Friday, September 14, 2007

Andrew Sullivan's Critique of Bush's Iraq speech

I know that this isn't a political blog, but I just had to link back to Andrew Sullivan's poignant and dead-on critique of President Bush's speech last night on Iraq. Here's the "money quote" for me (as Andrew would put it):


I thought I would feel angry; but I found myself verging toward pity. The case was so weak, the argument so thin, the evidence for optimism so obviously strained that one wondered whom he thought he was persuading. And the way he framed his case was still divorced from the reality we see in front of our nose: that Iraq is not, as he still seems to believe, full of ordinary people longing for democracy and somehow stymied solely by "extremists" or al Qaeda or Iran, but a country full of groups of people who cannot trust one another, who are still living in the wake of unimaginable totalitarian trauma, who have murdered and tortured and butchered each other in pursuit of religious and ethnic pride and honor for centuries. This is what Bush cannot recognize: there is no Iraq. There are no Iraqis. There may have been at one point - but what tiny patina of national unity that once existed to counter primordial sectarian loyalty was blown away by the anarchy of the Rumsfeld-Franks invasion. The president's stunning detachment from this reality tragically endures - whether out of cynicism or delusion or, more worryingly, a simple intellectual inability to understand the country he is determined that the United States occupy for the rest of our lives.


I'm no different than every other American... I worry every day what this war's doing to our economy and our image to the rest of the world. As a father, I'm terrified that we'll still be sending men and women into that meat-grinder when my own son turns 18. I desperately hope that whoever is President or whoever is in Congress will have stopped the madness, and I plan to vote that way (as I always have) to try to make that happen. Maybe this time my vote will be in the majority.

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