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Tuesday, December 08, 2009

This is Afghanistan's future too
Posted by Jill | 6:01 AM
Last Sunday I was working (for a change) and decided to tune into the Sunday gasbags. After about five minutes of The Chris Matthews Show, during which Gloria Borger wanted to know where was the visual of Barack Obama out there in a hardhat and wishing he was more like Bill Clinton (bet you never thought you'd hear THAT from Borger) and panelist John Heilemann gleefully opined that without health care reform, Barack Obama's presidency will be "in ruins", I was ready to turn it off and then stick an icepick into my own forehead anyway. I've almost forgotten what it was like to live in a country in which while pundits might disagree with a president's policy, they didn't want so badly to see three years out of a four year term lie "in ruins". As much as I detested George W. Bush from the minute he declared his presidential run, on the twelfth of September in 2001, I hoped he knew what he was doing, and was willing to accept the partisan hit in terms of Republican dominance if he did. After all, presidential failure does not make for a nation that is a place you want to be.

But today's pundit corps, in its increasing lust for a blithering idiot like Sarah Palin, who makes the Miss South Carolina pageant contestant who blathered about the Iraqi people not having maps look like a rocket scientist to be president, can't accept that sometimes the health of the nation is more important than fantasizing about fucking the president; that someone who's stupid but "colorful" might make good copy to fill up the 24 x 7 cable news cycle, but could REALLY leave the country "in ruins".

I don't know why John McCain is still sought out for these programs, other than as a constant manifestation of the clubbiness inside the Beltway; the Russert - Sally Quinn - Cokie - Broder Axis of Idiotic Punditry that seeks to decide the success of a presidency based on their own little Social Register of acceptable hacks. It's clear that McCain's rage over being denied the prize that he feels is rightly his as payment for having been a POW has affected his cognitive abilities, for these days he's blathering almost as incomprehensibly as his erstwhile running mate:

MR. GREGORY: We're back with Senator John McCain.

Welcome back to the program. A lot to discuss here, a lot to react to. Let's get to your big issue this week, the issue of withdrawal. You heard Secretary Gates say here today, July 2011 is a date certain for the beginning of the withdrawal. Do you have a problem with that?

SEN. McCAIN: Yes. But let me also say, David, I support the president's decision. I think it's the right decision. I think that it can lead to success. It's a tough decision on his part to send young Americans into harm's way. As Secretary Gates said, casualties will go up, tragically. But I think he made the right decision, and I think that he is--the reality is he's not only tough decision to send young Americans into harm's way, but his--significant elements of his own party are, are opposed. So I strongly support the decision.

The problem with the date certain now is that not only there's a problem with that itself, but there's a, a significant contribution between what Secretaries Gates and Clinton were saying and what the president's spokesperson...

MR. GREGORY: Contradiction. Contradiction.

SEN. McCAIN: Contradiction...


SEN. McCAIN: ...between what--and what his spokesperson said just a couple of days ago when he said the president said--he said--I'm directly quoting the president, that "withdrawal date is engraved, chiseled in stone, and I am the chiseler." Now, that's pretty straightforward. So what has that done? It has caused reaction such as you saw with the prime minister of Pakistan. Policymakers throughout the region--Pakistan, India, Iran, as well as Afghanistan--are now trying to figure out whether they can really go all in and support this effort, or do they have to accommodate? Because if we leave, they have to stay in the region. So it needs to be resolved. It needs to be resolved in this way, that we will not leave on a date certain. But we have every confidence--I do, I have every confidence within a year to 18 months we can achieve significant success. We were able to do that in Iraq. And we will leave and not allow the Taliban to make comments like Taliban prisoners are saying, "You've got the watches and we have the time." We don't want to send that message.

Got that? "Significant success in Iraq". O rly?

Bzzzzzzzzst! Sorry, Senator, your answer is wrong:

In what appeared to be a coordinated assault, a series of car bombings across Baghdad on Tuesday killed at least 101 people and wounded scores more, according to preliminary accounts by police and hospital officials.

Five bombs, including at least one suicide attack, struck near a university, a court, a mosque a market and in a neighborhood near the Interior Ministry. The blasts began shortly after 10 A.M. and reverberated through the city for the next 50 minutes, sending enormous plumes of black smoke into the air.

American helicopters, drones and airplanes circled the city in the immediate aftermath, while sporadic gunfire could be heard at one of the sites, near the main courthouse for western Baghdad and Zawra Park, which includes the city’s zoo and amusement areas.

A suicide car bomb in Dora, in southern Baghdad, struck a police patrol outside the main gate of the Technical Institution, a vocational college. Three police officers died there; many of the other victims were students.

The attacks were the worst in Iraq since twin suicide bombings destroyed three ministries on Oct. 25, killing at least 155. They matched a pattern of spectacular attacks in the capital, followed by weeks of relative calm. In August, two suicide car bombs struck the country’s finance and foreign ministries, killing at least 122.

The government of Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki has blamed the attacks on Al Qaeda in Iraq and remnants of the Baath Party in exile, though officials have yet to provide concrete evidence pointing to those involved.

The latest attacks came on the day Iraq’s Presidency Council was expected, finally, to announce a date for the country’s parliamentary elections. On Sunday, under pressure from President Barack Obama and Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., Iraq’s political leaders avoided a constitutional crisis and agreed on the rules for holding the election and distributing seats to the winners.

Many officials have expressed fears of intensifying violence ahead of the election, with insurgents and terrorists seeking to undermine Mr. Maliki’s government.

Is this John McCain's idea of "significant success"? If so, I'd hate to see what abject failure looks like.

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Anonymous mandt said...
The only appealing thing about Sarah Palin is that she reminds me of Miss Piggy.