The "sacrifice" that's being "asked" for is merely a restatement of the same contemptuous declarations. Americans are being told to put up with more of the same nonsense, lies, and incompetence, despite making their opinions on the subject quite clear at the ballot box, as well as the consistent trend of polls. (Really, "incompetence" doesn't quite cover it. Criminal negligence or depraved indifference would be more accurate.)
We have already sacrificed our common sense and trust in these venal people. They are so utterly corrupt and mendacious that it not only beggars the imagination, but paradoxically becomes almost mundane upon close scrutiny, because it is readily apparent that it is practically an involuntary reflex with them, like the beat of a heart or the drawing of breath. This has been consistently demonstrated by their actions -- Bush repeatedly used his ground commanders as cover for his failures, until they started openly disagreeing with him. So now they have been replaced, and the new generals are already voicing tacit doubts about the realism of a "surge", a "bump", or an "escalation".
It is too late for any of that, and the numbers don't reflect the requirements on the ground anyway. So these professional military careerists have sacrificed their life's work for Junior's folly, and his inability to admit error. Iraqis have sacrificed their lives, their livelihoods, their society for years to come, because the smart guys in their undisclosed locations prayed real hard and decided they knew better than anyone else. The result? Not only did they actually manage to make Saddam look like a martyr, not only have they now empowered the very same thugs who have killed scores of American troops, but they managed to test the notional insanity that some things could actually be worse than Saddam Hussein's blood-soaked mafia running the country. Now it is hell on earth, on the verge of becoming a failed state, perhaps to be pulled back from the precipice by whatever gang of theocratic murderers manages to claw their way to the top of the heap of mutilated bodies.
Is that enough "sacrifice" for the armchair chin-strokers as they postulate their next big Stratego move?
Nobody named Bush or Cheney will be "sacrificing", not with their lives, their wallets, their job prospects. Oh, we may not see another Bush darkening the door of the West Wing for some time, but you can be sure that wherever there's a grift to be had, a palm to be greased, a well-heeled back to be slapped, a Moonie ass to be kissed, a madrassa-supporting sheik to be coddled, there'll be a Bush, with Cheney's rictus behind him and his hand up his ass. There's no shortage of Bushes to be trained for the next generation of partying, running other people's businesses into the ground, and finding a spot at some government trough. It's the surest bet this side of Bill Bennett's video-poker machine.
And speaking of not sacrificing, the oil companies will fare quite nicely out of this, as if such an outcome were ever in doubt:
Well, that's certainly a relief. As long as Halliburton and Shell and the rest of them get their fair share of the big prize, I guess that's what really counts, right? That it gets couched in the rhetoric of futility, of trying once more to square the circle, is apparently incidental. And if perchance we happen to get duped by our new Shi'a buddies into helping them settle old scores with their enemies and their enemies' clans, well, there's your ever-expanding omelet. Eggs everywhere.
What's most galling is the steadfast refusal of the base to acknowledge reality, gleefully at that. One might expect them to be at least regretful about their vicarious sadism, their retributive fantasies of blood and fire spewing forth from Grabthar's hammer or whatever the fuck it is they wank to. This will be yet another last chance, until the can is sufficiently kicked to the next suit, nothing more than scooting the deck chairs around still again, while people who know absolutely nothing about the people we invaded continue to make dumb decisions based on compromised information and bad faith.
Bush will get his way on this, because he has the poker face of the true believer. Either he gets some miniscule benefit of half-hearted doubt, and figure he genuinely believes he has four aces, or he knows better and he's just a ruthlessly cynical bastard. If he really is just bluffing the Democrats just long enough to pass the buck, I don't even know what to say; it's obviously beneath contempt.
The best we can hope for here is for the responsible opposition -- Democrats and Republicans alike -- to at least insert some sort of accountability lingo into this mess. There are no more Friedmans with which to keep dicking around and fumbling for light. Some sort of contingency plan should be appended to this desperation measure, and then hung about the neck of the fools who got us into this, once and for all.