. In Iraq, now, we have hit the latter. For all purposes of intent, the presidency of George W. Bush is finished. He will wait it out for two more innocuous years because of constitutional law, nothing more. Everything he bet his gig on has gone belly up. The check has been cashed. The piper is due. The die lies still on the table. It is over. Way over. Too late, the hero.
    "Humanitarian catastrophe."
    Crash. Boom. Bang.

    It is Tuesday morning and the gambling axioms tumble down -- the back-door cover never came, the horse did not place, the bluff failed. Here comes the bookie. His humor left home, his rancor full-bore. Here stands the leader of the free world without another penny to wager, our penny, stuck in his hand like the harbinger of midnight. Captain Shoo-In's fancy coach is officially a rancid pumpkin.

    There are no more alleys to turn into on this one. First it was ties to 9/11, then a cadre of Weapons of Mass Destruction. When that didn't stick it was toppling an evil regime in an unstable area. Then it was restructuring the region with democracy. Then it cleverly morphed into "Stay The Course Or Lose Miserably", doom and gloom, utter chaos unless we see it through. Then the tried-and-true Losers Quit--Americans Stand Tall. But all of it seems like some kind of sick joke now. Historians will scratch their heads. "The Boy President had his chance," they will say. "One chance to grab destiny, and he tragically fumbled it away."

    The walls are closing in now and the allies are few and far between. The architect of this disaster in Iraq, Donald Rumsfeld, is long gone, sent packing while the administration leaks lame memos from the fallen demagogue as if there was some queer notion he was horny with reality after six years of swearing to fantasy. The rough-and-tumble UN bully, John Bolton, is also toast, his brash house-cleaning nothing but a flaccid pecker-waving exercise in futility. Nothing has changed, except, of course, his forwarding address.
    The big-time hawks are now running scared too, their plans sullied, their mighty rhetoric flayed. Gnashing of teeth is in vogue at the Pentagon these days, where they are heard weeping down the corridors, each one of them wondering what the hell happened? How did we, the strongest, richest, nation on earth wage a war so ineptly, so myopically, as to render what was a wounded, vengeful, united nation into a mass war protest? This was a popular war, now it appears to be the worst kind of murderous sham.

Shock & Awe to Shame & Angst.
Not an easy ride to the bottom. It took screw-ups of the most stupendous kind. Everything and everyone failed. It is a slam-dunk, to use a most-unfortunate phrase. There is not one party, not one faction of this federal government, not to blame on this one, a bottomless sinkhole of guilt.

    You want to know how badly things have gotten? The Iraq Study Group is not only suggesting but clamoring for an alliance with Iran. An alliance with Iran? If that isn't the final tolling bell of defeat nothing is. Iran is bankrolling, instigating, and perpetuating the worst of the sectarian violence in Iraq. The second Saddam Hussein went kaput the Iran party train was tooting into the station. Now, after nearly 3,000 American troops dead and thousands upon thousands of innocents slaughtered and maimed, we are going to pow-wow with proudly belligerent terrorist loons salivating to turn the planet into a Jew-killing spree?

    Wow.

    I knew that incredible pile of bullshit about Axis Of Evil was dumb, but now it looks like something out of a world-class charlatan snake-oil rap, and if the only way to save face in Iraq left us is to suck up to Iran than just torch the damn place and get the fuck out. It is an absolute slap in the face of anything resembling honorable and decent, a complete ramrod ass-ream to the American people, whether they be staunchly ant-war or blindly gung-ho.

    There is no way this government can justify a scintilla of the past three-plus years of this foul mistake with that kind of move. I dare Junior to cop to it and get out of town with a shred of legacy beyond humiliated goober, his scarred credibility shackled like Houdini in a water-box.

    The incoming Secretary of Defense went screwy the other day in front of Congress admitting there was no way we are winning the war; a war, by the way, we already won but then was suckered by some half-baked idea to rebuild the country and use the United States military as some kind of traffic-cop force stuck inside a cultural abattoir. The brain-damaged elite even cheered the Gates performance. This is the final resting place for foreign policy -- the pundit-intelligentsia doing back-flips of joy over the new defense czar taking one for the team.

    If the Bush track record with study groups is any indication (please refer to the 9/11 Commission's ignored recommendations for three consecutive years) then there are going to be a lot of disappointed people around here. But election results, firings, and a host of scurrying bigmouths are a persuasive avenue to changing policy. When ten bipartisan think-tank dignitaries, who have served four presidents, compile, in print, every war decision you have made and stab gaping holes in them all, there is time to pause.
   
The joke is over.

© James Campion December 2006
realitycheck@jamescampion.com


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