Who Hijacked Our Country

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Why is the Iraqi Quagmire like Terry Schiavo?

They're both being kept alive by a feeding tube. That’s the comparison being made in this column. At least Terry Schiavo’s feeding tube didn’t kill thousands of American soldiers and cost a trillion dollars.

The columnist says that after we toppled Saddam Hussein and threw Iraqi society into chaos, “our national security physicians inserted a feeding tube into Iraq to restore its health. This treatment was supposed to nourish Iraq while it recovered from its ills, but it has not given the result we wanted. Like Schiavo, our patient has not awakened, Iraqi civil society is in a persistent vegetative state and our own society is fighting about whether to withdraw the feeding tube.”

When it was first suggested that Terry Schiavo’s feeding tube should be removed, her parents were horrified. In addition to the tragedy, this would mean that keeping her on a feeding tube for fifteen years had been all for nothing.

Likewise, Iraqmire’s “parents” are determined to keep their feeding tube in place. They just can't — won't — admit that they’ve accomplished absolutely nothing with the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people and the alienation of America from the rest of the world.

The feeding tube will stay. Forever.

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Blogger Snave said...

An ugly but apt comparison.

It just always seems to me that it gets down to "when is enough enough" and "how long does it take enough people to realize that what we're doing isn't doing any good"...

Things really have to get to a point where non-working situations are so bluntly obviously non-working before we seem to do things to end them...

April 17, 2007 at 11:35 AM  
Blogger Jenn of the Jungle said...

Cute analogy Tom, but it's just not the same.

Iraq is ALIVE. Schiavo wasn't.

Iraq was run by a brutal dictator who gassed his own people, killed his own family, trained terrorists and paid them upon explosion.

Terry was a "woman" lying on a hospital bed. That's all.

April 17, 2007 at 1:28 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Snave: Yeah, it did seem like a pretty callus comparison for a doctor (the columnist) to be making. But it still fits. At some point we're gonna have to pull the plug and disconnect the feeding tube.

Jenn: "brutal dictator who gassed his own people, killed his own family" -- he did a lot of these things back when he was America's protege, our fair-haired boy. He was our ally against Iran and against other destabilizing forces in the Middle East.

"Trained terrorists" -- uh oh, been listening to Fox News again, eh?

April 17, 2007 at 2:30 PM  
Blogger Mile High Pixie said...

Or we're going to have to get a better group of doctors in there, i.e. suck it up and enlist thehelp of the international community to help us do the job of nation-building. Let's face it: our troops are trained to fight the old-school wars of swoop in, whip ass, and leave. We need a plan, a real plan, dare I say a Marshall Plan for Iraq.

April 17, 2007 at 5:09 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Mile High Pixie: It might have to come to something like a Marshall Plan for Iraq. I think we need to do one extreme or the other: either pull out right now and let the chips fall where they may, or finish what we started and rebuild everything that's gotten destroyed over there. Unfortunately, the neocons who got us into this mess will probably just do the worst of both options. We'll stay and stay and stay, with goals that keep getting redefined, and after thousands more deaths we'll just leave. That's my guess.

April 17, 2007 at 6:15 PM  
Anonymous JollyRoger said...

Cute analogy Tom, but it's just not the same.

Iraq is ALIVE. Schiavo wasn't.

And with this, Jenn incinerates every other thing she may have had to say.

Only somebody in Schiavo's condition could come to this conclusion about Iraq.

April 17, 2007 at 8:31 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Jolly Roger: Iraq is technically alive but dysfunctional (like Terry Schiavo). Yeah, I thought that doctor/columnist hit the nail on the head. Maybe GWB is relying on a feeding tube, in which case it should be withdrawn immediately.

April 17, 2007 at 9:52 PM  
Blogger Snave said...

Sorry, but I must not be taking enough meds lately. I have to rant some more...

The nearly brain-dead Dubya's "feeding tube" is made up of ALL those who enable him... his cabinet, which seems to amount to little more than a carefully selected group of handlers... the Congress for his entire term in office, regardless of party, by not putting their foot down and saying "no" to him, and particularly for being so intimidated after the terrorist attacks of 9/11/01 that they could pass something like the Patriot Act without even reading it... the American people for not demanding the removal of Bush/Cheney from office after they have trampled the Constitution and knowingly lied and broken the law...

