Thursday, January 27, 2005

O'Reilly At It Again

According to Bill O'Reilly, as featured over at Media Matters, the "anti-Bush crowd would rather have chaos in Iraq than a victory for the president." Uh-huh. Because you have your finger on the pulse of the anti-Bush crowd, Bill. Sure.

Those of us in the "anti-Bush crowd" don't want to see chaos in Iraq. That's why we argued against the invasion in the first place! I am anti-Bush because I oppose his policies and think they will have disastrous results. I argue against his policies because I care about what happens and don't want to see disaster and chaos. O'Reilly is assuming that the so-called "anti-Bush crowd" hates Bush for no reason and therefore doesn't care about anything other than Bush falling on his face. But we hate Bush because he's an idiot who makes bad decisions that are obviously bad before he makes them.

I can't speak for the whole "anti-Bush crowd," but as a card-carrying member, I can say that I do not hope for chaos in Iraq. I think there will be chaos, but it isn't what I want. Predicting that something bad will happen if the regime adopts a course is not the same as wanting something bad to happen. What O'Reilly is doing here is projecting. Methinks he doth protest too much.

O'REILLY: "Talking Points" believes that the goal in Iraq is noble, to have a
Muslim country embrace liberty. While that goal is obviously difficult, we are
not the bad guys in Iraq. We're trying to do something good and fight terrorism
at the same time.

This is an example of the one the things that drives me nuts about the right. Have you ever heard that "the road to Hell is paved with good intentions?" The right thinks that their good intentions should shield them from any criticism of the naivety of their policies and the disastrous results of those policies.

Sure, it's a noble goal to create democracy in Iraq. But it was a pretty pie-in-the-sky goal in the first place, not impossible, but damn near. And bombing the living shit out of the Iraqis, failing to provide sufficient troops to provide security for the population, torturing and humiliating Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib, and trying to claim progress because of empty, meaningless gestures like the so-called "transfer of sovereignty" that changed nothing, are terribly stupid ways to go about fostering democracy in Iraq. Saying to Bush, "What you're doing isn't going to work and you're making the situation worse" is not the same as saying, "Trying to bring democracy to Iraq is wrong and you are therefore a bad guy." Jeesh.

A good example of this thought process is with the upcoming Iraqi elections. When critics note that the security situation is such that much of the country will not be able to vote, that the Sunnis are refusing to participate, and that the insurgency's threats of killing voters, candidates, and office holders, and the sword of Damocles of the US hanging over Iraqi's heads if they elect a government unpalatable to the US are all reasons that this election has little chance of reflecting the will of the Iraqi people and thus having legitimacy, the Bush regime says that it's amazing and historic that elections are happening at all.

In other words, "Give us credit for trying." Or, "It's the thought that counts, right?"

Well, Mr. Bush and Mr. O'Reilly, no. The regime's Iraq strategy was never going to work, and doggedly insisting it will while it fails, and then wanting credit for trying, is something you can get away with in kindergarten, not when leading the most powerful nation in the world.

Also, Bill, the "anti-Bush crowd's" strategy for dealing with terrorism and al-Qaeda was to focus on fighting terrorism and al-Qaeda rather than invading Iraq. Iraq never had anything to do with the war on terror. The regime's rear-view mirror justifications of the war make that clear, and to claim that Iraq was anything other than something the regime wanted to do and saw 9/11 as an excuse to do is beyond ridiculous.


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