Monday, November 13, 2006

Waiting for the Commission Report

You haven’t lived until you’ve found yourself stuck in a war zone and getting shot at while the people in Washington diddle-dork and dawdle with formalities and wait for commission reports. Weeks and months go by. Real men, women and children die.

The people in power, being out of the line of fire, don’t care. They’ve got a process, and we all know that a process can take time.

They’re saying that the report by the Baker-Hamilton Commission may not be done until the end of the year. George W. Bush says he is looking forward to reading it.

Assuming two casualties a day for 45 days, that’s 90 more dead soldiers – men and women who are alive and walking around and who hope to come home to their families – who’ll die while the Baker-Hamilton Commission does whatever the hell it is that they’re going to do.

And, assuming 30 dead Iraqis a day for 45 days, that’s 1,350 more dead civilians.

Thanksgiving will come and go. Greedy retailers will bombard you with Christmas shopping commercials. Everybody will work themselves up to a frenzy of peace on earth and good will towards men. But the killing won’t stop. It won’t even slow down.

There should be some sense of urgency to all this. There isn’t. There never is. Urgency is a sign of weakness, I guess; a tool to be used against you in negotiations.

But there should be. Somewhere in Iraq tonight roughly 1,440 dead men, women and children are walking around, hoping for the best, unaware they are about to become statistics – blips and ticks on some cosmic meter – while people in Washington diddle-dork and dawdle.

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