Senator Mitch McConnell, the ranking Republican in the Senate, earned himself an armchair general award over the weekend....speaking with CNN (aptly enough), he was harshly critical of Iraq's progress to date:"The Iraqi government is a huge disappointment," Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell told CNN'S Late Edition on Sunday."So far, they've not been able do anything they promised on the political side," the Kentucky Republican said, citing the Iraqis' failure to pass a new oil revenue bill, hold local elections and dismantle the former Baath Party of Saddam Hussein. "It's a growing frustration.""Republicans overwhelmingly feel disappointed about the Iraqi government," he added.
If it wasn't so irritating, it would be hilarious.
How's that Iraq war funding bill going, Congress? Oh, and where is that border security plan? And not to be picky or anything, but any progress on Social Security or Medicare? No?
Hmmm...let's change these statements around just a bit...just for fits and giggles. Let's see, what if we try it this way:
"The American government is a huge disappointment." Yeah, some days I'm right on board with that one.
"So far, they've not been able to do anything they promised with regard to illegal immigration / social security reform / border security." Oooh, that works too!
"It's a growing frustration." If it grows anymore, it's going to need it's own room in my house.
"Voters feel overwhelmingly disappointed with the American government." Wow, it's uncanny!
I can understand being somewhat frustrated with Iraq's leaders. But let's keep this in perspective.
From the beginning of the American Revolution to the end of the war, it took 7 years, an estimated 25,000 American dead and another 25,000 wounded, $150 million in American money and 1.3 billion French livres. By today's standards, that's nearly $2 billion American and nearly $111 million spent by the French.
From the beginning of the American Revolution to the signing of a U.S. Constitution
(without Amendments) took 9 years
Add the amendments, and you end up with it having taken 216 years
to get to the form it's in now.
Abolishing slavery took 89 years
Giving women the right to vote took 144 years
- Iraq's actually way ahead of us on that one.
Freedom of religion? Jury trial? Prohibition against illegal search and seizure? 15 years
Figuring out how to elect a President and Vice-President? 28 years
Ironing out the Presidential term limits and succession rules? 157 years
Figuring out how to appropriately fund Social Security? Figuring out how to secure the border? How to iron out campaign finance guidelines? still counting
After years of dictatorship, it's no wonder that Iraq isn't on solid ground yet. How's Russia? Let's see, that's been about 16 years now, right?
Yes, we should be keeping the pressure on Iraq to get things moving. Absolutely, they should be told that our commitment isn't open-ended. Yes, there should be milestones.
But to say that they're a huge disappointment because they haven't solved everything in the two years the current government has been in place is just a wee bit of hypocrisy.
And let's couple that with Senator Carl Levin
, a Democrat, who is criticizing Admiral William J. Fallon's idea of diplomacy:"I think your message is very much weakened, and it's troubling to me because you meet with the leaders of Iraq," Levin said, adding that Fallon had "let them off the hook."But I thought that the Democrats' central criticism was that we too quickly leapt to war, and hadn't tried diplomacy? Now diplomacy is the problem? I'm confused.
Then again, maybe I'm not so confused. I'm beginning to form the belief that our politicians - on both sides of the aisle - are a bunch of fickle, media-loving mush-heads, far more interested in their own political careers and point-scoring in front of the cameras than in fighting and winning a war, or protecting the American people. The fact is, if this whole war can't be wrapped up in a convenient package they can sell come election time, they're not interested.
Shame on the lot of you.
Labels: opinion, politics