Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Nothing Will Change

The human behavior experts are right. My reaction to the Surge reports from Patraeus and Crocker will be in line with the conclusions I’ve already reached. That is, whatever the positive results of the Surge to date, many of which are suspect anyway, will not alter the inevitable end result of America’s Iraq misadventure: It has been, is, and will be a disaster. If you have reached a different, more positive conclusion, you will interpret the Patraeus/Crocker reports in a way that validates your opinion.

So – after all the media frenzy and analyses and conflicting points of view – my mind will not be changed, your mind will not be changed.

I am resigned to the fact that nothing will change so long as Bush is in the White House. The can is being kicked down the road, as it has been for years. It will be kicked further down the road the next time, and the time after that. No matter the facts, no matter the outcry, the power to keep us on our current path is in the hands of those who are incapable of admitting that they’ve been wrong. They don’t need to worry that the Democrats will derail them. The Dems don’t have the strength or courage to do it.

In the words of the Chinese proverb, “If we don’t change our direction we’re likely to end up where we are headed.”

I don’t buy the notion that we have a moral responsibility to stay in Iraq until the job is finished because, after all, we started it. With the use of force, to some extent we can keep the lid on. But sooner or later the Iraqis have to decide what they want for themselves. Why squander more lives and billions of dollars to delay the inevitable? Makes no sense to me. My complaints, of course, are like braying in the wind. Nothing will change.

This is September 11. Six years ago today I was having lunch in Taormina, Sicily at Lorenzo’s when radio reports about what had happened in New York began coming in. In one sense that seems like a long time ago. In another, it is like yesterday.

That was a day when something did change. I’d like to think a positive change is still possible. Without the need for an accompanying catastrophe. Where we are now leaves me with little hope that will happen.


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