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Catfish and Cod
Monday, September 01, 2003
Why are we still afraid of "funking out" in Iraq?
(Link path: King of the Blogs, Washington Post)

The King of the Blogs is appreciative of John McCain's efforts to tell the American people how important the occupation of Iraq is. But if the president has put out the message that the occupation will be long-term and costly, and if both Democrats and moderate Republicans agree, why are people still worried about us "funking out"?

The cry that Bush claimed the war would be "quick and cheap" is part of the "BUSH LIED!!" meme, where the President's enemies continue to claim that he misled the American people. While there is no point at which it could be said that the President out-and-out failed to tell the truth, it is true that he played us all emotionally. The Administration created the feeling that the occupation would be an easier job than it has turned out to be. In order to garner support for the war effort, Bush and his political operatives made us all feel over-threatened and under-protected, with an inflated sense of our abilities in nation-building and a irrationally optimistic view of the task ahead. Emotionally, mnay Americans feel unprepared for the level of sacrifice and strife that the Iraq effort calls us to endure.

(Don't get me wrong; I think the invasion was the right thing to do. But we should have been told what we were doing and why, in clearer terms and with less spin than was the case.)

The danger is no longer that we will "funk out" completely by withdrawing from Iraq. It would be political suicide for any Administration (short of an improbable Kucinich or Nader Administration) to withdraw. The danger is that we will not invest sufficient resources: time, treasure, effort, and especially skull sweat. If we try to run the occupation "on the cheap", or try to ignore the occupation in favor of domestic politics, then we run the risk of either a revolt or an incarnation of the media's nightmare -- "another Vietnam".