Monday, July 23, 2007

Republican Exit Plan

What should we have really expected?

Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld revived one of the worst scourges of the 20th Century, the doctrine of preventive war, when they invaded Iraq. Only they called their invasion 'shock and awe' instead of blitzkrieg. Now, that their self-deluding Neo-Conservative rubber has hit the Iraqi road in a porous and intractable post-war occupation, what would be their last recourse? Why, they're reviving one of the worst alibis of the 20th century, der Dolchstosslegende.

This alibi is actually as old as the hills. These posters are dated 1924.

History buffs could do well to follow the last link above to recall to mind the several antecedents to this anti-civilian stab-in-the-back meme that held sway during the Weimar Republic.

I guarantee some of its aspects will compare closely with unfortunate parallels to the Bush's current Iraquagmire:
  • Faulty geo-political planning
  • Initial pro-war triumphal euphoria
  • Faith in a quick and relatively bloodless victory
  • Underestimation of the horrors of war
  • Lies as to the origins and cause of the war
  • Mythology of going it alone
  • Eventual appreciation of hostilities having reached stalemate
  • Realization of the unbearable cost of war in terms of blood and treasure
  • Explaining unrequited war aims by blaming civilians for defeat
Bush revived the Dolchstoss legend and dressed it in its
Vietnam syndrome
adaptation when he had his (recess-appointed) Undersecretary for Defence, Eric Edelman scold Senator Clinton for her queries on Iraqi withdrawal dates. Edelman implied that the Senator was unpatriotic.
Premature and public discussion of the withdrawal of US forces from Iraq reinforces enemy propaganda that the United States will abandon its allies in Iraq, much as we are perceived to have done in Vietnam, Lebanon and Somalia. Such talk understandably unnerves the very same Iraqi allies we are asking to assume enormous personal risks.
This attack on Clinton portends ominously for the future. With the end of the Bush administration approaching, Republicans are interested in preserving party fortunes and cooperating with Bush's efforts to scratch out a passable presidential legacy. No one can ignore the current desperation in the 'new' Republican circles to salvage what is salvageable from Bush's unprovoked invasion of Iraq. By murmuring under their breaths that 'mistakes were made' they expect to be able to exorcise the invasion in order to save the occupation.

If they can't save the occupation, they expect be able to campaign in 2012 on "Who lost Iraq"? What else would one expect of Weimar Republicans?

23 Moderated Comments:

Blogger Non-Partisàn said...

Michael Herr, author of Dispatches:

"All the wrong people remember Vietnam. I think all the people who remember it should forget it, and all the people who forgot it should remember it"

7/23/2007 08:21:00 AM  
Blogger the WIZARD, fkap said...

vigilante, Once again, an interesting, intelligent analysis.

Clearly those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it. That goes for us, the American people as much as Bush, Cheney and the neo-cons.

But, I must still ask.... looking to the future... what is the solution to Bush's folly in Iraq?

7/23/2007 12:22:00 PM  
Blogger MadMike said...

Vigil I notice you say "post-war occupation" in your article. Now I know we have had a number of discussions about this in the past but I really must object if you are implying that the war is over. If that is truly what you are saying, and I apologize if I misunderstand, but has anyone told the parents of those soldiers who are being killed by the enemy on a regular basis? I think they, and the troops themselves, are still pretty convinced they are fighting a war not simply sustaining an occupation. Peace.....

7/23/2007 01:55:00 PM  
Blogger Larry said...

"We are a nation of sheep, and
someone else owns the grass."

George Carlin

Quote of the Week!

7/23/2007 05:23:00 PM  
Blogger Beach Bum said...

The neo-cons won't be limited to saying the "public had failed to respond to its 'patriotic calling'" they have already been blaming the Iraqis for quite sometime for not giving us wet sloppy hugs and kisses even though we have pushed their country into a sectarian abyss.

7/23/2007 07:09:00 PM  
Blogger Messenger said...

