How embarrassing! Our President, seeking to establish a puppet regime in Iraq, seem to have backed the wrong horse. Somebody should have told him it's not the 1950s anymore.
Twice in two days, top-level Iraqi officials have indicated that any pact with the U.S. must include a (gasp) "timetable" for withdrawal. A timetable? Withdrawal?!! Heaven forfend! Why, just a few days ago, John McCain was suggesting that Iraq might turn out something like South Korea, with a permanent U.S. troop presence -- just looming around, you know -- with nobody actually shooting at them.
"Not good enough," say our Iraqi allies in the Persian Gulf region. "Look, if you keep troops in Iraq, how in hell are we supposed to establish a workable relationship with our Shi'ite brothers in Iran? And it's embarrassing [yes, everybody's embarrassed] that we needed you to help us dump Saddam but, shit, we have to live here! So goodbye, and we'll handle it now. You're doing us more harm than good."
Meanwhile, at the G8 summit, leaders of some countries that used to be the world's leading industrial nations are busily recording sound bites. Goodbye, global warming! Don't despair, developing world, the lunch bucket will be arriving any day now!
Uh huh. But meanwhile:
"Overall, the summit's main goal will be demonstrating confidence that they can 'work through the oil crisis without causing the global economy to melt down,' said Tom Cooley, dean of New York University's Stern School of Business."* That's a mighty important goal, but we're unlikely to accomplish it without involving China, India, Brazil, and, perhaps, Indonesia. Eight is Enough works as a late-night nostalgia sitcom, but it doesn't make much sense in contemporary real life.