Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Surge and Splurge Update

I was intending after this long layoff--no time for blogging--to start off with some soft science or a commentary on Michael Vick and his lust for dog blood, but Monday and Tuesday I listened to as much of the testimony of General David H. Petraeus and U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Ryan C. Crocker before the House of Representatives and Senate as I could take, which is until the disconnect between what they were saying and what they weren't saying became great enough to swallow sanity. At least the Senate proved a tougher forum than the peculiarly spineless House where more energy was expended expelling protesters and obsessing about the way Blackberries disrupt the sound system than in asking the two Bush front men questions that would force them to do more than endlessly repeat the same "everything's dandy" assessments. As an Argentine friend says, "When a person repeats a story the same way each time, you know they have memorized a script and are lying."

At the end of two days, all I can say with some certainty is that our sole justification for being in Iraq now is that we are in Iraq and, according to Surge Patraeus and Splurge Crocker getting out could produce a larger blood bath than the one over which we are currently presiding. I love it when people switch to subjunctive, conditional verb forms and then use them as if they describe something that has already happened--'coulda, woulda, shoulda.'

I turned the sound off when I heard Minnesota's Republican Senator, Norm Coleman, who took the deeply mourned Paul Wellstone's Senate seat, utter the magic words "Americans want to see light at the end of the tunnel." I cringed. The only redemption came when someone exlaimed into his open microphone, "Jesus." I can't find that reported, but I'm certain I heard it; indeed, how else could someone respond to a person who without a trace of irony uttered one of the most mindless and disgusting phrases to come out of Vietnam.

I wonder, though, how many people will buy the argument that bringing home the 30,000 troops involved in the "surge," who were scheduled to come home anyway, represents a "drawdown?"

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