Thursday, August 17, 2006

America: A Tough Crowd These Days

From yesterday's New York Times:
The number of roadside bombs planted in Iraq rose in July to the highest monthly total of the war, offering more evidence that the anti-American insurgency has continued to strengthen despite the killing of the terrorist leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.


The insurgency has gotten worse by almost all measures, with insurgent attacks at historically high levels,” said a senior Defense Department official who agreed to discuss the issue only on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak for attribution. “The insurgency has more public support and is demonstrably more capable in numbers of people active and in its ability to direct violence than at any point in time.”


Yet some outside experts who have recently visited the White House said Bush administration officials were beginning to plan for the possibility that Iraq’s democratically elected government might not survive.

“Senior administration officials have acknowledged to me that they are considering alternatives other than democracy,” said one military affairs expert who received an Iraq briefing at the White House last month and agreed to speak only on condition of anonymity.

“Everybody in the administration is being quite circumspect,” the expert said, “but you can sense their own concern that this is drifting away from democracy.” Bombs Aimed at G.I.’s in Iraq Are Increasing

Drifting from democracy? There's a pretty phrase for you. Listen, one day with purple fingers did not make Iraq a democracy. A government that doesn't govern, even if it was elected by the people, does not make a country a democracy. Drifting from democracy ... and people wonder why people are skepical ...

The good news for the Bush administration is that the fighting in Lebanon has knocked the failed occupation of Iraq off the front pages and removed it from network news. This resulted in a bump in the polls for Bush ... oh wait, the polls are not showing a bump, his popularity is still dropping. Mmm, that should have worked.

Maybe people haven't really forgotten the forgotten war.

Well, anyway, they broke up that terrible horrible terrorist plot in England, that should have helped Bush's ratings ... oh wait, they haven't charged anybody with anything. Is this turning out to be something like the terrible horrible terrorist plot in Florida a couple months ago? I see here in the paper, they were supposed to be planning a dry run in two days, but they didn't even have passports. Those Al Qaeda, they're so forgetful.

Oh and they've lightened up on airplane security again. Now you can bring lipstick onto the plane. Thanks.

As Robert J. Elisberg commented, at Huffington Post:
... it took five years of protecting you for the Bush Administration to finally figure out to ban water.

Because, really, you can just imagine the ways that terrorists could use water -- they could throw it in your face, they could pour it into your ears so you couldn't hear, they could take a sip and spit it on you. They could spill it on the floor and then take over the airplane while the flight attendents were busy mopping it up. Dangerous stuff, water. You can't allow people to just carry something like that onto an airplane.

It's not just that the government wants to throw the entire population into a state of total fear. No, it's not that. Water really is dangerous stuff.

Conservative blogger Andrew Sullivan adopts a suitably skeptical view of that situation. He concludes:
I wonder if Lieberman's defeat, the resilience of Hezbollah in Lebanon, and the emergence of a Hezbollah-style government in Iraq had any bearing on the decision by Bush and Blair to pre-empt the British police and order this alleged plot disabled. I wish I didn't find these questions popping into my head. But the alternative is to trust the Bush administration.

Been there. Done that. Learned my lesson.

Actually, the fact that people are speaking up now, that people are expressing distrust of the government, is a good sign. Remember in the months after 9/11, no one could stray from the pack, we all had to stick together, and we had to trust that the administration knew something we didn't know, that their ... weird ... decisions had some kind of sense behind them.

Now we know better. The stuff that sounded like lies about Iraq before the war turned out to be, really, lies. The idea that we would attack some random Arab country and convert it to a democracy, which sounded stupid at the time, has turned out, actually, to have been a stupid idea. This time around, people aren't buying it.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I heard on the news last night that 17,000 Iraqi civilians have been killed since January 1, 2006. SEVENTEEN THOUSAND in less than 8 months.

$250 billion and countless innocent lives WASTED thanks to the lies by the current administration.

Go on Orin, tell us again about how outrageous it was for Clinton to tell a lie about his personal conduct but it was hunky dory for Dumbya to lie about Iraq.

August 17, 2006 11:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

??Wow, I thought you were pro-choice. I mean countless innocet lives wasted 45 million since Roe V Wade. unless you are just lieing about being Concerned about lost innocent life.

August 17, 2006 12:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did you know that 45 million is 6428 times grater than 7 thousand

August 17, 2006 12:46 PM  
Anonymous PasserBy said...

Obviously, some of America is not a "tough crowd," and will believe anything they're told.

Luckily this isn't very many people these days. It's just down to the very dumbest few, as exemplified by Anon here.


August 17, 2006 1:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

pb sharp wit. that was a good one. you need to take the act on the road.

August 17, 2006 10:41 PM  

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