Mad Mike has bought into the Bush-Cheney campaign to sanitize and pretty-fy our presence in Iraq. He's basically saying that we should continue the lie that this is a heroic war against terrorism our troops and $$$ are being sacrificed for and not the same kind of common everyday foreign-born occupation in the resistance against which gave birth to the United States of America. Mad Mike wants all of us - including the troops - to feel better more than to know the truth.

7/23/2007 10:28:00 PM  
Blogger Vigilante said...

Mad Mike, you are behind the times. Families of deployed troops are using the expression "occupation". As a matter of fact, the parent (of the soldier leaving for his 2nd deployment) who asked a big question in last night's debate, used 'occupation' instead of 'war'. Messenger makes a big point. I know you to be a big opponent to Bush and his invasion and occupation of Iraq. But you totally are Bush's fellow traveler as far as the way he thinks about it and the way he wants us to think about it.

I have told you this before, of course.

7/24/2007 06:39:00 AM  
Blogger Vigilante said...

Part II in I told 'cha all this before:

Wizard asks:

But, I must still ask.... looking to the future... what is the solution to Bush's folly in Iraq?

As I have said (many times): The End of the Occupation of Iraq Begins with Regime Change in Washington. There is really nothing we can do to relieve Iraqis of the terrorists in their country that doesn't begin with our 86-ing our own home-grown, state-sponsored terrorist Bush who invited 'foreign fighters' with his flypaper in the first place.

7/24/2007 06:52:00 AM  
Blogger M.D. said...

We are never leaving Iraq.

WAPO today:

While Washington is mired in political debate over the future of Iraq, the American command here has prepared a detailed plan that foresees a significant American role for the next two years.

7/24/2007 07:00:00 AM  
Blogger Vigilante said...

Speaking of telling the truth, (and trying to get back on the subject of this thread), last night Senator Mike Gravel continued his fine performance in debates.

Don from West Virginia directed this question to the Senator:

"In one of the previous debates you said something along the lines of the entire deaths of Vietnam died in vain. How do you expect to win in a country where probably a pretty large chunk of the people voting disagree with that statement and might very well be offended by it? I'd like to know if you plan to defend that statement, or if you're just going to flip-flop."

GRAVEL: John, why would you think I would flip-flop? I've never flip-flopped before, and I like the question. I don't get very many of them, but I'll just tell you...

(LAUGHTER)

(APPLAUSE)

I'll tell you, John, it's a set up question. Our soldiers died in Vietnam in vain. You can now, John, go to Hanoi and get a Baskin-Robbins ice cream cone. That's what you can do. And now we have most favored nation trade.

What did all these people die for? What are they dying for right now in Iraq every single day? Let me tell you: There's only one thing worse than a soldier dying in vain; it's more soldiers dying in vain.


(SUSTAINED APPLAUSE)

The truth will always get you the best applause.

7/24/2007 07:24:00 AM  
Blogger Mariamariacuchita said...

So interesting that the Germans have an actual word for stab in the back. Huh, makes sense, though.
Interesting comparison to the blitzkrieg. We should never have gone in....why are we still there??

7/24/2007 08:28:00 AM  
Blogger Emily said...

Vigil,

I cannot believe it. Can you please explain to me how citizens can buy into the M--D F--K that I hear everywhere: Intelligent people tell me that they know Bush lied us into Iraq; that he's royally (!) failed in his attempt to democratize the region; that the occupation (HIS occupation) has made us less safe; and in the next breath the speaker will say, but it will be the fault of the president who brings our brave soldiers home. WHAT IS THIS?????

7/24/2007 05:47:00 PM  
Blogger Vigilante said...

Emily, Ben Franklin told his peers that the Founders gave us a Republic, if we could keep it.

Bush is telling us his Neocons have given us an Empire, if we can keep it.

It's my case that Americans have a very short window - maybe 18 months - in which to decide which gift to keep and which gift they can live better without. The two are incompatible.

