The Age Of W Is Not Over
Americans overwhelmingly lack confidence that Iraq will have a stable government in place within the next year, and more than half say that the war has not been worth its cost, according to a recent CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll. Fewer than one in five, or about 19 percent, of the 1,003 adults quizzed said they believe Iraqis can assemble a sound, democratic government in the next 12 months that is able to maintain order without the assistance of U.S. troops. Seventy-five percent said they didn't believe that would happen. The poll also suggested that most Americans remain skeptical about the March 2003 invasion of Iraq, with 52 percent telling pollsters it wasn't worth going to war. However, this is a marked decrease from a poll taken fewer than two months ago, indicating that 60 percent of Americans didn't think the war was worth the cost.
So...is it over? In fact, Congressman Jack Murtha is predicting that "Vast majority of US troops to leave Iraq by year’s end." Now... let's see isn't that Jack Murtha from last year's Murtha Moment, the famous "tipping point." According to Nation Magazine:
History may well record that the beginning of the end of the American nightmare in Iraq came on November 17, when an old warrior said it was time for the troops to come home.Didn't happen. And won't happen anytime soon. To be fair to the Nation and other the-Iraq-War-is-Over crowd, the magazine as well as many pundits qualified their prediction by stressing that that rosy scenario would take place only if the Democrats seized the opportunity that Murtha offered them to become the tribune of popular sentiment against the war. But let's be honest with ourselves -- and I'm referring here to the critics of the war and the entire Empire Project -- there was a lot of expectation, well, wishfull thinking that the tide was turning against the neocons and the other members of the War Party. Pundits were fantasizing about Senator Chuck Hagel emerging as a Republican presidential candidate not to mention all the talk about the Democrats taking control of Capitol Hill in November,followed by Congressional investigations of the war, and who knows? Impeachment?. Stop dreaming, my friends in the Reality-based Community. It ain't gonna happen anytime soon. The Democrats may gain a small advantage in the House. A few U.S. troops with return home and others will be deployed to Iraq. But America is going to be there for a long time to come.
No domestic opposition and global counter-balancing
The Bushies "did Iraq" because they could do it. On March 2003 there were no constraints operating on the Bush Administration at home (no opposition in Congress) or abroad (no counter-balancing global player). Has anything changed since then? I don't think so. It's not only that the Democrats are still impotent. They are. The fact is that the majority of the members of the Demcratic establishment -- those who supported going to war -- are opposed to withdrawing from Iraq. Period. They actually accept President Bush's rules for the debate on the war: Only "honest criticism." At the same time, no leading global power is ready to challenge the United States. The Europeans are divided and have failed to come up with an alternative and coherent policy options on Iraq (although they still are not going to help us there with troops and money); the Russians are weak; and the Chinese whose central bank (together with those of Japan and South Korea) continues to finance the U.S. current-acount deficit are watching the Americans drowning in the Middle Eastern quagmire -- and they smile. Their hope is that the War on terrorism will end -- and they, the Chinese, will emerge as the winners.
Costs of imperial overstretch
Bush's imperial project in Iraq and elsewhere will face serious challenges only when the global geo-strategic and geo-economic costs of the endeavor will become obvious --The price of oil will reache the stratosphere? The Asian central banks and the oil producing countries will stop buying dollar assets? The U.S. current-account deficit will not be sustainable? The the U.S. dollar will sink? The housing bubble will pop? -- and will start impacting on the economic welfare of the white middle class voter --- Can't pay for the gas for my SUV? Can't borrow against capital gains on my home? Can't pay-off my credit cards? When that happens -- and one of the reasons for opposing the imperial project is to prevent that from happening -- I do hope that a Democrat or a Republican or an Independet will be there to pick up the political pieces and to advance an alternative foreign policy based on a more realistic assessment of U.S. global power.
Paging Jim Webb
I understand that former Navy Secretary James Webb, is considering running as a Democrat for Seantor from Virginia. I like him and I hope that the Democrats select him as candidate and that he wins the Senate race. He has been a strong critic of the Iraq War, but he is also a Vietnam war veteran, a nationalist and a cultural conservative. Relatively young and charismatic, he is exactly the kind of guy the Democrats need to win the presidential race in 2008.