Here’s David Ignatius in the Washington Post:
What if Iraq begins to slip back toward civil war? President Bush kept Iraq intact long enough that success or failure will belong to the next president.
INTACT? INTACT? No electricity. No clean water. No jobs. No food. No safety. Four million refugees afraid to return. INTACT? And “civil war”? That’s what you’re calling it? And you’re awarding the “failure” of this hideous crime to Obama? Already? And precisely because you’re afraid he might end it?
And then there’s Iran itself. Republican and Democratic strategists agree that it’s time to try to engage the Islamic republic in a wide-ranging dialogue. But with Iranian elections scheduled for June, will a U.S. opening benefit President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the worst of the worst?
We’ve called them evil, threatened to bomb them, funded terrorist groups’ attacks, all propping up a militaristic leader, and now you’re going to claim his support is the result of us behaving as a civilized nation for a change?
What of the Iranian nuclear issue, which, it appears, Bush will pass on to his successor unresolved? To take just one scenario, suppose the Israeli government sends an emissary to the White House next year with this message: “We’ve waited long enough. Either you take action to stop Iran from getting a bomb, or we’ll take action.” How should the next president respond to that one?
Unresolved? What is unresolved? They don’t have them but want them, and want them because the US has been behaving exactly as you want. What would you say to a proposal to engage in wholesale illegal mass slaughter? Just say no. Say no to doing it or allowing it.
Not depressed enough yet? Okay, let’s think about Afghanistan. We’re slowly losing the war there, the NATO alliance is in increasing disarray and the talk among strategists is that maybe the best way out is to negotiate with the Taliban. Perhaps John McCain could get away with that, but could Obama? Yet that’s the choice the next president will face — cutting a deal with our enemies or sending more troops to fight what may be an unwinnable war.
No deal is required for withdrawal, just airplanes, reparations, and aid. I’m not so much depressed as disgusted that the Washington Post is still printed on paper that could have served some useful purpose.
And now comes the worst problem of all, the economy. With luck, the credit crisis will have receded by Jan. 20, which means the next president will face only a ruinous recession as opposed to a total economic meltdown. The Bush administration may have made this mess, but the next administration will have to pay the bills. And the fiscal burden will fall on a nation where tax revenue is in sharp decline. Meanwhile, the queue is forming for more bailouts, with GM and Chrysler leading the way.
First you demand that the single biggest expense (war) be continued or expanded. Then you demand that we pay our bills for a change, without even noting that it would be a drastic change. You might want all useful programs cut, but the rest of us do not and will not allow it. Say good bye to missile defense, space weapons, new nukes, and bases for Exxon. We’re not falling for this racket.
Will the next president, prodded by big Democratic majorities in Congress, really be able to say no to all the special pleaders? And what happens when congressional Democrats and their labor allies begin pushing for new protectionist measures to cushion the blow of the global downturn? That’s a scenario for a disastrous American retreat from the system of global trade.
That’s the last thing anyone wants is to be protected, to have their job protected, to have their pay protected, to have their retirement protected. Or so McCain thought. How’d that work out for him and Moosewoman?