What does the clock flipping to 12:00 am tonight mean? Besides putting the past year behind us and getting ready for: hangovers, junk food while we watch football, resolutions we won't keep and another year of insipid campaign ads? January 1, 2008 will mean that we will only have 384 days to go before the worst presidency in the history of the United States comes to an end.
I wish we could speed up time to 1-20-09 12:01pm eastern time, when the oath of office is taken by someone, anyone else besides George W. Bush. I'm so tired of this man's desecration of the office that I want to be Rip Van Winkle and just go to sleep until it's done with.
My hope and wish for 2008 is that we end this travesty of a war in Iraq. According to the Pentagon, casualty counts for Iraqis are down since June of this year. That's excellent news on its face. Anytime fewer people are dying because of policies we implement so much the better. General Petraeus has attributed this to better security from both the "surge" of US troops and an interior "sure" of upwards of 100 thousand Iraqi military and security services coming online in the area.
To be sure, this is good news. I'm not going to get into a debate here about the surge. Those who agree with the surge will use this information to say "see, it's working". Those who didn't agree with the surge will point out rightly that no political reconciliation between Sunni and Shia communities in the Iraqi government has been achieved. In either case, strong argument for each side can be made. The only thing that matters to me is that the killing, at least in Bagdhad, has lessened.
For the politicians, this has become a mixed bag of messages. Those with a more sophisticated view of the matter (Biden, McCain, Richardson, Dodd), all seem to embrace the view that this is excellent news. McCain sees it as vindication of his criticisms of the Rumsfeld era of war planning, but support for the Gates/Petraeus strategy of adding resources. The Democrats are all calling for different actions, but each seem to believe that the primary focus should be on political agreement among the various factions in the Iraqi government. Iraq will be a key campaign issue throughout 2008. Should things continue to improve, it helps the Republicans salvage something from the Bush disaster. Should conditions deteriorate, then it helps those Democrats (especially Obama) who have decried the Iraq war from the beginning.
I personally opposed the Iraq war from the beginning. And, unlike Bill Clinton, I have documentation to prove it. I still believe this was the worst foreign policy decision the US has made since we (CIA) helped overthrow the government of Mohammad Mossadegh, in 1953 and installed the Shah. Man, talk about your decisions coming back to haunt you.
Anyway, I'm not posting any resolutions, and only hoping, hoping that the end of George Bush's reign of terror comes with no more major screw ups from this administration.
Tell me what you think,
PS, all the best for 2008