A nice cold cup of cynicism

It is indeed, as Matt points out, extremely good news that the Bush administration has hammered out an agreement to withdraw combat forces from Iraq. Another underreported yet unambiguously fantastic component of this agreement is that the White House has finally admitted that Blackwater and its ilk aren’t immune from the law of the country their employees are currently stationed in.

These are the most important parts of the story. The domestic political ramifications, and which party this is “good for,” are ridiculously minuscule issues compared to matters like the bloody occupation of a sovereign nation.

That being said, since everyone’s talking about who this is good for anyway, I think Matt’s take is a little off base:

However, the medium to long term effect will be the vindication of Obama’s plan and taking the issue of Iraq off the table as an election issue for the GOP.

Wouldn’t that be wonderful? But something (re: the past eight years) makes me suspect that the White House wouldn’t dare think of hammering out a withdrawal agreement unless there was something in it for the Republican Party. And in this case, that special something is taking Iraq off the table as quietly as possible (which, as it turns out, isn’t very quietly). Contra Matt, the Republicans have absolutely no reason to want the war on the table – they’re the ones that fucked it up so bad, they’re the ones who are tied to vague promises of a 10,000 year occupation, and the chief executive of Iraq endorsed their opponent’s withdrawal plan.

So what’s the solution? Hold firm to their convictions and pray that American voters realize we have to fight them over there so we don’t have to fight them over here? Of course not! The solution is to start pulling out troops while at the same time stamping their feet and making distracting noises about how Russia is the new Evil to End All Evils.

No one can look into the hearts of the president and his cabinet, of course, and so it’s pointless to speculate on whether this deal was signed more out of conscience or self-interest. My only point is that we should anticipate that the party already has a pretty solid idea of how to spin this to their advantage, and Obama should be prepared to smack it down.

And really, none of that is particularly important right now. What is important is that there’s finally a light at the end of the tunnel. Thank god.


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