Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The New Forgotten War

Where did the anti-war movement go? LA over at Yen-Yang picks up the question and observes:
The media picks and chooses the issues of the day on any given day and right now, there is no need to attack the Obama Administration for continuing wars that were so immoral just a year ago.
To be fair, the Gray Lady, WaPo and CNN all reported it prominently but the difference between now and several years ago is the lack of outrage from ancillary bloggers and pundits that helped feed the flame in the big media. A check of Memeorandum around 6 pm central showed the Iraq story down at the bottom of the page, with only 'the Nation' weighing in with much from the left:
The entire heart of the Iraqi capital is in shock. At the foreign ministry, an official told the New York Times, "The whole ministry is destroyed."

And.."For too long, Obama has pretended that Iraq doesn't exist. As I've repeatedly stated, during the campaign Obama promised to enlist the United Nations and other world powers in a major international effort to reorganize Iraq's political equation. So far, he hasn't done a thing, and he's allowed Iraq to fester under US occupation and American political tutelage, with little or no involvement by the rest of the world, including Europe, Russia, and Iraq's neighbors. Inside the White House and the State Department, it's hard to identify anyone with the Iraq portfolio, which has fallen between the cracks. It's no longer an option for the United States to slow or reverse its withdrawal, but UN and international involvement in Iraq's political reconstruction is urgently needed."
The easy answer is that the left declared "mission accomplished" by getting their power back, and the war never really mattered that much. And this could easily turn into a new blame game--it was 'Bush's fault', or 'Obama doesn't care', etc. But that doesn't win any battles.

Expect some to call for Biden's partition solution but with today's attack possibly coming from ex-Baathists it's unlikely the neighboring 'country-states' would get along any better than they do now within the same borders. Besides, a partitioned Iraq would undoubtedly draw client support from surrounding countries due to all the oil up for grabs and the geo-policial stakes involved.

Meanwhile it's not lost on anyone that today's attack came on the sixth anniversary of the UN bombing. Many believe that attack turned the tide of the insurgency and made the US government take notice while fueling the anti-war movement going forward.

So who dunnit? We still don't know. Some thought it was a pro-job from outside the country while some suspected Baathists tied with Hussein (many who would go on to intermix with 'al Qaeda in Iraq' some time later). This nice liberal thought it might have come from, well, Halliburton I think. Others thought Iran's hands were bloody. Indeed, they stood to gain then just as they do now from any failures or hasty departures as it strongly de-leverages our bargaining position vis a vis the nukes.

Obama may not have been in favor of the war but he was in favor of becoming president, so he owns it now. Simply turning on the auto-pilot or throwing out some Bush blame to keep focus on domestic health care will not make anything go away. His mere presence in the White House was supposed to quell the anti-American sentiment around the world but clearly the hate from these people exceeds all levels of charisma and star quality. Discussing issues with people like them is like conversing with a dinner table. And it was that way before Bush invaded.

So here we are. Not only does Obama own the war, he'll also own any retreats. But if he finds a creative way to progress he'll cement his place in history and perhaps save civilization from a massive war. It's not exactly low hanging fruit, but fruit nonetheless.

1 comment:

LASunsett said...

//To be fair, the Gray Lady, WaPo and CNN all reported it prominently but the difference between now and several years ago is the lack of outrage from ancillary bloggers and pundits that helped feed the flame in the big media.//

Other flame fanners were the Democratic opportunists in the Congress. The bloggers and media fed off of them. The Congress, in turn, fed off of the media/bloggers. It was a vicious circle.

I agree. The big media has reported the events, but afterward it's back to the right wing conspiracy and how they want Obama to fail. No time to let that one get cold.