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I was born at a relatively young age. Growing up consumed the better part of my childhood. As a young man I chased a lot of girls. But they kept getting away. Then I got older and even slower, so I got married. I've lived in New York City almost since before I moved here. I summer in Manhattan, which is like New York City, but with more humidity.

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Iraq: Fly, Fly Away
Friday, October 13, 2006
Prsident Bush says two things-- over and over and over-- about Iraq. Well, three things, if you count, "The Democrats want to cut and run." The other two are, "When they stand up, we'll stand down," and "If we leave before achieving victory, the terrorists will have won."

When you peel the onion a little, though, these latter two statements are paradoxical. They can't both be true. Because it is possible for the Iraqis to stand up before we have accomplished some sort of "victory."

What exactly IS victory? Presumably it means defeating some enemy (although Bush has yet to articulate exactly what victory is or might look like, and who that enemy is.) But what about, "When they stand up, we'll stand down"? Doesn't that mean, essentially, that when the Iraqis step up and are prepared to police and protect their own country, we will pass off the baton and depart? And so, doesn't it mean that if the Iraqis were ready to stand up tomorrow, we'd be willing to leave tomorrow-- without any discernable victory? If we stand down when they stand up, aren't we essentially saying, "Hey Iraq, you finish this fight; we're leaving."? Isn't that a cut and run end game for US involvement in Iraq?

If Bush is telling the truth (sure, a big if) that we'll stand down when they stand up, then the debate between Dems and Reps is really this: the Dems are saying that as long as we refuse to signal a willingness to initiate the transfer of power, there is no motivation for the Iraqis to "stand up," and so this is an occupation without end; we are essentially acting as enablers to them, our smothering "love" preventing them from taking respnsibility for their own defense. If we send a clear signal that we will be leaving soon, the Dem argument goes, the Iraqis will stand up, because they'd have to. "Only when we stand down, will they stand up."

Everyone wants this mess over. The Dems seem to have an approach that facilitates it ending; Bush has an approach that has no end game.

Basically, you can't accuse the Dems of "cut and run," because ultimately both sides seem to want the exact same thing: to hand off responsibility to the Iraqis. The difference is, the Reps are unwilling to do anything to make that happen; the Dems are urging that we take an active role in getting the Iraqis to stand up. Reps say the Dems offer no alternative; but "Let's get out" is actually thought leadership on the Iraq occupation.

When a mother bird wants to teach her babies to fly, she pushes them out of the nest. Essentially, Dems want to push Iraq out of the nest; Bush wants to keep them in the nest (at $2 billion a week) until they spontaneously fly away. And that just aint going to happen.

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Posted by: --josh-- @ 11:40 AM  


3 Comments:
At 10/13/2006 12:23 PM, Anonymous Annie said...   

Looking for defensible logic in a statement from G.W. Bush = looking for a mermaid in a haystack, ie there's no real rerason why it should be there to begin with. Maybe I've having a bad day, but isn't Bush's rhetoric more understandable if you think of it as the newest advertising slogan or marketing campaign? Like, the success is that they finally came up with a tag line (stand up/stand down/) that sounds as if it makes sense, fits the available space and can be remembered, not just by Mr. Bush, but by the talking heads at Fox News as well. Hooray, victory!--of a very different type.

Or I could just be having a very, very bad day.


At 10/13/2006 12:33 PM, Blogger --josh-- said...   

No, you have it exactly right; the real ad tag line is, "Democrats want to cu and run."

But in this age of blogs and consumer empowerment, if a marketing slogan is a lie, the marketer gets called on it. You actually can't get away with lying in marketing quite so easily anymore; just ask Dell Computer what the online world has had to say about their reputation for customer service.

If your sound byte is a lie, you get called on it. As herein.


At 10/13/2006 12:45 PM, Anonymous Annie said...   

Okay. That's one reason I'll never go back to copywriting.


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