Sunday, April 29, 2007

The Ref

Yesterday I was pressed into duty as the replacement referee for my daughter's soccer game. This was, to my recollection, the first time I've ever officiated at any sporting event. I got to use a whistle, which really seemed pretty effective at getting the girls to stop and pay attention, and all in all, it turned out to be a lot of fun.

On Monday nights I play soccer in a league. That's fun, too.

This may seem like an obvious point, but playing soccer and refereeing soccer are not the same thing. For one thing, the players are trying to win. The referee, on the other hand, can't win -- either literally, or in the sense that nothing you do makes either side completely happy. All the referee can do is keep the game moving and try to make it fair for both sides.

And so it is in Iraq. We have 150,000 referees carrying automatic weapons instead of whistles.

I don't want to push the soccer analogy too far. I am not trying to trivialize the war. But more and more people are recognizing that "victory" for the U.S. in Iraq is an irrelevant concept. We're just refereeing an increasingly chaotic civil war.

Dubya, of course, was neither a player or a referee, but a cheerleader -- a role he pretty much continues to play. But he's cheering for the referee. The referee can't win.

(As usual, Michelle Malkin doesn't get it either.)

Stop The War.

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