Thank God for Fox Sports Net. The Dallas Mavericks saved me from being bored to tears.
My late father said a person was judged by his or her track record - what you did in the past gave evidence to what you will do in the future. It was difficult, he said, to change stripes and attitudes. Behavior is too often consistent.
So what gives any American the impression that the weak-kneed Maliki government, which President Bush has trumpeted like he was Louis Armstrong, will change and do something substantive to bring civility, peace and end violence in Iraq.
All Bush has done in reality was the one thing he swore he wouldn't do - give the enemy a target and a timetable. Instead of our stating when our military involvement will conclude, that date will be established by the Sunni and Shia insurgents. It will be when there is enough violence to drive Maliki OUT of office.
In a land when patience is not only a virtue, it is a tradition, these people have enough than enough "track history" to tell us that they will wait it out. Hell, they've waited centuries to settle old scores - what's a few months or a year to them?
For brute force to be taken seriously, it must be as brutish as possible and no one, including Mr. Bush, has the stomach for that. Only the most callous of neocons (and irrational talk show radio hosts). We'd have to flatten half the country, including (perhaps) Baghdad to drive home the point that we are SERIOUS about ending all violence.
Either way, we've lost all standing in the region, so, in that sense, we've been defeated. We believe we were bringing clarity and charity and all we got for it was sand in our faces and far too many dead Americans.
By the way, where is the "surge" in troops from the British? Why is this ALL American and ONLY American? Why are WE the only ones in the "coalition of the willing" WILLING to do it?
Like the song, we should know when to "hold 'em," and when to "fold 'em." But (oops, more pop music quotations), no amount of "wishin' and hopin', thinkin' and prayin', planning and scheming" will make it so.
Seal the borders to Iran and Syria; close the door and let the Iraqis fight it out. When the dust is cleared, then deal with what's left. If it is worth dealing with at all.
I say FUCK NO!