Monday, April 07, 2008

What Would You Ask General Betray Us, If You Were In Congress?

He's scheduled, with Amb. Ryan Crocker, to testify (under oath?) to various committees of Congress about "progress" and "success" and "the future of the Surge," and now--after a couple of days of the 'insurgents' insistent little reminders of their still deadly antipathy--maybe more about casualties. Congress has been pretty gentle with Gen. Betrayus in the past, and there is little reason to think that the Cong-crits will depart far from the standard for the breed, and forget to roll over to the military and offer the Ginrul its genitals. (FYEIEIO: Paul Craig Roberts has offered his observations and predictions on the subject today.

However, there is a group of aspirant Dim Cong-crits who have signed-on to a withdrawal plan as the central plank of their campaign platforms as they run to unseat either Bush-dogs or real Pukes. Over at OpenLeft, Matt Stoller collecteda list of questions they'd ask the Ginrul if'n they wuz in Congress. Unfortunately, far too many of them seem to echo one theme: Has the Iraq ICORP made "Us/US" safer?

What? You think maybe he's going to say "No"?

Of COURSE he's going to say it has made us "safer." Which of course begs the question (in the historical, rhetorical sense of that trope), because it assumes as given that which is the subject of the dispute.

What does anybody mean by "safer?" "Safer" than what? We weren't "safe" even when we thought we were "safer" than we think we are today, which is in fact no more or less "safe" than we have ever been. There is no quantum of "safeness," no way to measure it. Yes, apparently there have not been any further bloody "terror" attacks in the last 6+ years. But there hadn't been all that many before the last one, come right down to it, at least not ones that mattered/counted to white folks.

It seems to me the only sane question to ask of Betrayus is: If defeat is intolerable, and withdrawal is regarded as 'defeat,' (e.g., Sen.McStain calls it "surrender"), please describe in detail, and with specific examples how the citizens of the US and/or the rest of the world will know what "victory" will look like, and how it has been won, and how long--in your most pessimistic assessment--will it take to achieve it?

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