"It's sobering." "A sobering report." "The options are sobering."
by susan lenfestey
Last Sunday I watched the morning yak shows, and also some news later in the day. Hey, it's 90 degrees below zero here and we need to huddle inside next to greenhouse gas-producing and brain-warping appliances to stay warm. And okay, I wanted to see Prince at Super Bowl half-time. He's our own little weirdo and you grab your civic pride wherever you can when you live within spitting distance of the Arctic Circle. So yeah, I saw The Game, parts of it, and Indianapolis won and the owner and the coach said it was thanks to God. Funny that he has time for football given some other areas that could use his attention. (Read on)
The topic on most of the news shows, however, was the recently released NIE report -- called sobering by every network nitwit -- which spells out the two roads to hell we can choose to travel in Iraq: A.) Get out now or B.) Get out later. Well, we won't be traveling them exactly, just sending our youngun's 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 21,000 troops into Baghdad, (BTW, according to Jon Lee Anderson, in the February 5 New Yorker,12,000 Iraqi police officers have been killed since 2003. That's like half a surge.) the militias were pulled back from checkpoints around the city, thus, Iraqi leaders say, allowing the massive truck bomb attack on the market last Saturday which killed 140 people. Daily attacks continue and nearly 1000 people have been killed in the last week alone. Sobering.
The Iraqi leaders, even those who support the surge, are astonished that the plan was announced so far in advance of the arrival of troops. I'm no warrior, 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 or British people. Well, that was when the bad guys wore uniforms and killed people and lived in Germany and the good guys lived in the White House and Number 10 Downing Street. Long before the trip down the rabbit hole.
Those crashing American helicopters are also -- sobering. The Pentagon at first said they just fell out of the sky-- you remember, Jimmy Carter had the same trouble when he tried to rescue the hostages in Iran a millenium ago. And who can forget Somalia, Black Hawk down? It's hard work keeping choppers from crashing. But later we learned that they were shot down, most likely by Sunni militants, who boasted that they have received new stocks of anti-aircraft weapons (hmm, where'd they get those?) and that "God has granted them new ways" to take down U.S. aircraft. Busy week for the lord, and he certainly does work in mysterious ways.
Well, it's sobering all right -- the report, the news, the death, the dissembling, the disgusting Republicans who won't even allow debate on the Senate floor of the most catastropic blunder in our nation's history.
But as the nattering heads kept saying how sobering the NIE report is, I was wondering -- sobering as 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 or a champagne-fueled romance. What part of this romance did I miss? Where was the fun?
I suppose for some it was the mission-accomplished strut across the deck, a deluded dance by a small man drunk on his stolen power. And despite numerous interventions, he and his funny Uncle Dick are the only ones who still can't quit.
And that's not just sobering, it's deadly.