It does not do you much good to get an A+ from the weapons inspection team only to come back to the office to find an armed squad waiting to take you back to the nearest Presiential Palace to "discuss" the discrepancy in your latest status reports with the weapons inspectors' findings.
Could we have possibly gone to war with Iraq because the attempts to hide the lack of a successful WMD program appeared to the rest of the world as an attempt to hide a successful program?
It's funny, though, I'm in agreement with the President on one thing--I do think things are going to get better for Iraq over the next couple of years. I wonder, though, were we just impatient? Could slow but intense diplomacy have accomplished the same goal in the same number of years that we'll be engaged militarily in Iraq, but without the extensive cost in lives, limbs, and property? Political and military leaders have both suggested that this war has turned out to be more deadly, more expensive, and less swift than expected...So, where was the "break-even" point that tipped the choice from "diplomacy" to "diplomacy by other means?" Will we learn our lesson next time?
Oh, and while we're on that subject, "Brother, can you spare 8 TRILLION dollars?" Okay, you don't have to be a macroeconomist [tip of the hat to Dad] to figure out that our debts and deficit are out of control. I don't care if you consider yourself conservative, liberal, libertarian, none-of-the-above, independent, what have you. I believe that we all need to be "single issue voters" on one thing: federal fiscal restraint. I'm sorry to say that the Republicans have lost any credibility they had with me on this metric--all that controlling the white house and both houses of congress has seemed to accomplish is an acceleration of the delivery of pork to republican districts. The President claims that he hasn't vetoed any appropriations bills because they "met all of his benchmarks" even when he didn't like how "the pie was sliced." I'd love to see the "benchmark" PowerPoint slides that sold the president and the cabinet on a bottom line going something like: "Bankrupting the U.S. is okay, because we can always print more dollars."
In other news, I'm stressed out about building a house. Film at 11.