Maureen Dowd : Discomfort Swells

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Maybe it was because I was sitting in the back of the Senate chamber with three war protesters — grim-faced, chanting women dressed in black hooded cloaks, white makeup and blood-red hands — that I felt as though I were watching a production of “Macbeth” rather than a hearing on Iraq.  “Fair is foul, and foul is fair,” the witches in the play said.  “Hover through the fog and filthy air.”  Many words hovered Tuesday in the Senate — including some pointed ones by the woman and two men vying to be commander in chief.  But the words seemed trapped in a labyrinth leading nowhere.  The Surge Twins were back, but the daylong testimony of David Petraeus and Ryan Crocker before two committees seemed more depressing this time.  As the Bard writes in “Macbeth”: “From that spring whence comfort seemed to come, discomfort swells.”…..

Condi is too busy floating trial balloons about being John McCain’s running mate to bother about the fact that she was instrumental in two historic blunders: 9/11 and Iraq.  It’s hard to follow the narrative of our misadventure in Iraq.  We went in to help the Shiites that we betrayed in the first Gulf War shake off their Sunni tormentors.  But then, predictably for everyone except the chuckleheaded W. and Cheney, the Shiites began tormenting the Sunnis.  So we put 90,000 Sunni Sons of Iraq — some of the same ones who were exploding American soldiers — on our payroll so they’d stop shooting at Americans and helping Al Qaeda.  Our troops have gone from policing a Sunni-Shiite civil war to policing a Shiite-Shiite power struggle, while Osama bin Laden plots in peace as Al Qaeda in Iraq distracts us and drains our military resources.  Even some senators got confused…..But Senator Biden asked a trenchant, if attenuated, question of Mr. Crocker about Al Qaeda: “If you could take it out, you had a choice, the Lord Almighty came down and sat in the middle of the table there and said, ‘Mr. Ambassador, you can eliminate every Al Qaeda source in Afghanistan and Pakistan, or every Al Qaeda personnel in Iraq,’ which would you pick?”  Given the progress beating back Al Qaeda in Iraq, the ambassador replied, he would pick the hiding place of bin Laden.  “That would be a smart choice,” Mr. Biden noted.  Senator John Warner asked the essential question — the one that makes it clear that W. and Cheney hurt the national interest: Is the war making us safer here at home?  General Petraeus avoided answering.  But he acknowledged that the “fragile” gains there are “reversible.”  “The Champagne bottle,” he told Senator Bayh, “has been pushed to the back of the refrigerator.”…..

Reference : http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/09/opinion/09dowd.html

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