Sunday, August 14, 2005

The Lowered-Expectations Presidency

There is no such thing as having been wrong in this inept and finger-pointing administration.  Whenever it bumps and bungles its way into yet another disaster, it’s never a mistake or a miscalculation, just an understandable matter of unrealistic expectations.


No one takes a hit.  No one stands up and says I was wrong.  No one is fired


BushoniraqThe President is on vacation with a mom camped outside the gates, building a critical demonstrator momentum each and every day because he’s too dumb and too arrogant to have spent the few minutes with her that would have defused that particular issue.  Iraq unravels before our eyes, Hamas swears the Israeli pullout from Gaza won’t stop their terror strikes, Sudan is a tinderbox, there is no logical or defined strategy in either Iran or North Korea.  Yet we’re told blithely, as though it explained an unforseen glitch in the Christmas shopping season, that our expectations were too high.


This president’s stupid, unrealistic, badly planned and untruthful foray into the Middle East wasn’t actually all that stupid, not really indictably unrealistic, couldn’t have been better organized and certainly didn’t rely on a fabric of lies . . . it was just our unrealistic expectations that made all those things seem to be true.  So far, it’s not all that clear who’s included in 'our' expectations.  But anyway, don’t fault the vacationing president, his hysterical vice-president, our dogs-of-war secretary of defense, or Condi or that gutless excuse for a general who heads the Army.

Expectations are the culprit.  Yours or mine or theirs or ours or someone’s.
 


In this administration, Harry Truman’s buck doesn’t stop anywhere, it just skips on down the hall and around the corner.


Who the hell are these “U.S. officials in Washington and Baghdad” who tell us the Bush administration is “significantly lowering expectations of what can be achieved in Iraq” and “recognizing that the United States will have to settle for far less than originally envisioned.”  Envisioned by whom?  Nobody even has a name anymore and our newspapers continue to shield these dickheads as if we were children who needed to be protected from the truth.


I want some truth from the New York Times and the Washington Post. If the outing of Valerie Plame is such a national scandal, someone should be interested in who it is that has declared a stand-down of our national expectations. We all have disappointments.  Personally, I had expected the president we voted for to be inaugerated, but that didn't happen and I had to lower my own expectations . . . way lower them. But at least I knew it was me.


Unnamed officials further state that “the United States no longer expects to see a model new democracy, a self-supporting oil industry or a society in which the majority of people are free from serious security or economic challenges.” 


Excuse me?  Has anyone told that confused soul who's out clearing brush in Texas?  Thursday he came in from the high chaparral, wiped his brow and said talk of a drawdown was just "speculation and rumors" and warned against "withdrawing before the mission is complete."


Just what mission is that, George?  Is  that the democracy Cheney said would be welcomed with flowers in the streets, the Iraqi oil that was going to pay for the entire war as well as the necessary reconstruction and upgrading of infrastructure, or the security and economic progress we promised the Iraqi people? 


Someone is way behind the curve.  Maybe Cheney hasn't broken the news yet.


Now a “senior official” involved in Iraqi policy since the 2003 invasion said “What we expected to achieve was never realistic given the timetable or what unfolded on the ground.” Who is this senior official? I want his name.  He made that comment to the Washington Post and it’s a hellfire-and-damnation admission.  The Washington Post owes it to the American people and its readers to tell us who this unnamed senior guy is.


There are whole groups of us who warned and warned and warned that what was planned for Iraq was never realistic.  Cheney didn’t listen.  Neither Bush nor Rice nor Wolfowitz nor Rumsfeld listened.  So, when an administration guy uses the words ‘was never realistic,’ my ears shoot up. Never means at the time it was planned it was understood as not being realistic.


Someone, for God’s sake call that president of ours in from the back forty, perp-march him down the road by the scruff of his neck to talk to mom and then make him stand up and answer for what he’s done to this country and the Iraqi people.  Maybe he ought best cut his vacation short this summer and deal with the world as it really is instead of playing cowboy.


Meanwhile, our don’t ask-don’t tell newspapers had better start taking names and kicking ass.
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Read more of my musings on the war in Iraq at my personal web site.