The New York Times has finally said the blindingly obvious - the Iraq mess is George W Bush's mess and he has no intention of doing a damn thing about it. This is not news to anyone who has been paying half a mind to the war, of course, but it does stand as an utterly unequivocall statement from an establishment news source that the jig is up. Some choice excerpts:
It is time for the United States to leave Iraq, without any more delay than the Pentagon needs to organize an orderly exit.
Like many Americans, we have put off that conclusion, waiting for a sign that President Bush was seriously trying to dig the United States out of the disaster he created by invading Iraq without sufficient cause, in the face of global opposition, and without a plan to stabilize the country afterward....
It is frighteningly clear that Mr. Bush’s plan is to stay the course as long as he is president and dump the mess on his successor. Whatever his cause was, it is lost....
A majority of Americans reached these conclusions months ago. Even in politically polarized Washington, positions on the war no longer divide entirely on party lines. When Congress returns this week, extricating American troops from the war should be at the top of its agenda.
That conversation must be candid and focused. Americans must be clear that Iraq, and the region around it, could be even bloodier and more chaotic after Americans leave. There could be reprisals against those who worked with American forces, further ethnic cleansing, even genocide. Potentially destabilizing refugee flows could hit Jordan and Syria. Iran and Turkey could be tempted to make power grabs. Perhaps most important, the invasion has created a new stronghold from which terrorist activity could proliferate.
The administration, the Democratic-controlled Congress, the United Nations and America’s allies must try to mitigate those outcomes — and they may fail. But Americans must be equally honest about the fact that keeping troops in Iraq will only make things worse. The nation needs a serious discussion, now, about how to accomplish a withdrawal and meet some of the big challenges that will arise....
President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney have used demagoguery and fear to quell Americans’ demands for an end to this war. They say withdrawing will create bloodshed and chaos and encourage terrorists. Actually, all of that has already happened — the result of this unnecessary invasion and the incompetent management of this war.
This country faces a choice. We can go on allowing Mr. Bush to drag out this war without end or purpose. Or we can insist that American troops are withdrawn as quickly and safely as we can manage — with as much effort as possible to stop the chaos from spreading.
See? Was that so hard to say? Of course, anyone with two brain cells to rub together predicted this outcome back in 2003, but we can make allowances for slow learners.
Bottom line - Bush and Cheney led the country to war on false pretenses, the mainstream media, very much including the New York Times, launched smear campaigns against any public figure who said "This is not right," and the American public was a great baby, allowing themselves to be manipulated by fear and indulging in revenge fantasies against Saddam Hussein.
People like me have been right all along, we knew it, and we told you idiots what was going to happen. There is NOTHING that has happened in Bush's War that wasn't predicted before the first US soldier was moved into position. If it salves your conscience to say "Oh, if only I had known!" go right ahead. That's how national crimes get cleaned up.
Anyone who voted for Bush in 2004 is a willing accomplice to a war crime.