We have ALL been enabling our sick president, due to our basic inaction, for almost 6 1/2 years. The less resistance he finds, the more he will do to achieve his neoconservative agenda. The less resistance he finds, the more he will feel free to engage in things which I always thought were illegal... war profiteering, for example. He will just continue to use our fine military for the purpose of gaining oil, helping the rich get richer, and building an American empire. Rome was a republic before it became an empire, and we know what happened to Rome. At least some of us might recall that stuff from middle school history class, and view it as a lesson...

I think everybody needs to just say "no" to Bush. That might make his behavior get worse before our country's situation would get better, because he might feel panicked, or like he has been backed into a corner... desperate times call for desperate measures, so if he got desperate, who knows what he might pull. But as he likes to tell us (referring to Iraq, of course, but I use the terms to refer to ridding our nation of him): There is a lot at stake here. It's hard work. And we're making progress.

I think those of us on the left are the ones who really need to "stay the course". There are plenty of Republicans who are sick of what's happening too, and when the welfare of our nation is at stake, I believe this represents enough "common ground" to more than make up for differences the two parties may have in how they view "moral values" or "hot button" issues.

I am both happy and ashamed to say that I have had no responses in our local newspaper to the letter of mine which was printed therein, asking for the impeachment of Bush based on his specific violations of the Constitution, his specific instances of lying, and his breaking of laws. Happy, because I think I made my point in what was a rational defense of our Constitution, and because it was quite damning toward Bush/Cheney... but sad because I was hoping to engage a lot of local "red state" types (I live in an area dominated politically by them) in some fun arguments about a document many of them have obviously never read, or about which they are now ambivalent because "9-11 changed everything". Arguing with such people is like shooting fish in a barrel.

Our country was designed as it was for a reason, and people seem to be forgetting about that. We have this built-in guide for preventing tyranny, and people are, like, just saying "so what?" as the tyranny is blowing right up in our faces.

Well, to those folks I say, YOU are the ones letting the terrorists win. You, who wish to perpetuate a war in the Middle East which was entered into knowingly on the basis of faulty information, a war which has served as a recruiting tool beyond Al Qaeda's wildest dreams... you who don't care if the government is tapping your phone or reading your mail... you who are willing to allow the president to concentrate excessive power in the executive branch as Bush and Cheney are doing... you who are willing to let Bush place himself above the law and break the law, because you are probably more terrified that "liberals" might actually control the White House, Senate and House after 2008 than you are concerned about Bush's errant behavior or that we might have another terrorist attack? I know I tend to politicize things a LOT, but sheesh... when the GOP is willing to do things destructive to the fabric of America in order to keep Democrats out of office, it's time for some big changes to be made.

You Bush/Cheney apologists are the type of people who would probably breathe a sigh of relief if Bush declared martial law and suspended our election process in order to prevent Democrats from winning. It won't surprise me if Bush/Cheney tries something like that. They have proven they are criminals already, so why should something like the law or the Constitution prevent them from doing whatever they want to do?

You say you aren't scared of Bush trying to pull something like that, that you aren't pissed off about what he has been doing to our country? Take a closer look. If you aren't upset or pissed off or outraged, it's YOU, not the lefties, who should move to Canada or some other country. Leave America to those who love it, and who want to protect it from those who would bring it down.

Time to get out of Iraq, bring the troops home, set them to work on our borders and in our ports and airports, rebuilding our South coast, rebuilding our infrastructure, and making America stronger. The ruse about "we fight them there so we don't have to fight them here" is bullshit. Our borders are so porous the terrorists could probably just about all come into the US and make mayhem anytime they want, in large part because Dubya is spending our security money on the Iraq War.

Afghanistan? What's that? Osama? Who's he? The Taliban? Awww, come on, we beat them, right? I don't think that job got finished. The Republicans don't seem to want to talk about those things anymore. Why not, I wonder?

The GOP is, thankfully, pretty much imploding thanks to the incredible lack of leadership at the top. I look for better days ahead, as long as the country can survive the next 642-or-so days.

April 17, 2007 at 11:17 PM  
Blogger Praguetwin said...

Nope, not going anywhere anytime soon. You got that right.

April 18, 2007 at 4:25 AM  
Blogger Candace said...

Snave, great rant - you must be feeling *way* lots better. :)
Tom, the Schaivo analogy is brilliant. Thanks for printing that.

Okay, so Dubya will not, cannot, admit a mistake. Maybe someone could approach it this way: Mr. President, we know God speaks directly to you and you are guided by everything He says. And we thank you for being the Messenger, we truly do. But Mr. President, in light of the way things are going in this war, is it possible - could it be just the tiniest bit possible - that God got it wrong?

