Thursday, January 11, 2007

Escalation! Expansion! Empire!

What I took away from Bush’s speech last night is that he is still isolated in his ideological bubble and intends to “stay the course” but with one slight modification, pick up speed.  He’s planning an escalation of the war in Iraq as well as an expansion of the conflict to include Iran and possibly Syria.  I guess Daddy Bush has no influence left with Junior, as his attempt to inject some reason into Junior’s foreign policy (via James Baker and the Iraq Study Group) has failed completely.  I find myself asking the same question, over and over again.  What now?

Nobody thinks sending an additional 20,000 troops to Iraq will even a small difference on the ground, which means that this is a purely political move.  As Lawrence O’Donnell explained on MSNBC last night after the speech, not all 20,000 will be on the street at the same time (some will be sleeping, eating, getting ready) and you must divide the number by 4 in order to determine how many extra bodies will be on the job at any given time.  5,000 additional troops in the middle of Baghdad in the midst of a civil war will only give the insurgents more targets to aim at, which is exactly why the commanders on the ground want no part of this “surge”.

I’m in a bit of a quandary as to what I think the Democrats should do about their sticky situation.  This is Bush’s war and the Republicans in Congress have aided and abetted him in every single disastrous decision along the way.  Why should the Democrats buy into this occupation now when it is on the verge of collapsing?  I screamed at my television last night when Pat Buchanan yelled, “It’s immoral for the Democrats to continue funding this war if they are convinced that it is already lost.”  Oh really Pat?  How moral is it for you to support an escalation that you know won’t do a damn bit of good?  I get that this is Bush’s “Hail Mary” pass into the end zone, but not in an effort to win the war or do right by the Iraqi people, no, his only concern is his legacy and running out the clock so he can pass this mess onto someone else, blaming them for the loss that he has cultivated through his delusional thinking, blind faith and utter incompetence.

Part of me thinks that the Democrats should just step aside and let the whole thing blow up in the faces of the neo-cons that dreamed it up, the White House that executed it and the GOP that championed this folly all along the way.  The only problem, and it’s a big one, with standing on the sidelines as Bush’s war circles the bowl is that real lives are at stake.  How can we sit idly by while more of our young men and women are sent into a war zone that they have no chance of affecting in any positive way?  How do we stay silent as they are asked to die for the legacy of man not worthy of their ultimate sacrifice?  However tempting it may be to want to wait for the moment when we are vindicated, when we are proven right and George W. Bush is humiliated in a defeat we knew all along was the most probable outcome, it’s not the right thing to do.  

It’s important to always remember that this war was ill advised, unnecessary and immoral when it began, therefore the results can be laid squarely at the feel of this president, but we are also culpable as we are responsible for what our elected representatives do in our name which means that we must do all that we can to salvage the situation.  We have a responsibility to make sure that our young men and women in the military are not used as political pawns.  We have a responsibility to help the Iraqi people find some stability amidst the chaos that we have created all around them.  We have a responsibility as citizens of this country to do all that we can to hold our leaders accountable.  We are in uncharted waters now.  We have a president that has lost his mind, is out of control and is making decisions based not on facts or reality or advice from experts, but rather based on his personal desire to be loved, respected and above all, right.  We cannot afford to continue giving him the benefit of the doubt as his long list of failures has proven that doing so is the height of idiocy.  How many wars are we going to let him start, lose interest in and bungle before we say enough is enough?  I vote for two.  What about you?    


Anonymous rkelly said...

LGND, great writing indeed and to end with a rhetorical question put me into the place we all need to go - how do we exercise our genuine sanity in this madness. I wrote Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, and Senate Assistant Democratic Leader Richard Durbin a six page letter after watching the lunatic on TV, now trying to pretend he is sane. George is the great grandson of opium smuggling illegal drug lords who wanted to own the whole Earth in the 1800s and, the Bush Crime Family were involved in the financing as well as the military warfare of WWII. Here we are with fuzz nuts, the worst (so far) of the nut ball family, in the 21st Century. Time to get rid of the entire Bush Dynasty and all the Neo-Nazis they have as partners. Like you say LGND, should we not, we are equally culpable because we would be the "good people who do nothing," which is in essence, treason.

11:36 AM  
Anonymous lester said...

imediate pull out. no question in my mind. we've been there for 4 years. fuck Bush and the neo cons. they are our enemies. the muslims just want us out of their countries.

11:53 AM  
Anonymous david said...

That was an excellent post, LGND. I agree with you, this does place us in a quandary.

The problem is that he is Commander in Chief and is moving about his toy soldiers (probably with one of those cool pool cues) because the Republican Congress gave him the authority. It's not so easy to take that authority away.

But the non-fanatical right is running scared. Bush is a True Believer and so he acts on the assumption that God will deliver. "In Good We Trust" may be on American currency, but Wall Street prefers cash.

To explain why Bush is so obsessed with taking this bizarre course that no one but Fox and Fundamentalists want him to follow, I can recommend an essay by Ira Chernus: ?Why Bush Fights: It's the Morality, Stupid!

The Neo-Cons are hoping to take out Iran before the sun sets on their grand experiment. So it is important that Congress state that no military action is to be taken against Iran without Congressional authority. Pre-emptive wars are illegal under international law and there is no point in letting Bush be a repeat offender.

P.S.: Dear me! A six page letter from rkelly explaining how the world works. I'm sure that made Pelosi's day.

