Impeachment May Be Unnecessary
I was wanly remembering Steve Gilliard this morning, wishing I could get logistical retreat analysis of Baghdad and knowing my ignorance would just be a little greater today with him gone. Gilliard was a very good military analyst (described correctly by Sarah Robinson as the core competency of the site), but besides the posts about cooking and relationships I also sorely miss those Gilliard predictions.
It was hilarious, every once in a great while Steve would get this itch to proclaim the future, to boldly go where no man has intellectually gone before, simply oblivious to comically failed proclamations of the past. It was charming, but the funny part was always the immediate cascade of boos, catcalls, and fierce fun snark that would flow in the comments, his little blog community ferociously defending reality and science, yet happily accepting this tiny shortcoming from Steve, eventually in the thread he’d say yeah, I was wrong that time, but…
Yet I always took one prediction from Gilliard very seriously: impeachment of Bush wouldn’t be necessary, for sometime late in the term Bush will resign as the retreat from Baghdad erupts into a horrifying conflagration of failure. One can scoff all one wants, it’s certainly merited, but for some reason that prediction always had a sharp poignancy for me and I’m watching very closely next 17 months to see what really happens.
Great change is moving underneath the American political environment, all the evidence incrementally small and anecdotal so far, but for whatever reason summer 2007 might finally be a time where political acceptance of the Iraq war simply vanishes to any relevant degree, with even up to half of the 25% hardcore Republican base abandoning Bush. The Republicans are going to get totally wiped out in 2008 if they don’t try Bush disengagement, and with no successor the GOP nomination internecine battles could get extremely ugly, it could easily happen.
If that comes to pass timetables for withdrawal always seem to congeal to a time frame of next spring, nine months from now. That leaves Bush eight months left in his term with everything in utter ruins, irrevocably the worst of all time in a cycle of deathly retreat, hated, loathed and despised in a reek of smashed deceit. Gilliard’s prediction was that Bush would mentally crack up at that point and resign, Cheney along with him in criminal disgrace, with a caretaker President sitting out the rest of the term.
One of the reasons I wait for Al Gore is that our scared cadre of Democratic candidates won’t flatly say they’ll end the Iraq war when elected, and are currently grasping this “residual force” idea with a pathetic military ignorance and moral tepidness that makes me want to vomit.
Residual force will mean leaving our people behind under greatly magnified threat risks precisely present now! If 165,000 troops are not nearly enough to secure the country and are killed in an environment where they’re hated and not wanted, how could leaving 25,000 behind improve matters? Not to mention the monstrous moral and strategic problems of continuing US presence from an utterly failed war.
The vacuous, contemptible stupidity of “residual force” is only magnified by the amazingly rosy confidence Americans possess that retreat from Iraq will be an orderly, calm normal process, like checking out groceries. It could be horrifyingly bad, thousands of deaths in flaming ruins of abandoned equipment.
I miss Steve Gilliard so because he knew Baghdad has radically changed since the invasion, many critical bridges have been blown up, and the few roads south for our armored divisions are now alarmingly even more crimped. Steve knew the Iraqis didn’t blow up their bridges on the Euphrates when the Americans invaded, but they could easily do it when the hated heathens try to leave.
Steve also knew that for now Iraqi insurgents enjoy hitting the parliament building with serious mortar fire, but in the pell-mell of retreat the airport perimeter could be breached and chaos rain down with the simplest of easily available weapons. If George Bush is hated now, imagine what images of burning C-5 transports in a lost war will create in the American public.
I don’t see Bush resigning in utter disgrace next summer as farfetched in that scenario, I really don’t. Not only is Bush an unstable lying killer, he’s also a plain character lightweight, coddled and shielded from failure all his life. Defeat in Iraq could easily be too much for him to handle mentally, and Steve would always grimly predict Bush would be forcibly removed from the oval office, babbling even more incoherently than he does now under a cloud of medications.
If the country finally demands retreat from Iraq in Bush’s term it could happen. Readers that scoff should remind themselves that what we know as rock sold certain (25% support for Bush) simply could change drastically in the next 90 days, much stranger things have happened in this world, and if it does occur all bets are off and Steve Gilliard just may have been right all along.