A wise sensei once told me "never take the elephant's droppings for food." He was speaking of course of Oregonian columnist David Reinhard. A man who dares to find no thought too banal, no idea too rote to work into his droppings, er column. He is a living, breathing embodiment of an RNC blastfax and the wise avoid his column at their own intelectual peril. (studies show that reading Reinhard's columns kills brain cells somewhere between the scope of a shot of 151 rum and a major concussion.)
Today the intrepid GOP stenographer double-dutch dares both President Bush and the critics of the war in Iraq to answer a series of questions. Three years into the war and you have questions David? Better late than never, I guess.
And the answers? Well, both sides might try sparing us the certitudes and sloganeering that have come to characterize our Iraq debates. Humility and honesty would go further. Really, we're well past the point in Iraq where anybody can be quite sure they have the answer. It's a bit more complex than that.
Translation: Of course one side was completely wrong and the other side was completely right on how the war would turn out but let's just put that aside and pretend that those of us who were completely wrong can pretend we're on the same intellectual footing and not dumber than a box of rocks.
I'll skip his questions to Bush as irrelevant. They're questions the CIC should have had to ask and answer before the war. It's only because of the shouting down of critics by tools like Reinhard that he didn't. So let's skip ahead to his tough questions for critics-
What leads you to believe a "surge" won't work?
I dunno, maybe because the generals say it won't? Maybe it's because the conflict is beyond military resolution.
Would you support any military option other than the withdrawal of U.S. forces?
I might have three years ago. Now the point is moot.
What is your plan? Specifics, please.
Murtha's phased withdrawal was just fine with me and the details are readily available. Not that you're really interested in the specifics, but would rather "sloganeer" Murtha as a cut n'runner.
Is it fair to criticize Bush for not having more troops right after the fall of Saddam Hussein while criticizing him for advocating more troops now?
Only to those who aren't neoconservative simpletons and understand (and understood) what a small window of opportunity we had at the end of the initial conflict to build a working democracy.
Is the world better off without Saddam?
No. Isn't that clear to most mature adults with at least two working brain cells? Oh, wait.
If a U.S. pullout led to increased Iraqi violence, would you accept responsibility for the additional bloodshed?
The bloodshed is inevitable, troops are not. It falls on you and yours that advocated and prosecuted this war as to the responsibility. If a car runs off the road into a lake and begins sinking and the driver tells a passenger it's his turn to get behind the wheel it doesn't make that passenger responsible for the disaster.
Do you believe the Iraqis are capable of representative government and living in peace with each other?
Maybe, but not under any government or plan put together by American conservatives.
What would be the consequences of a U.S. defeat in Iraq?
What's your plan to manage the consequences of such a defeat?
Save American lives and keep you and yours the hell away from the reigns of power for the rest of my God given lifetime.
Would U.S. failure in Iraq enhance Iranian and Syrian power across the Mideast?
You mean more than "success" has?
Would it matter if Iran and Syria became more powerful in the Mideast?
A question that you should have been asking your side before the war, but since you didn't care then why should I take that question seriously now?
Would a U.S. defeat in Iraq be a victory for Islamic terrorists?
Define "defeat." Or "victory" for that matter. For one thing the loss of our constitutional freedoms here has done more for the cause of Islamic terrorists than anything that's happened in Iraq.
Would a victory for Islamic terrorists in Iraq be a plus or minus in the war on terror?
See question above. The two things are not related outside the feverish imagination of second-rate conservative thinkers, Mr. Thick-as-a-brick.
Do you think "victory" is possible in Iraq?
It's inconcievable under this administration and with conservatives guiding foreign policy.
Would you even favor U.S. victory in Iraq if it were possible?
How long have YOU been beating your wife, Dave?