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Definitionalization Strategerification


(AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

Yes, by all means, let's continue this charade of ignorance, obfuscation, and ego, shall we?

"There's one thing I'm not going to do, I'm not going to pull our troops off the battlefield before the mission is complete," he said in a speech setting the stage for high-stakes meetings with the Iraqi prime minister later this week. "We can accept nothing less than victory for our children and our grandchildren."

Translation: "I don't care how screwed up things are, I am not losing face so we are not leaving, and you can't tell me what to do.  So there."

Guess it all depends on what your definition of FUBAR is:

"But saying it isn't civil war doesn't make it so," said Galbraith, a former U.S. diplomat and Bush critic who has proposed partitioning Iraq. "Training and equipping Iraq's security forces as the United States is doing only produces more lethal combatants in the country's internecine conflict."

The potency of the term civil war comes from the fact that "it's not what we signed up for," said David Rothkopf of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. "We went in there to replace a despotic government with a democratic government. We said we were there to get rid of terrorists. Well, which side are the terrorists?

"Now we find ourselves being a referee in a civil war. Neither side is us. It means that the premise for our national involvement and policies has been challenged and compromised," Rothkopf said….

"If you're lying dead on the street in Baghdad, I don't imagine it makes much difference" what the conflict is called, Rothkopf said, adding that the debate is "taking us away from" looking at the key moral and strategic questions about how the United States should handle it.

Let's just stop the PR tap dance, shall we, and start looking at this mess like grown up people. Let's all admit that the situation in Iraq is one big FUBAR mess, that George Bush should swallow his pride and own up to the fact that this is so, and that we need to stop marking time, dithering and generally just making things worse by trying on different pairs of rose-colored glasses instead of just being honest — with ourselves, with the American public and with the military and their families. 

Iraq is a mess.  We made it so.  Innocent people are dying.  That is bad.  

Our soldiers are caught in the crossfire of a civil war, and they are caught in a horrible conundrum as a result, because they cannot be seen as taking sides or they lose what little credibility they have left, after our bungled mess of a non-strategy that they have been forced to foist on Iraq — and yet, by not taking sides, the violence is increasing by the hour.  And the loss of life continues to increase every single day.

As Hugh said in the comments yesterday, to pretend that the militias, the factions, the insurgents, the Iraqi government and the sectarian and civil violence are not intertwined and one and the same is to ignore the reality that is Iraq at the moment.  The sooner we all look this mess in the face and see it for what it really is, the better — because all the rose-colored glasses do is extend the inevitable leave-taking into someone else's future.  But that leaves no future for the American soldiers who will die there in the meantime, let alone the innocent civilians trapped in the middle of this mess in Iraq.

Hell, even Joe Scarborough was quoting John Kerry's "How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?" quote from Kerry's testimony in 1971.  And Pat Buchanon agreed with him.  (Yes, I did almost spew my tea as I was listening to the show.  It was as though I were watching some sort of Bizarro Scarborough, wherein he agreed, repeatedly, with Lawrence O'Donnell.) 

Jim Miklaszewski just spent time on MSNBC explaining the Administration's "resurrect the al qaeda boogeyman" strategy for changing subject from civil war in Iraq.  And he did the reporting with a smirk on his face.  If military families where I live are any judge, this strategy is doomed — military folks who have done multiple (and I mean MULTIPLE) tours in Iraq know how bad things are on the ground right now, and so do their families.  And if you think people aren't talking about it and praying about it and crying with their friends and family about it over the holidays, you can think again.  The snow job is not going to work — not this time.

Why the WaPo feels like it cannot be honest with its readers about this issue, and call it like it is, especially with such great reporting from Dafna Linzer and Thomas Ricks today on the Marine Corps assessment that the WH and DoD whack-a-mole strategy will not defeat the violent insurgency in Anbar province and that they do not have the resources to do more there other than keep throwing Marine bodies at the problem, I have no idea.  (And can I just tell you how angry that article made me?  Please, go read it.  And then call your members of Congress and ask for oversight hearings.  Please.)  Maybe someone should ask L'il Debbie about this WaPo language problem?  Does the Bush Administration get to define when they have defied the rule of law, overstepped the bounds of authority and stomped on the Constitution as well for the WaPo — because, if so, that could explain a whole LOT.

Atrios has a great summary of the definitionalization strategerification soft shoe that the Bush Administration is trying to pull, via the Daily Show.  And Digby asks a very important question: why on earth should we continue to treat seriously the various twaddlings of any of the morons who continue to prop up this idiocy?  I mean, honestly, if the definition of insanity is to continue to do the same unhelpful thing, over and over, why would we turn to the very people who keep jumping up and down to try and grab the "repeat play" button?

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Christy Hardin Smith

Christy Hardin Smith

Christy is a "recovering" attorney, who earned her undergraduate degree at Smith College, in American Studies and Government, concentrating in American Foreign Policy. She then went on to graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania in the field of political science and international relations/security studies, before attending law school at the College of Law at West Virginia University, where she was Associate Editor of the Law Review. Christy was a partner in her own firm for several years, where she practiced in a number of areas including criminal defense, child abuse and neglect representation, domestic law, civil litigation, and she was an attorney for a small municipality, before switching hats to become a state prosecutor. Christy has extensive trial experience, and has worked for years both in and out of the court system to improve the lives of at risk children.

Email: reddhedd AT firedoglake DOT com