So I haven't written about politics much lately, not because I haven't been interested, but because about 150% of my time is going into promoting our upcoming east coast tour. (Add that to the 150% being devoted to my beautiful little family, and the 100% being devoted to a full-time job, and you've got an interesting physics problem.)
Still, let me see if I can catch up. Bill Maher, whose last season of Real Time (HBO) was downright inspiring (maybe because it came on right after that other tiny morsel of relatively progressive TV programming, Bill Moyer's NOW on PBS) got off to a rather wimpy start this time around. For me, that was mostly because of Mr. M's seeming reversal on the Iraq question. You know the shtick (since he's been repeating it week after week now), but in case you don't, it goes something like this (I'm paraphrasing): "I'm willing to admit I may have been wrong about Iraq, even though I still think the administration got us in there illegally, and conducted the war ineptly. Maybe they were right about transforming that part of the world into a democracy. I mean, look at the way things are going!" The spin here is always on ack-centuating the positive--but no matter how carefully phrased, the verbiage inevitably comes off as a justification of US policy.
Now, far be it from me to say there's anything wrong with admitting when you're wrong. We should all probably do that kind of thing a lot more. But my huge caveat for Maher is this: how do we know who exactly is wrong yet? Isn't the whole point of history that you have to let it happen before you really know what it means? I for one will not be ready to give the Shrub props on this one until we've had a few decades of blissful coexistence with the Middle East. (And maybe not even then.)
I'll go even further: the burden is really on the administration to prove that the war was "successful." The critics, sadly, have historical precedent on their side. For one thing, there has never been a democracy created by the military actions of a foreign nation (much less a foreign nation with as nasty a reputation as ours). Also, as far as I can tell, it's basically impossible to "win" a war against a group of people who are committed to dying for their cause--particularly when those people have a large recruiting pool. How the hell are you going to up that ante?
Anyway. What brought me to finally make this post was this piece by Python's Terry Jones: "Let Them Eat Bombs."