The Bright Side Of Life

Prime Minister Tony Blair announced this week nearly one quarter of the British forces deployed in Iraq will be leaving by May, and promised even more would be decommissioned from the war-torn former nation by the end of the year.

The announcement was greeted with speculation that the man whose political career may be defined by (among many things garnered during a long career in civil service) the sobriquet “Bush’s poodle” (for his unflagging support of the American president’s ill-fated venture in regime change), with an eye toward the end of his own term in office, is finally listening to his military commanders on the ground, to the pleas of his Labor Party members (whose numbers are in free-fall in British polls), and to the demands of the British public, a majority of whom has opposed the war in Iraq from the beginning.

Almost all sober, clear-thinking people in the U.S., Britain, and worldwide viewed Mr. Blair’s decision as appropriate to the circumstances, and as definitive evidence the U.S. is not likely to succeed in dictating Iraq’s immediate or near-term development.

Vice President Dick Cheney, on the other hand, saw Mr. Blair’s announcement as “an affirmation of the fact that there are parts of Iraq where things are going pretty well.”

Once upon a time, the Bush administration touted the fact that its “mission” in Iraq was vindicated by the support of a coalition of 38 countries’ military assistance in the quest to rid the world of Saddam Hussein, to secure control of Iraq’s vast oil reserves, and to “plant seeds of freedom” in the Middle East that might ensure order, if not tranquility, and predictability, if not control, of a species lately awakened to the concept of globalization.

Today there are 21 nations with combat troops on the ground in Iraq. In August 2007, when Denmark gives its entire fighting force of 460 brave soldiers (the 6th largest non-U.S. force in Iraq) tickets back to the smoky bars and irreverent cartoons, the drinking and dancing and unbridled joy of their culture — for which Al Qaeda-taepadong terrorists presumably hate them just as much as they hate us — there will be 20.

12,000 coalition soldiers and 160,000 American soldiers.

What’s increasingly clear is the entire world outside the Bush White House, the U.S. Congress, the American mainstream media, and a dwindling number of American citizens sees the humanitarian catastrophe unfolding in Iraq for what it is. And the fact that few people anywhere have great confidence in Iraqis sorting things out in friendly fashion among themselves isn’t even the worst part of the deal.

The Bush-Cheney Juggernaut appears intent on provoking additional conflict with Iran, whose Shiite regime stands only to gain by a British retreat from the South. Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney seem willing to drive the “we won’t cut and run” stake as far into the heart of the Middle East as they can before leaving office .

Which is what Mr. Cheney meant by “going well,” I believe. I can see him now, in the second or third row behind Eric Idle at the end of Monty Python’s Life of Brian:

“Always look on the bright side of Life, do do do, do do do do do do, Always look on the bright side of Life…”


  1. Tam O’Tellico - March 5, 2007 @ 4:00 pm

    A little off the subject, but I am compelled to respond to the childish antics of Anne of a Thousand Daze Coulter who recently added John Edwards to the growing list of people she has decided are faggots.

    Well in my book, better fag than hag.

    Ann Coulter’s homophobic attacks would strike me as humorous in an infantile Howard Stern sort of of way were it not for the fact that she is touted as one of the intellectual lights of the Conservative movement. Intellectual may mean something else to people who vote for a President who disdains reading, but there is no doubt Anne qualifies as light – as in lightweight.

    My experience has shown that those who are most vocal denouncing homosexuality are frequently covering over a fear they cannot own. Conservative Christians should be especially careful about gay-bashing given that the Apostle Paul, author of much of the New Testament, may have had homosexual leanings. While no one can say for certain what his “thorn in the flesh” metaphor alludes to, it’s a pretty safe bet it wasn’t a physical problem that was keeping him “humble”.

    Speaking of being humbled, how about Ted Haggard? Anne and her ilk ridiculed Clinton because he didn’t inhale, but I guess Ted is okay with them as long as he didn’t swallow.

    Well, I’m not swallowing any of Anne Coulter’s bullshit. She’s not an intellectual; she’s a panderer, and it’s obvious that her balls are bigger than her brains. Hey – maybe that’s why she can’t quite seem to commit to that marriage thing.

    But whatever Ms Coulter’s sexual orientation, it is no business of mine – just as no one else’s should be her business. What is my business is that the money-grubbing “news” networks see fit to give a forum to someone who should be consigned to suffer the ignominy she so richly deserves – a career as a sideshow attraction along with the dwarfs, crackheads and porn stars on the aforementioned Howard Stern show.

    On second thought, I suspect even Howard would find Anne of a Thousand Daze offensive.

    Tom Cordle
    Tellico Plains, TN

  2. lonbud - March 5, 2007 @ 8:29 pm

    …speaking of the bright side, indeed.

    Coulter’s comments and her audience’s reaction to them — let alone the willingness of conservative forums to feature her, and the conservative book-buying public to make her a wealthy person — shed plenty of light on the depth of thinking among subjects of the Red Kingdom.

    There’s the scent of a backlash against her in certain conservative circles, and my guess is she’ll be getting less and less face time as the Republican Party comes to understand the depths of doo-doo in which the Bush administration has it mired. We could well be on the verge of a generation or more of Democratic control of the Legislative branch.

    The real question becomes do the Dems have any idea what to do with it?

  3. harshmoon - March 6, 2007 @ 2:25 pm

    Yah, maybe… but she is such a hottie.

  4. lonbud - March 6, 2007 @ 8:19 pm

    I guess, if a pronounced Adam’s apple and an emaciated, stick-figure physique is one’s idea of hotness.

    Of voices on the Left, I find Naomi Klein and Katrina Vanden Huevel both much more attractive than Coulter.

    Now, if only we could get Ann and an appropriate gal from the other side to fight it out like this, what a wonderful world it would be. Who’d have thought Ann might have such a mean left hook?

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