WASHINGTON, Oct. 19 — President Bush’s chief spokesman drew a parallel today between the latest carnage in Iraq and the 1968 Tet offensive in Vietnam, declaring that Iraqi terrorists are trying to turn American public opinion as the Communists did in Southeast Asia nearly four decades ago.
And that, in itself, should be enough to make every decent, honest, thinking and reasonable person in the country never, ever, ever take a single, solitary thing anyone who's in the Bush administration or who supports the Bush administration seriously for as long as we have to endure this national catastrophe.
For three and a half years, we've heard almost nothing from these people except for "Iraq is not another Vietnam". Iraq is dry; Vietnam was wet! Iraq is sandy; Vietnam was full of trees! Vietnam was full of Vietnamese, while Iraq is full of Iraqis! The two are nothing alike! And anyone comparing the two is obviously an idiot.
And, now, after three years of that crap, Tony Snow, the spokesman for the White House, says, "Iraq is just like Vietnam!"
It's enough to make blood pulse out of your eyes.
I don't know what's worse: that, after three years of denying Iraq is anything like Vietnam, the Bush administration has suddenly decided Iraq is just like Vietnam, or that some jackass in the White House thinks that comparing Iraq to Vietnam is a good way to sell this disaster of a war to the American public.
Mr. Snow recalled that while the Tet offensive may have been the tipping point as far as American public opinion was concerned, it was later found to have been extremely costly for the Communists — arguably a “victory” for the United States military. But the American public was so tired of the war by that time that President Lyndon B. Johnson was driven into retirement, and Richard Nixon was elected in part on a pledge to end the conflict.
Asked if he saw a similar portent in Iraq, Mr. Snow replied: “No. The important thing to remember is the president’s determined to win.” The administration will “make adjustments as necessary,” Mr. Snow said, “but the one thing that nobody should have any doubt about is that we’re going to win.”
Fine. Someone ask Tony Snow The Question. Please. Ask Tony Snow or George "Jesus Christ Almighty" Bush, or even President Cheney--ask them The Question: just what exactly does "winning" look like? What are we going to win?
Don't bother. I'll tell you. You want to know what "winning" in Iraq looks like? Here ya go!
Who's that? Who are those people? Well, that's Moktada al-Sadr! He's the Shiite leader of the Mahdi Army! That's the same al-Sadr United States Marines fought for weeks in 2004 in Najaf:
The U.S. military said Monday that 360 Iraqi fighters had been killed in five days of fighting in Najaf, 100 miles south of Baghdad. Five U.S. servicemembers also have died since last week. It's the worst fighting since the hand-over of sovereignty to Iraqis on June 28.
The city was the scene of intense fighting in April and May between U.S. forces and al-Sadr's militia, the Mahdi Army, which has demanded that U.S. and other foreign troops leave Iraq.
And he hates Americans.
And who's he standing next to? Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki!
BAGHDAD, Oct. 18 — Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki flew to the holy city of Najaf on Wednesday to plead for help from Iraq’s two most influential and enigmatic Shiite clerics, in a sign of the crisis surrounding the Iraqi government as it faces mounting American pressure to quell sectarian violence by reining in Shiite militias.
Mr. Maliki returned to Baghdad without any clear breakthrough in his meetings with Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, Iraq’s most revered Shiite cleric, and Moktada al-Sadr, the anti-American leader of the Mahdi Army militia, which has been accused of a wave of sectarian attacks on Iraq’s Sunni minority.
Ayatollah Sistani, a peacemaker in previous confrontations between the American forces and Mr. Sadr, is widely viewed in Iraq as the only Shiite leader with the potential authority to subdue the Shiite militias. As a leader of one of the Shiite religious blocs that lead the government, Mr. Maliki is regarded as a protégé of Ayatollah Sistani’s, but he is also politically indebted to Mr. Sadr, whose party holds a crucial bloc of seats in Iraq’s Parliament.
That's right. al-Sadr and Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani and Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki, who is a protege of the Grand Ayatollah. These are the guys holding Iraq together. And who are they? Well, we already know al-Sadr is an Islamic extremist, theocrat who hates America--the exact kind of guy we're supposed to be waging a world wide, generational war against. And Maliki is a protege of the Grand Ayatollah Sistani. But who is Sistani?
BAGHDAD , Iraq, Feb. 4 - A second round of preliminary election returns released today by Iraqi authorities showed that 67 percent of the 3.3 million votes counted so far from Sunday's election went to an alliance of Shiite parties dominated by religious groups with strong links to Iran. Only 18 percent went to a group led by Prime Minister Ayad Allawi, a secular Shiite who favors strong ties to the United States. Few votes went to Sunni candidates…
With the new returns, the religious alliance, an amalgam of political parties and independents forged by Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, the country's most powerful religious leader, has taken 2.1 million votes, compared with about 579,000 for the coalition led by Dr. Allawi…
The religious alliance's leader, Ayatollah Sistani, has tolerated the American presence in Iraq, but has consistently pushed for faster elections. Though the group's leaders have put just five clerics onto their list of 228 national assembly candidates, the coalition's two main partners, the Dawa Party and the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, are religiously based and have close Iranian links from years of exile under Saddam Hussein.
That's right. Sistani is the Iranian(Iran, for you right wingers, with your unimaginable short attention spans, is the country that the Bush administration told us was the greatest threat to world peace before North Korea became the greatest threat to world peace--in other words, Iran was "walking" before North Korea became "chewing gum") born Grand Ayatollah who's fatwas guide the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq.
And if Maliki, the protege of Sistani, can just get al-Sadr and the Grand Ayatollah on board, well, like Tony Snow says, we win!
That's all there is.
That's what you've won, America.
A trillion dollars. Thousands of dead Americans. Tens of thousands of crippled Americans. The image and honor of America tarnished for generations. And that's the best you can expect. That's winning.
The Grand Ayatollah and American hating clerics coming together to solidify the control of Iraq by The Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq.
That's it. That is winning.
There's nothing else.
No one is even suggesting there's anything else.
Is that really what America poured its blood out in the sand for? Is that really what you and your families are going to spend a trillion dollars for? Would any of you, would one single one of you have agreed to that if you had known that going in?
You don't think that is what's in store?
There's no country in the world which understands Mid-Eastern politics and reality more than Saudi Arabia. Not even Israel. You know what the Saudi's are doing right now?
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) -- In a sign of regional concern over terrorism, Saudi Arabia is pushing ahead with plans to build a fence along its entire 560-mile (900-kilometer) border with Iraq to prevent terrorists from entering the kingdom from the chaotic north.
The barrier, which likely will take five to six years to complete, is part of a $12 billion package of measures, including electronic sensors, bases and physical barriers, to protect the oil-rich kingdom from external threats, said Nawaf Obaid, head of the Saudi National Security Assessment Project, an independent research institute that provides security advice to the Saudi government.
The ambitious project reflects not only concern over terrorism but also growing alarm over the situation in Iraq, where U.S. forces are struggling to prevent Sunni-Shiite violence from escalating to full-scale civil war.
They're spending 12 billion dollars on a fence. And they're not doing it to keep "terrorists" out. They're doing it to keep Iraq out. Because they can see what's coming.
They can see what we're going to "win".