Bad Dreams, Or: All This To Get The Dems On Board?


Last night I was lying awake in bed thinking about that videotape of Osama bin Laden bragging to the Saudi sheik about 9/11:
when people see a strong horse and a weak horse, by nature, they will like the strong horse
I don't know about "like" him, but certainly most people will try not to be trampled under his hoofs, and in that context, even if ultimately no one pays any attention to Baker/Hamilton, all this public hand-wringing over the next phase of the war has got to be doing us tremendous harm.

I started to imagine press coverage of an American pull-out of Iraq -- the footage beamed all over the world and likely reaction to it. I pictured the glint in the eyes of Abombnjihad, Zawahiri, Nasrallah, Sadr, Putin, Kim & Chavez as they heard the news. I thought about the Chinese. I thought about bin Laden being confirmed in what he thinks he knows about Americans:
paper tigers who after a few blows ran in defeat
--and felt sick. Maybe he will be proven right, I thought; however valiant our military men, maybe the rest of us no longer have the stuff to face anything that interrupts our lives of perpetual excess. Maybe we no longer have what it takes to be free.

Then I tried to imagine myself looking into the eyes of Iraqi policemen putting their lives on the line for their country or anyone in the Middle East who'd ever trusted us or dared to hope for freedom --and I tried to imagine what I would say to such people to explain why we were giving up so quickly --with hardly a fight. Then I had to stop because I can't bear to think of America in that vein.

Next I tried to think how nuclear war with Iran & its allies could be avoided if we pulled out now, demonstrating to the bad guys that we are all talk and may be defied with impunity, and I couldn't. Strangely that made me feel better --because surely the Democrats see that too. Bush & Blair's presser yesterday makes me feel better too. It's too long to excerpt but you'll feel better if you read it. They both use that magic word "victory," neither seems to have backed off even slightly, and they both seem to think Baker/Hamilton is so general that they can bend it to their will and call it a unity solution. Maybe that's the point of this whole depressing exercise -- to move us from "Bush's war" to a national re-commitment. I don't think Bush will mind the Dems taking credit for victory --as long as we win.