Matt Taibbi just might be the best contemporary American political writer. At least for my philistine generation, a bunch of uncouth louts with no appreciation for conventional wisdom. We hardly remember bipartisanship except as something right-wingers shout when they've lost all power and are afraid of even the slightest retaliation.
So go read his assessment of the kabuki that is the Iraq Study Group. This is distantly amusing to me inasmuch as the President has already announced that he will ignore any of the ISG suggestions that even remotely represented changes in policy. Basically, he's going to stay the course. Big fucking surprise.
Really, if Iraq didn't want to descend into a brutal sectarian civil war, then why did they allow themselves to be invaded by the United States?
The Three Main Options for Not-Leaving Iraq are:
1. 15,000-30,000 more troops accompanied by boisterous clapping and only a vague sense of what might constitute "victory"
2. Hunting al-Qaeda, or people who might be al-Qaeda, or people who might have once said something similar to "al-Qaeda", dragging them into the night to some dank CIA gulag where they will be tortured for years and never charged, then dumped onto the streets of an Eastern European country, broken and alone
3. Support majority Shiites in their "cleansing" efforts against the Sunnis
Those are all very viable options. For continuing Operation Massive Fuckup.
The truth is, the White House is waiting for the hard-hitting facts sure to come from the reports of the Department of Defense and the State Department before making any firm decisions to stay in Iraq indefinitely.
President Bush asked for cooperation on the new old Iraq plan, which means he wants critics to shut up and do whatever he says. That's the definition of cooperation. Never mind that the majority opinion wants to begin withdrawing from Iraq and that almost 70 percent of Americans think we're losing ground. Bush wants us all to play along until he can figure out how to declare victory.
In other news, we're Number One!
The US has the most prisoners in the world, ahead of both China and Russia.
A large portion of them are drug offenders.
Prohibition totally works! Well, it works in the sense of creating a permanent criminal underclass which are easily exploited and have very little participation in greater society.
It feels good to be a winner.