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"America has two great dominant strands of political thought - conservatism, which, at its very best, draws lines that should not be crossed; and progressivism, which, at its very best, breaks down barriers that should never have been erected." -- Bill Clinton, Dedication of the Clinton Presidential Library, November 2004

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Saturday, April 10, 2004


The Possibility of The Unthinkable

posted by Dana at Saturday, April 10, 2004 permalink View blog reactions
Someone needs the backbone to think the unthinkable.

We may actually lose Iraq.

The assault on Fallujah seems to have been a turning point in Iraqi public opinion. Former General (and drug czar) Barry McCaffrey was on CNN last week saying we don't have Baghdad, that we don't control our supply lines, and we "have to win" Fallujah.

The horror of what is happening came to me, finally, in "A View From A Broad," a diary written by "Ginmar" launched in 2002. When it started, she was much like you or I, as in this entry from December 2, 2002:

You know, I never thought I'd be happy it's Monday, but I'm home and I just got some sleep curled up on featherbeds under fat quilts and cats.

But she was career military. She was called up. And this week she was in a very long drawn-out ambush somewhere near Baghdad. (She didn't say where -- she's a patriot.) She didn't explain how she got out, but the horror went on-and-on.

And this is the scary part. A day after I read that post, she locked it up. You can't read it. And she wrote this:

I had to lock that post. It's just getting too freaky now, and frankly, I have enough on my mind, you know? But I'll be friending everybody, and so on...And that's it for today.

The stonewall of denial doesn't stop at Condi Rice. It's in our media and (worse) it's in our souls. No one in America is willing to face the unthinkable, that we may have transformed ourselves, in one year, from the liberators of Iraq into its oppressors.

But those blinders don't exist elsewhere. They don't exist in the Middle East, or in Europe, or in Asia. Right now a delegation from the Iraq Governing Council is apparently in Fallujah, trying to get peace talks started.

We will not enter them from a position of strength. McCaffrey said "we have to win." We haven't won.

So who has the backbone to think the unthinkable?


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Nation-Building was founded by Aziz Poonawalla in August 2002 under the name Dean Nation. Dean Nation was the very first weblog devoted to a presidential candidate, Howard Dean, and became the vanguard of the Dean netroot phenomenon, raising over $40,000 for the Dean campaign, pioneering the use of Meetup, and enjoying the attention of the campaign itself, with Joe Trippi a regular reader (and sometime commentor). Howard Dean himself even left a comment once. Dean Nation was a group weblog effort and counts among its alumni many of the progressive blogsphere's leading talent including Jerome Armstrong, Matthew Yglesias, and Ezra Klein. After the election in 2004, the blog refocused onto the theme of "purple politics", formally changing its name to Nation-Building in June 2006. The primary focus of the blog is on articulating purple-state policy at home and pragmatic liberal interventionism abroad.