Somehow or other, Russert occupies a place of high esteem as an analyst, especially amongst those who work for NBC. (What is that saying about how it is impossible to convince a man of something if his livelihood depends upon not believing it?) Pretty good for someone who is 100% insight-free.
Over at MSNBC, Tim is holding forth on What the Iraqi Elections Means. He hasn’t the first clue. His opinions have less insight than a steaming bowl of NY Times Conventional Wisdom.
Here’s a few of my favorites from this MSNBC Interview of Timmy R.:
There you have it, folks. we won’t go “unless and until” the Iraqis “have an armed forces that is capable of defending their country. And, "everything rests on this Sunday."
America’s entire exit strategy in Iraq is based upon a successful and legitimate election, where an Iraqi government could take hold and then create its own security and armed forces, so that Iraqis would be willing, frankly, to join the military and die for their new country. That’s the only thing that’s going to allow Americans to leave.
[E]verything rests on this Sunday – a successful election – as the first step. A year from now, perhaps, a lot of other people might share Senator Kennedy’s sentiments (that we should discuss a timetable for withdrawal with the winner, with an eye toward withdrawing substantially by the end of next year), but I do not see a lot of bipartisan support for an immediate withdrawal.
MSNBC: The longer the American troops stay; won’t it be harder to get them out?
Russert: No doubt about it. We have seen occupations that have lasted years and years and years. [Ed: We’ve also seen occupations that lasted just a few months.]The key is for the Iraqis to have an armed forces that is capable of defending their country. Unless and until that happens, Americans are there.
Except that we will leave whether or not the Iraqis can provide their own security, just as soon as our willingness to keep losing soldiers runs out, and/or we’re distracted with something else.
And we'll all forget about Sunday in 6 weeks when President Bush tells us to.
I remember when people used to say that we wouldn’t leave South Viet Nam unless and until the South Vietnamese people were capable of holding the North Vietnamese at bay all by themselves. And then we did. Leave, I mean. With the South utterly and completely exposed. Thirty years on, it's harder and harder to see what we accomplished in Southeast Asia. I remember it had something to with freedom...
Saying “never mind” is an awfully painful thing to do. Let’s hope we say it sooner rather than later, for the sake of the many dead people we are in the process of creating.
One last tidbit, this from the “questioner” (probably Timmy’s secretary):
MSNBC: Afghanistan is something of a success story. Is there a possibility the
problems of Iraq are overblown and there is enough spirit toward democracy in
Iraq that might gain some momentum as a result of Sunday’s elections and we
could see more rapid progress than anyone expected?
Success story? Sheesh.