Sick of It: Can We Talk About Something Other Than Iraq?
America needs a new option on the nearly ceaseless public opinion polls about Iraq: sick of it. "The surge" of energy and outrage from the 2006 Congressional Campaign has long since crested and receded, leaving behind an emotional wasteland of depressing news, depressing images, and depressing prospects for the future.
And that's why President Bush's speech was such a failure.
Americans are sick of the Iraq war. They're sick of hearing about it, sick of thinking about it, sick of being told we'll loose it, sick of being told we'll win it. Their interests have moved on. For some, that means a return to watching Hollywood's red carpet and hoping to catch a glimpse of whatever celebrity couple is headlining in People this week. For others it means worrying about religion, intelligent design, and the rise of an American Theocracy. For a few foreign policy junkies it means looking with worry and trepidation towards Iran; though no one really wants to listen to those people. Iran sounds too much like Iraq.
Really, it's that disgust, that fatigue, that apathy that will give President Bush carte blanch to do whatever he wants in Iraq. Even the recent announcements by the White House that it will functionally hold 20,000 troops hostage to secure Congressional funding for the surge aren't likely to draw any serious criticism. The public and the media have moved on.
You can hardly blame them.