Thursday, November 30, 2006

Get over it, already.

Get over it, already.

Conservatives are having a screaming fit over the testy exchange between President Bush and Virginia Sen.-elect Jim Webb yesterday.

Apparently it didn't start off testy, with the President asking Sen.-elect Webb how his son (now serving in Iraq) was doing. Webb responded that he'd like them all out of Iraq. The 'them' obviously referred to both his son and all the other armed forces members in Iraq.

Now at that point, it would have been easy for the President to just say something about how he'd like that too, once the job is done or some similar answer that would have made his point that he disagrees with Jim Webb on when and how, without being discourteous.

But he didn't do that. He pushed the issue, saying, "I didn't ask you that, I asked you about your son."

Aside from the fact that I'm sure that Sen. Webb, like the parents of most of the kids in Iraq, prays every night that his son will return home intact, for the President to push like this almost invites a sharp response. What is Sen. Webb supposed to say? Is he supposed to say that his son is having a good time dodging bullets, IED's and other hazards as he fights in George Bush's war? And that's what it is-- it's not as if you or I asked Sen. Webb how his son was doing. His son is in the situation he is in because George Bush wanted this war. Wanted it, pushed for it, and started it. So now Lance Cpl. Jimmy Webb and thousands of others are out there every day risking death because our incompetent President not only started a war in which he didn't understand what he was getting this country into, but then didn't have a plan that went very far beyond getting rid of Saddam Hussein. For George Bush to ask Jim Webb how his son is doing would be like O.J. Simpson to ask his former in-laws how their other kids are doing.

But at that, Webb's response was not so bad-- he said, 'That's between me and my boy.' Later it has been reported, though not from any authoritative source that Webb said that he would have liked to slug the President, but he did not do so. To be honest, considering what the President had just asked him, Webb's response was mild. I suspect that a lot of people whose kids have been sent to fight in this stupid, unnecessary and tragic war feel much the same way he does.


Wulf said...

Eli, you make a good point and mostly avoid the partisan nonsense. But when you say, His son is in the situation he is in because George Bush wanted this war, I have to take issue with it. There was no conscription. Lance Corporal Webb either enlisted or reenlisted since the Iraq war started.

He is in the situation he is in because he volunteered to go. This highlights the fact that many people wanted this war - on both sides of the aisle. Demonizing the president is just a way to let the rest of them off the hook. On both sides of the aisle.

Eli Blake said...

It is true that Jimmy Webb did volunteer.

However, I do consider this George Bush's war and here is why:

Even leaving aside the issue of how far back this war was planned and some of the evidence that has been brought up regarding manipulated intel, etc. there is one overwhelming reason it has to be considered George Bush's war:

The Senate resolution on Oct. 2002 (which despite its being scheduled then for purely political reasons was still opposed by almost half of the Democrats in the Senate-- and by one Republican) authorized the use of force to make Iraq comply with the U.N. sanctions. Saddam of course had kicked out the inspectors in 1998. So guess what? Saddam DID let them back in. So there was no need for this war, at least not until Hans Blix and his team were finished. But George Bush, having already decided to go to war, ordered the inspectors OUT after six weeks (during which time they had in fact found some illegal missiles and a dozen old mustard gas shells left over from the 1980's-- about as significant as anything we have found in 3 and a half years of searching). This is where he had the choice. The Senate authorized him to use force to make Saddam Hussein comply with the sanctions. The specific demand made was to allow the U.N. inspectors back. So Saddam did. So George Bush pulled them out very early on and invaded anyway.

At that point it was not an invasion that George Bush had to make, it is one that he wanted to make.

Are wars necessary? Sometimes. No rational person disputes our need to be in Afghanistan right now (though many of us feel that George Bush has bungled that war as well as he has bungled the Iraq war-- in fact that lowering its priority in order to go focus on Iraq WAS the biggest mistake that was made there) but despite the continuing drumbeat of bad news also coming from Afghanistan, I think you will find that no one questions the need to go to war, nor questions the need to remain there.

shrimplate said...

Unfortunately, wulf's argument is unpersuasive. It's as if anybody who chooses to serve is also making the choice to die meaninglessly at the whim of an insane commander-in-chief.

People don't volunteer to fight for Halliburton war profiteering. They volunteer to serve and protect our country and Constitution, and any suggestion that this is what our soldiers are doing in Iraq right now is plainly absurd.

And another thing, both sides of the aisle were fed lies.

No WMD's. No mushroom clouds. No plans to reconstitute Nigerian yellowcake. No al-Queda in Iraq. Nothing but oil.

Oil is everything to this administration. That, and insatiable greed and insecurity.