Snow up to our knees took all the ambition out of us Saturday so we cratered in front of the tube and watched the excellent PBS Frontline presentation Bush's War.
The timing was good. The headlines of unrest are popping up with renewed frequency and General David Petraeus is due to give another update soon. We already know plans for troop withdrawal have been cut. We're hearing one presidential candidate tell us he would like to keep troops in Iraq until it becomes a peaceful, democratic nation. Right.
The current uprising is in Basra, an oil rich Shiia stronghold where Shiite militias are facing off against Iraqi forces who are also Shiia. In what is one more U.S. appeasing show of "toughness", Maliki has demanded the militias give up their weapons. Is that what the picture shows? No. It shows the Iraqi forces handing over their weapons to al-Sadr's Mahdi militiamen. Ooops!
Today's news informs us al-Sadr has pulled his troops off the streets - but who has the weapons? He has made his own demands of the Maliki government to maintain a quieting of violence.
Back to Bush's War and why it is timely to watch. With controversy among the candidates as to how and when to end this conflict, I found a refresher most helpful. The program takes you through the entire time line from 9/11 to when Rumsfeld was forced to resign. It has interviews with many of the major players and speaks to the head games they played with one another. It makes quite clear that Dr. Rice has made a wise decision to not seek the presidency nor accept an offer of the vice presidency. It brought to mind details I had long forgotten but are vital to the decisions that the next president will have to make.
The link above will take you to the site and you can view the entire program online if you have the time and inclination. Most of you won't I should guess because it is long. What it does do, though, is reaffirm how out of sync our own leaders were with one another, how we were duped by ambitious Iraqi exiles, and how totally ignorant we were - and are - about how the Iraqis themselves feel.
As long as we are on their soil we will be viewed as the occupiers. They will resist us and those who support us. Would we not do the same if the tables were turned?