March 01, 2009

Left is Right, Up is Down

And Tom Ricks is interviewed by The Daily Beast? Wherein he says Obama sounds like George Bush?* Why is Tina Brown confusing my sleet-addled mind by posting real reporting on The Daily Beast? I go there for columns by former Project Runway designers and lit-crit justifications for my Real Housewives addiction (also, the Cheat Sheet: a total window into the cache of the liberal "elite").

*(Yeah, I know, he said that on his blog last week.)
But now I have to process this really detailed--and fairly depressing--analysis of Obama's newly announced Iraq policy, when all I wanted was residual Oscar coverage. Some key bits:

--"I think the speech had a lot of Bush-like optimism in it. I think he's walking in the failed footsteps of his predecessor when he says we'll get down to 30,000 troops quickly. Bush's original plan was to get to 30,000 by September 2003, so what you have is Obama saying he can do that too by August 2010."

--"I wouldn't pay too much attention to the Status of Forces Agreement."
--"Basically the surge failed. It was intended to improve security and lead to a breathing space where political breakthroughs could occur. None occurred."
--"The crucial difference between the two wars is Pakistan. There is no problem as unsolvable as Pakistan in the Iraq war." (I remain shocked that Tom did not reference his sensei Exum here....)
And this is no longer just a question for the Pentagon. Congress and the media, following the lead of the president's new (less fictive) budget, have figured out that Iraq and the economy are intricately linked: most all of Obama's budget savings come from troop withdrawals.
We're going to prove Eisenhower right before this is all over: Plans are nothing; planning is everything. And that will apply to the economy just as much as the wars. But maybe there's only so many worst-case scenarious you can mentally accomodate at one time.
PS Does anyone know why the spacing on my posts is all fubar? It's looks like I have two hard returns between paragraphs, but there's only one. (I checked the html and don't find anything suggestive either.) Thoughts?

PPS Abu Muqawama here. I tried fixing this last night and couldn't. I have no idea how you've done this.