Saturday, May 24, 2008

An anniversary

To the best of my knowledge, I am the only person who observes this anniversary: Today is the fourth anniversary of W's War College speech, in which he outlined the path to victory in Iraq.

In years past, I have sent email to folks I thought might care: Olberman, Matthews, Maddow, DLC, DCCC, etc. No one paid any attention.

This year, I'll celebrate on al Qaeda in Albuquerque!
President Outlines Steps to Help Iraq Achieve Democracy and Freedom
Remarks by the President on Iraq and the War on Terror
United States Army War College
Carlisle, Pennsylvania
May 24, 2004
There are five steps in our plan to help Iraq achieve democracy and freedom.
The first of these steps will occur next month, when our coalition will transfer full sovereignty to a government of Iraqi citizens who will prepare the way for national elections.
The second step in the plan for Iraqi democracy is to help establish the stability and security that democracy requires.
The third step in the plan for Iraqi democracy is to continue rebuilding that nation's infrastructure, so that a free Iraq can quickly gain economic independence and a better quality of life.
The fourth step in our plan is to enlist additional international support for Iraq's transition.
The fifth and most important step is free, national elections, to be held no later than next January.
Five steps. Two completed (sort of):
- Transfer sovereignty. Yes, Bremer left.
- Hold free, national elections. Yes, bringing Iran-allied Shi'ites to power.

The other three? We're still waiting.
- "Establish the stability and security that democracy requires". That would be the surge, right? Two-and-a-half years after the speech... and I'm not convinced "stability and security" have been established. Anyone wanna convince me?

- "Rebuilding that nation's infrastructure". Does anyone know how many hours/day Baghdad has electricity? What proportion of Iraqis have safe drinking water? What percent have functional sewage systems?... no, no one does: these basic data are not provided by the government or the news media. Last I heard - not that long ago - raw sewage ran through the streets of Sadr City... in the heart of Iraq's capital!

- "Enlist additional international support". Has W even made an effort? If so, it's been well-concealed! The only folks - other than the U.S. - who seem to be taking an active interest in Iraq are Iran and Syria. Is this what W had in mind?

Cool! Of 5 steps to "to help Iraq achieve democracy and freedom" exactly 2 have been completed... or even started! This sounds a lot like 40% to me, which - even in an era of grade inflation - pretty much counts as an "F".

Four years later we're still planning to establish security, restore infrastructure, and engage the international community. None of these will occur tomorrow... tho' McCain promises all will be realized by 2013!

As I've said before, W believes that reciting the magic words is sufficient. He took NO action to in fact achieve the three unrealized "steps". All that mattered was delivering the speech.

Happy 4th anniversary!

Stop the madness.

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