Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Anniversary, saddamiversary - let's call the whole thing off.

Every time our lethargic nation chooses to pay attention to Iraq, we're told to believe that a turning point is at hand. The 5th Anniversary of the invasion and the bleak milestone of 4000 dead American soldiers are only the most recent examples of trying to change the flavor of the moment with a turn or two of phrase. But in trying to recollect a now cloudy thought of my own just a few moments ago - the argument that the invasion needed to happen in March before the weather turned decidedly toward summer and the temperatures escalated for our troops in their chemical suits - I came across a lost gem. Via the White House website, no less. If you love punishing post mortems, I highly recommend a quick read. If you want the nugget and can do without the waste, Condi Rice falsely argued in late January of 2003 that the Prezidunt had the justification to do the U.N.'s bidding and forcefully disarm Saddam. She closed by saying that Iraq should know that "time is running out." Yet, here we are, over 5 years later, being told to expect that troop levels through the end of Dubya's reign will remain basically the same. While the fractured Mahdi Army and associated Shiite allies conduct an obvious offensive. As the weather heats up. And basic services are at a worse level than before the invasion. And our nation looks at the daily drumbeat of bad economic newsiness with a sense of not knowing what's next. Hell, even Seattle is finally seeing a depreciation of housing valuation for the first time since 1991. I hate to get all canary in the coalmine about this whole fandango. But wake up, America. Today may not be a Tet Offensive. But the stretched parallels to that sleepy late January lunar New Year are awkwardly hard to deny, at best. Scary as hell, at worst.

Hope your own discovered past speeches only feature lame Beavis and Butthead jokes today. Rock on.

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