This month's National Intelligence Estimate (NIE), strategically released on
Super Bowl weekend, had every news "analyst" referring to it as "sobering."
The report spells out the two roads to hell we can choose to travel in Iraq: A.)
Get out now and leave it in chaos or B.) Get out later and leave it in chaos.
Well, we won't be traveling them, exactly, just sending our younguns to pave
the road with one more sealer coat of American blood, to blend with the Iraqi
blood spilled now and for years to come. Yeah, sobering.
Even the "surge," it seems, is being bungled by the side formerly known as
ours. In preparation for the arrival of the additional troops into Baghdad, the
militias pulled back from checkpoints around the city -- thus, Iraqi leaders
say, allowing the massive truck bomb easy access to the market where it
exploded and killed 140 people. Daily attacks continue and nearly 1,000 people have
been killed in the last week alone. Sobering.
The Iraqi leaders, those who came around to support the surge, are astonished
that the plan was announced so far in advance of the arrival of troops. I'm
no warrior, and I'm sure those vaunted generals have a plan, but imagine
Roosevelt and Churchill announcing D-day months before the troops or equipment were
ready to hit the beach at Normandy, not to mention without the support of the
American and British people. Well, that was when the bad guys wore uniforms
and lived in Germany, and the good guys lived in the White House and No. 10
Downing Street and we hadn't plummeted down Karl Rove's rabbit hole where night
really means day.
Those crashing American helicopters are also -- sobering. The Pentagon at
first said they just crashed. Later we learned that at least some of them were
shot down, most likely by Sunni militants, who boasted that they have received
new stocks of anti-aircraft weapons and that "God has granted them new ways" to
take down U.S. aircraft. Funny, God was thanked for his part in the Super
Bowl victory as well.
Well, it's sobering all right -- the report, the news, the death, the
dissembling, the disgusting Republican die-hards who won't even allow debate on the
Senate floor of the most catastrophic blunder in our nation's history. But as all the sobering talk prattled on, I was wondering: Sobering compared
to what? Were we all soaring along on the good news until now? Usually the
sobering part follows the fun part, like coming down after a giddy night on the
town. What part did I miss? Where was the fun?
I suppose for some it was the mission-accomplished strut across the deck of
the aircraft carrier. And despite numerous interventions, the Decider and his
funny Uncle Dick are the only ones who still can't quit. And that's not just
sobering; it's deadly.
Susan Lenfestey (firstname.lastname@example.org) lives in Minneapolis and writes at the
Copyright 2007 Star Tribune