Bush keeps gleefully using the word "war" any chance he can get.
So what's really going on in Iraq?
Well, for one, the Pentagon seems to be seriously lowering its expectations on what it hopes will be accomplished in Iraq:
The United States no longer expects to see a model new democracy, a self-supporting oil industry or a society where the majority of people are free from serious security or economic challenges, U.S. officials say.
Okaaaay . . . kinda like how I no longer expect to be married by 30 and am now looking at the brochures on a fabulous future in spinsterhood.
But just what is going on? It is a struggle that now has no pre-set conclusion of a democratic, self-supporting nation. There is no end point. The nation-building tangent has now been eliminated, so now the Bush administration is just looking for a way to bug out and say "we tried," then go on with the "struggle" in Iran. Even the most ardent Bush cheerleader has to admit that this is pretty lame. Right?
From Free Republic, in response to this article:
"I have seen no confusion on Bush's part. He has been consistent and anytime he varied it was in response to hypothetical questions to which he supplied hypothetical answers.
This is part of the Democrat game plan to build up to a big crescendo nearing the elections. They intend to present the war as a failure with ill defined and confused goals. If the confusion is not there they will just declare it is anyway. It is BashBush in overdrive."
Well, presenting the war as a failure with ill-defined and confused goals will certainly present an uphill battle on the part of the Democrats. Seeing as how even the Pentagon is now characterizing it as basically a lost cause.
As Jesse Taylor at Pandagon sums up, we were told this was a war to construct, to renew, to rebuild, to begin a new era in the Middle East of freedom and democracy. Not that I ever believed that for a moment, but there were certainly people who did. And now we are presented with the possibility that Iraq will become one of the largest failed states on the planet. And the administration is admitting to it.
What did we build? What "democracy" did we spread? How will those faithful to Bush characterize the failure of Iraq, of our failure to turn it into anything but another Islamic republic, vulnerable to attack within and without its borders? Our only hope is that the fact that even the administration is lowering its expectations will stir some to understand that this was truly never about democracy, freedom or the improvement of life for the Iraqi people. Of course, none of us are pleased about the failure of Iraq, but those of us who expected this all along can at least look at it with a feeling of hope that perhaps it will act as a catalyst for change.