7/24/2007 09:07:00 PM  
Blogger MadMike said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

7/25/2007 01:53:00 PM  
Blogger MadMike said...

Messenger: if you think for one minute that I have bought into the neo-con campaign you are beyond stupid. I have seen war, and have been in war. Don't pretend to tell me about war. Do not even presume to tell me about the difference between war and occupation. In Iraq there is a war! You may notice that my blog speaks to all timely issues. I am not now, nor will I ever be, a raving Leftie, a Rightie, or a Jesus Freak. I don't believe in fanaticism.

As to you Vigil: I am behind the times? I am the times! I am astonished that you, of all people, would even for one minute think I am influenced by the Puppet and the Pacemaker. What I read from you and Messenger is extremism. There is a WAR in Iraq. It is Bush's WAR and that is inescapable. Calling it less, for some ersatz political ideal, dishonors America and those die in her name. I know of course that was not your intent. I am pleased that we can agree to disagree.

7/25/2007 02:06:00 PM  
Blogger HILLBLOGGER said...

Yep, agree with the Wizard, very interesting analysis, Vig!

7/25/2007 03:26:00 PM  
Blogger Vigilante said...

Mad Mike, I do not dishonor America when I call Iraquagmire for what it is, an occupation. And our troops are not dishonored by for my having so described it. It is George Bush who has abused our troops. Our troops won his (unnecessary) war when they successfully completed his (unprovoked) invasion on 1-May-03. Now Bush has further committed military malpractice by assigning the world's greatest fighting force (ever) to a common ordinary everyday occupation.

Bush and Cheney and William Kristol have a lot at stake in you calling this a war, but you should know the only war in Iraq is a civil war.

7/25/2007 03:50:00 PM  
Blogger Messenger said...

Don't be calling me a LEFTY, Mike. I am objective. An objective fanaticist.

7/26/2007 09:17:00 AM  
Blogger MadMike said...

Sigh! I would say I give up but that is not my nature. By calling a war a war in no way diminishes the lies and corruption endemic to this administration. We are on the same team: Bush and his gang of liars, thieves, and ne'er do wells bear the ultimate and absolute responsibility for murdering our men and women in Iraq. They bear the ultimate responsibility for murdering the innocent civilians who find themselves in the path of the hell that is war. Make no mistake as to my feelings about the devil that is. I think Bush needs to be indicted and prosecuted, with impeachment occurring somewhere in the mix. I think they are all a bunch of thugs and criminals. But I refuse to diminish the sacrifice made by Iraq's innocents and America's defenders by calling a war by any other name.

(You exhaust me Vigil!!!! :-) ;-))

Messenger:
Thanks. I got a smile out of your last comment. I love blogging. Peace....

7/26/2007 01:44:00 PM  
Blogger Vigilante said...

You're one of the good guys, Mike. With you, like Michael Moore, I agree with you 95% of the time. On the other 5%, you are a better polemicist than I; you have just happened to have picked the weaker case to defend.

7/26/2007 05:39:00 PM  
Blogger Vigilante said...

Mike, the reason this occupation is a major issue is that the more enemy begins to look like civilians, the more hostilities resemble an occupation rather than a war. That's why Chris Hedges says The war in Iraq is now primarily about murder. There is very little killing. This is because the suits and ties in the Pentagon and the White House have put our uniformed professionals in a lose-lose situation. This abuse of our armed services is Military Malpractice.

7/27/2007 06:13:00 AM  
Blogger Indicted Plagiarist said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

7/27/2007 06:22:00 AM  
Blogger Jolly Roger said...

Cowards like Chimpy and Shooter love to use the "libruls lost us the Vietnam war" card.

I'm thinking that if Vietnam had had more patriotic young men like Chimpy and Shooter in it, we just couldn't have lost. Right? I mean.... look at how well they've run this Iraq thing.

7/27/2007 10:19:00 PM  

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