Memo to the Iraqi people: SORRY! SEE YA LATER!
I know I've been talking more than even I want to about politics and world events of late, but over the past week, I've noticed something interesting, and what it boils down to is that Iraq is screwed. I mean, yeah, it's bad now, but all signs are currently pointing to the very last rationale for the invasion of Iraq, the liberation of the Iraqi people, is about to get tossed aside to the heap next to WMD's and Terrorist Ties.
In a sure sign of a desperate administration, the Bush camp let loose more balloons than they did during the convention. Trial balloons, that is. Trial balloons are when someone in, or allied with, the administration says something completely fucking ridiculous and then checks the media to see if anyone noticed, and if so, how the press took it.
I'd have phrased that as "how the people took it", but since how the press reacts IS, for all practical intents and purposes, how the people react, if a fucking ridiculous idea doesn't cause a huge outrage in the press, then they know they can get away with a toned down, spun, and nuanced version of the same thing.
You may have noticed everyone in the administration saying different things about Iraq over the next week. Bush says it's getting better. Powell says it's getting worse. Allawi says we could have safe, secure elections today. Powell says we'd like to have safe, secure elections in January. Rumsfeld says the elections may have to be limited.
Despite what many believe, this isn't a fracturing. It isn't even a herald of the much-talked-about-by-wonks-with-bow-ties infighting between the State and Defense departments. They just want to know what kind of elections they can get away with, because the elections in January, much like the handover of sovereignty in June, is an important milestone in the fucking-over of the Iraqi people.
Did you know that the elections in January are for a new INTERIM government? I didn't, and I try to keep up with this shit. The big January elections that have been talked up by this administration for months now won't be forming a new, final Iraqi government. That's another year down the road. But you don't hear that, because once those polls are closed in January (whether it's with a key or a truck bomb), I guarantee you that Dubya (assuming he gets re-elected) will proclaim Iraq a free democracy and get the hell out.
And I put it about 80-20 that Kerry will do the same thing. He'll just have the excuse that he's cleaning up after Bush's mess.
The two most important trial ballons in the past week concerned the pulling out of US troops. Sure, our leader has said we won't leave until the job is done, but that promise depends entirely on the definitions of both "job" and "done". People think it's incompetence that leads to people going into a war without a "clearly defined mission" or an "exit strategy", but politically, it makes perfect sense. Why define those things ahead of time and bind your hands? Better to define "a job well done" at the end, when you have a much better idea of which endgame makes you look good.
The first of these balloons came from Robert Novak, Douchebag of Liberty*. Bob took precious time out from compromising secret agents and lying to discuss what he believes are plans for the Bush administration (pending their re-election, of course), to ditch Iraq as soon as Al-Jazeera has called a winner in the election. If past history has shown us anything, it's that when the Bush administration says "jump", Bob Novak pens 500 words on maximum aerial elevation. IT IS BALLOON!
And this past weekend, Rumsfeld said "Any implication that that place has to be peaceful and perfect before we can reduce coalition and US forces would obviously be, I think, unwise because it has never been peaceful and perfect, and it isn't likely to be." At this point, we're like three balloons away from an Around The World In 80 Days fan convention. Iraq doesn't have to be "peaceful and perfect" for us to pull out, so really, we can pull out whenever we want! Any problems that happen after we give them a democratically elected government in January are the fault of all those swarthy people who just can't get along, you see. We've done our job. Mission accomplished!
Operation Fuck Up Iraq will be a complete success.
*That appelation comes, of course, from The Daily Show. I use it here not to steal their joke, but because I think that permanently associating the phrase "Douchebag of Liberty" with Bob Novak is such a noble goal. It should enter the lexicon along with "Tricky Dick" Nixon, Jim "The Lizard King" Morrison, and Dan Savage's alternate meaning for "santorum", which, if you don't know it, don't Google it up from work. Or while you're eating. But it's still really funny.