Anyway, I thought Frank Rich had the most incisive comment among the punditocracy in the New York Times on Sunday when he wrote:
“So what if the al Quaeda that’s operating with impunity out of Pakistan, North Africa and other non-Iraq havens actually is the most pressing threat to America? This president is never one to let facts get in the way of a political agenda. That agenda is to avoid taking responsibility for losing a war, no matter how many more Americans are tossed into its carnage. From here on in, you can be sure that whomever we’re fighting in Iraq on any given day will be no more than one degree of separation from bin Laden.”Rich is right of course, as the Bush Administration has managed to simultaneously exaggerate and ignore threats to America’s national security from their first days in power. Now the Bush Administration is attempting to roll out Fear Mongering 4.0 by acknowledging their ineffectiveness at taking on al Quaeda in Pakistan that has only prospered from our folly in Iraq.
Fear Mongering 4.0 is an insipid program that rationalizes wide latitude for the executive branch in the “war on terror” because of al Quaeda’s resurgence. In other words, “we screwed up but trust us to protect you anyway.”
Extricating ourselves from Iraq and addressing genuine national security threats requires a sober recalibration of our geopolitical strategy. Sadly, the final eighteen months of the Bush Administration will likely produce more bumper sticker fear mongering as our blood, treasure and moral authority continues to erode in Iraq.
Congress must assert itself over the next year and half. Otherwise, the next president, whoever it is, will be consumed by dosing the kerosene fire Bush has dumped on the planet while radical Islam continues to metastasize.
Ultimately it comes down to two questions?
1. Does the GOP have the patriotism to consider the good of the country above saving face for their party?
2. Will Democrats have the spine to follow through on their convictions instead of simply looking to bleed the GOP with political showmanship?
This past week of late night debates in the Senate gives me little hope.