Eh. Worth a try.

April 18, 2007 at 5:36 AM  
Anonymous Benjamin Solah said...

Whilst I can identify with the analogy, especially the lunacy of the arguments made by the Right on both issues, there's one difference.

Terry's feeding tube was pulled out because there was no hope for her. She would never get better with a feeding tube and it was best to let her pass.

With Iraq, 'pulling the feeding tube' will not kill Iraq, rather the feeding tube has no nutrients but poisons slowly choking Iraq and removing it will allow it to breathe and flourish on its own.

April 18, 2007 at 6:45 AM  
Blogger Mike V. said...

I love Jenn.

"Iraq was run by a brutal dictator who gassed his own people, killed his own family, trained terrorists and paid them upon explosion."

Another talking point to somehow justify this mess your president the war criminal got us in.

April 18, 2007 at 8:49 AM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Snave: You're right, Bush’s enablers are his feeding tube. As detestable as Bush is, he couldn’t do what he does without the help of our spineless Congress and millions of braindead voters who voted for him in ’04 because the worst thing that could ever happen would be if two homosexuals were allowed to get married. Environmental catastrophe, death and destruction in Iraq — whatever; but keep those homos in the closet, that’s the top priority.

I think Bush is doing a Freudian projection when he keeps saying “those people” “hate us for our freedoms.” He’s the one who hates freedom. It’s a nice buzzword, but the real thing is messy and inconvenient and he doesn’t like it.

It’s probably better that you didn’t get any responses to your letter. You wouldn’t want a real-life Easy Rider scenario to happen right in front of you. Then again, I think the people who still support Bush blindly are a smaller and smaller minority. There may be millions of them around the country, but the percentage is small.

I hope it’s true that the neocons are imploding. It seems that way, but I’m always leary that I’m just seeing what I want to see.

Prague Twin: Yup, I’m afraid we’re stuck there.

Candace: Maybe somebody should plant a hidden microphone in Bush’s office. As soon as he’s alone in there, they could say “Dumbya! This is the Lord speaking. I command you to pull your troops out of Iraq. Immediately!” Think he’d fall for it? It’s worth a try.

Benjamin: Hey, there you go. That’s an even better analogy. We’re actually poisoning Iraq with our feeding tube.

April 18, 2007 at 9:11 AM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Mike: Yup, that same talking point. And they conveniently forget to mention that Hussein's worst atrocities were done when he was our ally.

April 18, 2007 at 9:25 AM  
Blogger Jenn of the Jungle said...

Kids, you confuse "ally" with tool. Saddam was a tool. Period.

April 18, 2007 at 10:30 AM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Yes he was a tool. But he was OUR tool throughout most of the 1980s. Then after alliances shifted and he became our enemy, our government was shocked at the things he had done when he was our tool.

April 18, 2007 at 12:41 PM  
Anonymous Stanford Matthews said...

Outcomes of events can be altered by public sentiment. To expect an efficient result in Iraq would have been more realistic if public support had been solid and complete.
It's a risky proposition to debate a war while military operations are still being conducted.
Complete the mission and then seek a pound of flesh if the need arises.

April 18, 2007 at 1:52 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Stanford: Complete the "mission"? Which "mission" would that be? WMD, nonexistent; Hussein-al Qaeda connection, non-existent; Topple Hussein (done, 4 years ago). Why are we still there? Stability in Iraq? There isn't a chance of that until after we leave, since most of the civil war and bloodshed is being instigated by our presence there.

April 18, 2007 at 3:26 PM  
Blogger Mike V. said...

public support!!??
jebus, you cannot be serious.
yea, the public is responsible.

April 19, 2007 at 9:58 AM  
Blogger FunkyTown Fighter said...

Not only does Shrub&Co. not want to remove the tube they don't want to admit failure! Shrub calls Saddam a murderer but what I want to know is what does he think he is, besides a self imposed Dictator that is!

April 19, 2007 at 11:55 AM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Funkytown Fighter: That's right, Bush can't remove that feeding tube without admitting he made a mistake. Therefore the feeding tube will stay there forever.

April 19, 2007 at 12:15 PM  
Blogger Damien said...

Time to pull the plug on this puppy, or maybe congress will fail to pay the power bill this time around - yeah i went there ;).

April 22, 2007 at 2:40 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Damien: Yup, time to pull the plug on that braindead patient.

April 22, 2007 at 3:58 PM  

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