Sunday, August 14, 2005

Reality breaks in


Last fall, Ron Suskind famously reported that a White House staffer had brushed back his questions with the confident assertion: "We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality."

Yup -- they've created a new reality in Iraq -- they've completely screwed the country and now they are being forced to give up. From today's Washingon Post:

The Bush administration is significantly lowering expectations of what can be achieved in Iraq. . .the realities of daily life are a constant reminder of how the initial U.S. ambitions have not been fulfilled in ways that Americans and Iraqis once anticipated. Many of Baghdad's 6 million people go without electricity for days in 120-degree heat. Parents fearful of kidnapping are keeping children indoors.

Barbers post signs saying they do not shave men, after months of barbers being killed by religious extremists. Ethnic or religious-based militias police the northern and southern portions of Iraq. Analysts estimate that in the whole of Iraq, unemployment is 50 percent to 65 percent.
. . .
Washington now does not expect to fully defeat the insurgency before departing, but instead to diminish it, officials and analysts said. …"We've said we won't leave a day before it's necessary. But necessary is the key word -- necessary for them or for us? When we finally depart, it will probably be for us," a U.S. official said.

Okay, so the U.S. is about to cut and run from the rubble it made, perhaps hiding behind the fig leaf of what NY Times columnist Frank Rich today called a "shotgun constitution."

None of this is entirely surprising to those of us who always lived in the reality-based community, though the collapse is playing out more rapidly and more catastrophically than we might have expected. How will the fantasts in power respond to this irksome intrusion of reality? How will the rest of us respond, because this is not just the Iraqi's rubble?

3 comments:

Jennifer D. said...

Those of us that don't live in a fantasy world are not surprised by this report. I am, however, deeply saddened for the families of the soldiers who died thinking that this was a good cause.

Jennifer D. said...

Those of us that don't live in a fantasy world are not surprised by this report. I am, however, deeply saddened for the families of the soldiers who died thinking that this was a good cause.

janinsanfran said...

Yes, Jennifer -- we grieve for the soldiers killed uselessly -- and for the Iraqis who hoped for liberaton and found themselves instead cast into endless, largely meaningless violence.

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