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Wednesday, November 8, 2006

Shades of Vietnam!

Ever since the United States invaded Iraq, I've been waiting. I've been waiting for the protests to begin. The American public would never endanger its kids for long. There will be a couple of big demonstrations and then they'll pack up saying it's the time for Iraq to do its own policing. It's just a matter of time, and not much time.

I was in the states this summer when Joe Lieberman lost the Democratic primary because of his support for the war in Iraq. It was considered national news, since he's one of the most respected American politicians. Important to remember that it did him no harm that he is Shabbat observant. He proves that being an observant Jew does not hold one back in America. It gains him extra respect and authority. He ran for the Senate seat he has held for 18 years (three terms) as an "independent." He won because he had the support of those who normally vote Republican.

But the Democrats, which have started opposing the war, took the House of Representatives.


Most critically, perhaps, Republicans lost the political center on the Iraq war, according to national exit polls. Voters who identified themselves as independents broke strongly for the Democrats, the exit polls showed, as did those who described themselves as moderates.
Lame Duck Bush has lost his support. Opposition to the American presence in Iraq has reached the tipping point.

I'm not going to get into the pros and cons of the issue. I'm just stating that the American public's opposition will start snowballing, and it will take less time than it took for the anti-Vietnam War crowd to push the Americans out of there.

What's interesting is that one of the reasons The New York Times gives is poor planning.

It's possible that no one could have turned the invasion into a success, given the fissures in Iraqi society that the fall of Saddam Hussein have exposed. But we will never know, since the shortage of American troops and the lack of postwar planning made disaster inevitable. Mr. Rumsfeld deserves to go simply because he has failed at his job. Denying that reality is presumably why the president is so bent on keeping him.
It reminds me of the situation in Israel. No great surprise, since for whatever reasons, the Israeli military and politicians think that America knows it all. That's one of the reasons that I don't consider Moshe Yaalon a savior; he has spent his retirement time getting very friendly with the Americann military.

It will be interesting to see what happens in the American Presidential campaign, which went up another few notches today. The hopefuls are analyzing the recent results to know how to focus their campaigns. They run to win, not for strong ideology. The two-party system only recognizes winners and losers. There are no coalitions, which we have in Israel.

If opposition to the American occupation of Iraq gets too strong, then Bush, as head Republican, will make sure the troops are out before the next presidential elections. He'll have to do it for the party.

It's nice watching this from afar.

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