Bush & McCain both out of it

Obviously, neither President Bush nor Senator McCain reside in what a Bush aide snidely referred to as the "reality-based community." Bush commented on the possiblity of opening up discsussions on Iraq with Syria and Iran:

"Countries that participate in talks must not fund terrorism, must help the young democracy survive, must help with the economics of the country," Bush said. "If people are not committed, if Syria and Iran is not committed to that concept, then they shouldn't bother to show up."

The demand of "help the young democracy survive" sounds to me like a real deal-killer. Syria & Iran may not consider it in their interests to maintan the government of Iraq precisely as it is. They might prefer that a genuinely popular leader like Muqtada al-Sadr take charge. Obviously, that course of action would not fit Bush's definition of "help the young democracy survive" as he doesn't like Hugo Chavez of Venezuela either, despite that fact that Chavez has been absolutely and unequivocally, properly and legitimately elected.

Syria & Iran might also have problems with "help with the economics of the country" as they might prefer that American oil companies give France & Russia back the oil fields that those two nations were rudely ejected from back in March 2003. As that would cost American oil companies future oil sales as well as make it impossible for the US to hoard all of Iraq's oil for itself, Bush would obviously define that as hurtful to Iraq's economy.

Also, Bush's whole odd notion of diplomacy presumes that opponents/enemies/people who are not friends have more to gain from talking to the US than the US gains from talking to them. That's not necessarily true and it appears especially untrue with regards to the Iraq situation. Sure, it would be nice for Syria & Iran to live next to neighbors that aren't at war and the Iraq War might spill over its borders to destablize those two countries, among others. But Syria & Iran aren't losing people at the rate of a little over two soldiers a day and many, many more wounded. American desire to continue with the war is also quite low, the number of Americans who want US troops to leave Iraq is now at 71%. Bush is hardly in a position where he can make demands as to the conditions that Syria & Iran must meet before he'll talk with them.

McCain? Well, he's now demanding that Republicans reject:

"...the major recommendations of the [ISG] group because they did not present a formula for victory."

Of course, it's not at all clear what a "formulas for victory" would look like. Obviously, McCain's major recommendation of adding more troops to the mix gives us a clue that his formula includes more violence, more killing and more bloodshed, but has the rather serious problem of not being at all realistic. Affluent people feel: "Military service isn't for our son. It isn't for our kind of people." With the war being as unpopular as it is, recruiting is down and the Republicans have shown absolutely zero desire to institute a draft. It's not at all clear where the soldiers would come from that McCain wants to throw into the battle.

Neither Bush nor McCain counts as a member of the reality-based community.

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