12:27 PM  
Blogger Man of American Dissent said...

I'm with you Lester. The only thing to do is get out immediately. Problem is that I know we will do no such thing, and I will probably have grandchildren before we see any meaningful reduction in the violence that we are perpetuating

3:14 PM  
Anonymous Frankie Mulqueen said...

Like the blog just said i would say that!

3:49 PM  
Anonymous david said...

It looks like it will get worse faster than you thought.

Negroponte is bolding stating alQaeda & the Taleban are now firmly based in Pakistan.

Bush apparently ordered the raid on that Iranian consulate in northern Iran. Is this intended to provoke an Iranian response?

The US air force continues to bomb Somalia, killing --in addition to a couple of terrorists-- innocent nomads and villagers.

And let's be honest: What kind of democratically elected government rules at the discretion of the USA? Maliki, according to Bush & Rice, is "on thin ice". Rice spoke of "beating his brains out", but I'm sure she was speaking metaphorically. (At least, I'm sure Maliki hopes so. But this is Iraq and the "all options are on the table" USA.)

6:46 AM  
Anonymous drm said...

david said, "The problem is that he is Commander in Chief and is moving about his toy soldiers (probably with one of those cool pool cues) because the Republican Congress gave him the authority. It's not so easy to take that authority away."

David, you may want to go back and review the votes on the authority of force resolution and just see how many Dems voted for it. It was truely a "bipartisan" vote.

All I see here is a bunch of whining and name calling. The Dems are in charge of Congress and next month when a supplemental defense spending bill comes before it they have to votes to vote "No". Time to put up or shut up, no more excusses. Anything besides a "No" to more funds is "stay the course".

p.s., Al Qaeda in Somalia and Pakistan? I thought all the terrorists were in Afghanistan for Afghanistan is the only "good war"

p.s.s, on something completely unrelated, nice to exempt America Samoa from the minimum wage bill (the only exemption in the bill). Seems like a major tuna producer with operations there is headquartered in San Francisco. Does anyone know who represents SAN Francisco?

9:27 AM  
Anonymous david said...

And how about that new secretary of defence, eh? He dodged a question from a Congressional committee by excusing himself saying, "I'm not an expert in military matters."

Say what? So America has gone from 6 years of a secretary of defence who claimed to know more about military matters than the generals to a know-nothing secretary.

As for American Samoa, I think the problem is with the status of the island. Jack Abramoff struck a deal to exempt the Northern Marianas from minimum wage laws, but the islands had been in political union with America since it was declared a commonwealth in 1990. American Samoa, however, is still listed by the UN as a "non-self-governing territory", but it has an independent elected government.

So the question of minimum wage in American Samoa vs. Northern Mariana Islands is more complex. The GOP congressmen were more upset that their 'exemption' had been canned. The industries in Northern Mariana that the GOP were trying to exempt were garment sweatshops and sex tourism.

I suspect the status of American Samoa will have to be resolved first. I'm not sure I'd say this was entirely hypocritical of Ms Pelosi. Starkist is one of two canneries on the island and employs 75% of the island's workforce.

10:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The 'surge' aka 'The 10% solution'. Currently, approximately 200,000 soldiers fight for 'democracy' in Iraq [roughly US troops + foriegn troops + paid mercenaries (i.e. Blackwater)]. So, the President's solution is to add 10% more (20,000 troops). Even assuming these extra troops perform 100% efficient, things will merely get 10% better in Iraq. Will 10% be worth the continuing carnage of American soldiers? Don't look to the Democrats for help. They will sit idly by as they did when the gov't suspended habeas corpus, opened mail, banned the novel "America Deceived" from Amazon, stole private lands, conducted illegal wire-taps and continues wars in the Middle East based on a false-flag event known as 9/11. If the Democrats cannot stop the current 10% increase in this war, then they will never stop 100% of this war.
Only remaining link (until the gov't pulls the novel off Google Books):
America Deceived (book)

12:54 PM  
Anonymous drm said...

LGND says, "As Lawrence O’Donnell explained on MSNBC last night after the speech, not all 20,000 will be on the street at the same time " You have got to be kidding. Since when is Lawrence O'Donnell an expert on military tactics? Why not check in with Rosie or Oprah on their military opinions on the surge. I think I will put my confidence with General Patreas (sp?) rather than "General" Lawrence O'Donnell

10:00 PM  
Anonymous david said...

drm, you really are a deadhead. It doesn't take "an expert in military affairs" --and Gates admits he's not one-- to know the 20,000 can't all be on the streets at the same time. Duh.

I mean, the US Army may be strong, but they're not cyborgs. Yet. They need to sleep, eat, and relax. And a percentage of the troops will always be in a non-combat role.

This war was micro-mananged by Chickenhawks from the beginning. And they overruled every planner with actual military expertise. And the fruits of their labors have proved to be barren indeed.

7:44 AM  
Anonymous drm said...

Personally, I really could give a rats ass what L O'Donnell has to say with regards to military matters. I would rather listen to General Patreas's testimony in the Senate today. I think a General up for star number 4 probably contributes to the debate for the increase in troops a bit better than O'Donnell's opinion.

so if the Dems truely support the troops and the Soon to be commander in Iraq wants more troops because it will help achieve victory then how can the Dems refuse the troops?

9:32 PM  

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