« The Townsend Campaign | Main | The Gray Lady Sinks Deeper in the Mire »

December 17, 2005


Any Freudians in the audience? I had a dream last night: I was sneaking in to a Dallas-Cleveland playoff game (baseball). The Dallas stadium was built low, behind a school, and there were immense crowds surrounding it, all trying to see the game free. As we passed the fields near it, the Texans were shouting at us, "Keep your boot suits off the fields!" but we snuck by anyway, and after a lot of sneaking about and pushing through crowds & giving up on bad seats, we were able to find an empty spot behind the school with a good view of the diamond. To my surprise, many in the Texas crowd were holding up political signs about Iraq. There were a very small number with signs showing a political cartoon (in the dream, a well-known cartoon) with a pair of queasy-looking Democrats parachuting and I think waving white flags. (Caption may have been something like, "Democrat strategy on Iraq.") But much much more of the crowd was holding protest signs that were satires of the first. Many of them showing a pair of deflated Republicans in free-fall, with a parachute in the shape of Superman (also deflated) and similar legend, "Republican strategy on Iraq," or other ones I wish I could remember, with either Democrats, Republicans, or the American People in free-fall attached to non-working parachutes in various forms that were the focus of the satire. I remember being really surprised but satisfied to see so many cheering for Texas but also protesting current Iraq policy (note that about equal numbers of the signs protested Dems, Reps, & the public, but all were against status quo in Iraq).

I'll let some of you psychoanalyze it. My own first pass? Well, here's a hint: I think the Dallas baseball team in my dream was actually the Cowboys (and of course you know who the Cleveland team was). Then there's the "boots on the field" reference, the formalized combat that is inherent in baseball, and the sparring crowds. I could also mention that earlier in the dream I was fighting a 2-foot alligator with a small ax (it had the ax, I was barehanded) and that I believe that alligator turned out to be a young orphan girl who ended up coming along with us to the ballgame... but perhaps that's too deep a view of this American psyche.

The speeches Bush has recently given seem bizarre to me for their insistence on "victory" in Iraq as a prerequisite for withdrawal of troops. I understand about the professor who believes that public support depends on optimism about victory and not numbers of casualties (and think it superficial because it does not take into account the seriousness of the threat the target of the war posed or how we got into it), but in Iraq unless victory is defined in a meaningless way, how and when will it ever be in sight?

I suppose they believe someone like Chalabi or Allawi will win and will be strong enough to unite the warring factions. Or something. But those who really understand the Iraqi Constitution say that it is recipe for breakup and potentially disaster. So by raising expectations, isn't Bush doing the opposite of what he should be doing? And isn't that his problem, because as he defines victory as functioning democracy and people see something else happening, won't support plummet further?

I think it clear that large parts of the public are simply deciding that the war isn't worth the costs in life, limb and treasure, and that, in any event, "victory" is pretty elusive and leads to an open-ended commitment.

Mimikatz, I've wondered about "victory" also. If Bush has turned even slightly reality-based (miracles are always possible!), it might be just a rhetorical ploy to define whatever he does as victory.

After all, if we pull out because of Jack Murtha, the terrorists win. But if we pull out because the Commander in Chief has determined that we've won, that's victory.

-- Rick

That's George Aiken; declare victory and leave. Woulda worked in the 70's too.

The election of 2000 was a wonderful display of democracy in action ... except that it may have been stolen, except that it disenfranchised some minority voters, except that the "winners" did not produce the results that they promised during the election. Democracy is as much about long-term results as it is about process. Time will be needed to reveal the effectiveness of this latest Iraqi election in bringing about democracy and stability to that nation.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Where We Met

Blog powered by Typepad