Knee Jerk Punditry – A Comedy In Three Acts

Ken AshfordIraq, Right Wing Punditry/IdiocyLeave a Comment

ACT ONE (The Setup):  Prominent Democrat Joseph Biden writes an op-ed in the Washington Post suggesting a broad outline for withdrawal of troops from Iraq:

"Over the next six months, we must forge a sustainable political compromise between Iraqi factions, strengthen the Iraqi government and bolster reconstruction efforts, and accelerate the training of Iraqi forces."

ACT TWO (The Knee-Jerk Reaction):  Right-wing pundits automatically attack the prominent Democrat’s ideas.

Scene OnePowerline calls it "a reminder of why Democrats are unfit to direct this country’s foreign policy".

Scene TwoGlenn Reynolds quotes Captain’s Quarters, which claims Biden "gets the entire war on terror fundamentally wrong—and demonstrates why the Democrats have entirely failed to provide any leadership on Iraq and the wider war."

ACT THREE (The Denouement): The White House comes out and says Senator Biden’s article was "remarkably similar to the Administration’s plan to fight and win the war on terror." Unsurprisingly, those same right wing critics have not bothered to explain why the Bush Administration is "unfit to direct this country’s foreign policy".


In truth, neither Biden nor the Bush Administration have actually provided a PLAN for withdrawal from Iraq.  They BOTH say things like "we must strengthen our counterinsurgency efforts" and "We must transfer security authority to Iraqi forces" .  Those items, however, state GOALS, and do not individually or collectively constitute a PLAN.  There is only an expression of pre-conditions to withdrawal — nothing about actual strategy to obtain those objectives.   

In fact, the dirty truth underlining these so-called "plans" is that there can be no plan at this point.  Saddam is gone, there never were WMDs, and Iraqis have held elections.  There’s nothing more to do other than mopping up, and as anyone who cleans house knows, you can do that indefinitely.  We’re just futzing about there, and we’ll only leave when the death toll becomes so intolerable that the only people elected will be those calling for immediate withdrawal.