Qualitatively, how exactly is this substantially different from life under Saddam, from the ordinary Iraqi's perspective? If you ask this question, the usual fart-knockers rejoinder obtusely that you're equating American efforts (which are cynically touted as "coalition" efforts when convenient) with the Stalinist tactics of Hussein's psychotic mafia. This has the effect of getting one caught up in explaining the distinction, which is a complete waste of time. They know the difference, just like they know what the stupid MoveOn ad actually means. Everything's a ploy with these people, regardless of how many civilians get murdered with power tools because of chronic neotard bungling.
I think so too. It seems that the Democrats will benefit electorally from the sheer number of retiring rats and remaining empty suits on the other side. The truly sorry lineup for preznitential contenders on the Republican side speaks volumes; there are cartoon characters that could beat bozos like Tom Tancredo in an election. And he has to know that, but he stays in because either he enjoys the sound of his own voice, or there's money in it. See Thompson, Fred.
But if this past year is any indication, it seems that even another resounding message at the voting booth will ultimately fall on deaf Democratic ears, possessed by people lacking even more in spine. They seem to be remarkably unready for what may, in its denouement, turn out to be a proxy war between Iran and Saudi Arabia. Peter Galbraith has sufficient insight, on the off chance anyone has the balls to read it to Mister Man before sleepy time some night.
But hey, what really matters is that the latest administration patsy to show up and lie with a straight face to Congress and to the American people, had a snappy uniform on. No criticism allowed, ungrateful rabble!
Here's the thing -- even if the Iranians suddenly became so brazen and stupid as to announce publicly that they were finishing their nuke program tomorrow, and pointing missiles at Tel Aviv, it would still be impossible to trust the current oafs to take the right steps to deal with the crisis comprehensively. They know how to start wars, but have no idea how to end them, which is much more important to success.
One of the main reasons we regard World War 2 as the great, justified war is that we went the extra mile to end it correctly, insofar as rebuilding and investing in conquered enemies, even for rational self-interest rather than altruistic motives, is far better than plundering the ruins and salting the earth. And as long as there's a buck to be made in Iraq's oil reserves, we'll never exactly salt the earth, but we've shot our wad.
Everything here on out, just like everything for the past two years or so, has been pure damage control and risk management. There's not a charitable way to look at this any longer, we're going to spend more money next year than any other year so far in Iraq, and our representatives are playing grab-ass over goddamned newspaper ads.