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?