Here's the deal, and everyone misses it: We all want this Iraqi thing to work. We all believe that putting a democratically elected government in the Middle East is a good idea. We all believe in the long range goal. Ipso post facto, when Dubya and Tony speak about this stuff properly, they'll get some numbers they so desparately need.
That isn't the problem we're having. We're having it in several other realms, however.
First, the question to us baby-boomers becomes, simply, "OK, but how long is this going to take?" Whether consciously or not, it crosses our minds.
See, if it takes, say, 1000 years to bring democracy to the Mideast, most of us are willing to at least think, "I can wait," or, "Hmmm…1000 years? How about we wait and see how things work out without killing people?" Without imposing our (actually) correct view of personal freedom?
Everyone has their own idea, based on an equation that equals infinity, of how long and how much sacrifice they're willing to endure to achieve these goals. So, what is the average, and the mean, of how much time, our most precious asset, the American electorate is willing to spend or invest doing this?
I would argue this is a more important consideration than money, believe it or not, though that is now factoring in, too. Lots of deficit hawks out there, including myself. Remember Ross Perot.
(Caveat, because this is off point, as most of my posts are: I fully and firmly believe that our own government is working hard to diminish our own freedoms.)
Point 2, and this some of Media Man recognizes, is that we were just plain misled into this war. The rationale has changed many times, and even Average Joe can feel it. That makes it tougher for us to believe in the next one. Lets call it, "Iran."
(Caveat #2: Great Presser, until they had to start answering questions. It always seems to go bad at that point. I wonder if that has anything to do with the facts?)
Point #3 is that the Media needs and secretly wants a(nother) war. It's good TV. They also want to bring H.R. Clinton's sexual relationship with her husband into the fray, with the same rationale: Profit. Duh.
If you don't get some people out to vote this November who might normally vote GOP (the Dems would be just as bad with all this power; in fact, some would say this exactly is why they lost it); if you don't get some kids out to vote this November, if you don't do SOMETHING, even if it is a little uncomfortable, you are dishonoring the people who have died for you to have a sensible government.
(Update, 5-25: Happy Memorial Day.)