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“Just a Comma”

By Matthew Yglesias

"“Just a Comma”"

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It’s not as funny as Foley-gate, but the ongoing war in Iraq is, obviously, more significant. The president is running around the country slandering Democrats and lying about their stand on his administration’s illegal surveillance initiative, while telling people the violence in Iraq will be “just a comma” in the history books. Not, obviously, to the 2,700 and growing dead American soldiers. Not to their wives, husbands, and children. Nor to the thousands more maimed or wounded or their families. Nor to the tens of thousands of dead Iraqis and their families and friends. Or, indeed, to those inspired by the war to join radical terrorist groups, or to those who will be the victims of their future crimes.

According to Woodward’s book, Bush says he’ll continue the war in Iraq even if the only ones left supporting him are Laura and their dog. And, presumably, he means it. Loose talk of winning or losing the war is, at this point, irrelevant. The president has defined our war aims in Iraq purely in terms of continuing the war indefinitely. For him, keeping all of these troops over there and handing the whole shitpile off to his successor is success. Nobody else should find that very comforting.

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