Case in point.
Q Mr. President, in 23 months our 44th President will be sworn into this office. With regard to the Middle East and Iraq, specifically, what will he or she inherit?
THE PRESIDENT: A society in Iraq that is learning to live with themselves; a unified -- a country that's heading toward more unity, based upon a modern constitution which was approved by the Iraqi people. There will be violence. There will be criminality. But they will also see a country in which the security forces are better equipped and better adapt at dealing with the extremists. They will see a political process that is working toward reconciliation. They will know there have been local elections, which enables the local folks to have more buy-in to the provincial government. They'll see a society that is an ally in the war on terror.They will also know what I know, that the real challenge in the Middle East is to confront extremists and not allow the extremists to bully and marginalize and use their weapon of terror to gain safe haven and/or to gain an ideological advantage over the millions who want to live in peace.
My god... where do you begin? ..."learning to live with themselves"?? That's like saying an arsonist is training to become a fire-fighter by burning down his apartment building...
Unified? Iraq's sectarian divisions -- which have existed for decades (actually, as long as the country has exists) -- have boiled over into full-throttled violence. Over the last couple of years Iraq has moved steadily away from unity and towards sectarian chaos. Does the president really see a few thousand more troops changing this trajectory? If it didn't work a year ago -- when the violence was not as widespread -- why should it work now?
Security. Iraqi security forces are largely a part of the sectarian problem: Tribal and religious identify has trumped loyalty to any concept of "Iraq". By allowing the insurgency to get to the stage its reached, we've guaranteed that reprisal killings and vendetta will take a back seat to law and order.
As for elections, the president talks of elections and democracy as if they were ends in themselves -- not the means to a stable and just society. I wonder if he intellectually realizes this: democracy works in this country (to the degree it does) because we have liberal, constitution that guarantees our "inalienable rights" . Iraq's constitution pays lip service to the concept, but actually pays homage to Islam: a mis-mash of contradictory edicts from which you can justify anything from torturing infidels to killing a woman who has been raped.
The war on terror: we've helped to put a Shia majority in power that is every bit as fundamentalist as the terrorists that attacked us on 9/11. To gen an appreciation for this, just look at the proclamations of Matadr al Sadr -- one of the major power brokers in the government.... or consider the number of trips the prime minister (Malaki) has made to Tehran in the last few months. None of these "signs" bodes well for an alley in the war against radical Islamic nut-cases.
Either our leader is completely out of touch with reality, or he has the ability to lie between his teeth in the face of contrary facts. In either case, he should be removed as soon as possible.