Friday, January 05, 2007

You’ve Been A Bad Boy, No Allowance For You!

Yesterday was an historic day with Nancy Pelosi sworn in as the first woman Speaker of the House.  Speaker Pelosi has made me proud to be a woman, now I hope she can make me proud to be a Democrat again.

I was thinking yesterday about how the Vietnam War changed this country’s view of what constitutes a winnable war, both militarily and politically.  The way in which the Vietnam War was handled by our elected officials and the fallout from the multiple disastrous decisions made (and not made) along the way must have had at least some personal impact on Democrats now serving in Congress, and I wonder how that will influence their tactics when dealing with the Iraq occupation.  History has proved that we should have stayed away from Vietnam and that once there, we stayed too long in an effort to avoid the inevitable.  We now find ourselves in nearly exactly the same situation, but this time, we aren’t in uncharted waters.

We have the benefit of hindsight this time around and despite the constant flow of White House rhetoric designed to ignite the “American spirit” of never give up that our obstinate president mistakenly takes to mean a free pass for whatever imperial exploit he cooks up in his little head, the American people have had enough.  We The People aren’t eager to repeat one of the biggest mistakes in our history as a country, and I’m starting to get the sense that Congressional Democrats are recognizing that they don’t either.

Cutting off funding for the war is the only power the Congress officially has that could stop this nightmare and Speaker Pelosi has said, like impeachment, that option is off the table.  But she is no shrinking violet, nor is she unaware of how the failure of Congress to stop the Vietnam War could provide the perfect cover for pulling the only lever they have to end the Iraq occupation.  Regardless of how Republicans may feel about John Kerry, his heartbreaking question to Congress almost 25 years ago strikes a chord in all of us, and sadly it is even more pertinent today, “How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?”  When contemplating that question, Party affiliation doesn’t make a damn bit of difference.  That’s where the American people are and Congress better get there quickly, but that will require some pretty gutsy moves by the Democrats.  I know, it’s been a while, but ramp up slowly and it won’t be as painful as you might imagine.


Anonymous david said...

Kerry's question is almost 35 years old, but just as pertinent today. And the horrors he reported to the Senate in 1971 are being repeated in Iraq and in Afghanistan where American troops are unable to distinguish between friend and foe. And where the troops no longer have a clear idea of what their mission is or why they are there.

What is so perverse is that this War was brought to us by people who claim to believe in Free Markets and Capitalism. And yet this War, the Vietnam War, and the Spanish-American War were all about forcing markets to open and imposing trade. It has nothing to do with democracy, freedom, self-determination, or economic independence. It's old fashioned mobsterism, a shakedown, extortionism, and the "protection" racket.

With the collapse of Communism, there is no real need for American troops to be posted in dozens of countries round the world. Goods & Services will be sold according to supply & demand; there's no need to force trade deals at the end of the barrel of a gun.

I say, Bring home the troops from all those foreign lands. Home from Japan, South Korea, Guam, the Philipines, Columbia, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Kuwait, Afghanistan, etc etc. Why is America the world's cop when it won't even endorse international law?

With two years left in his presidency, Bush will try to leave his mark on the world. But this is a man with no knowledge of how the world works or the history of empires and nations. He revealed his ignorance of global dynamics during the invasion of Lebanon last year. He is clueless.

I agree: Cut off his allowance. And ground him too.

11:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well said. I couldn't agree more.

7:55 PM  
Anonymous drm said...

The Dems position is get the troops home now. Since the Iraqi War is issue numero uno why are the Dems spending time on such other trivial issues. The Dems are now in control of the purse strings. Each day they allow the money spigot to continue means another day they approve the troops being in Iraq.

With control of the money the Dems have the power to dictate the Iraqi War policy. Continuing funding means "stay the cource". Talk is cheap Mrs. Pelosi, you either want the troops in Iraq or you don't. You are in control of the money so you either have the cahones to pull the funding or you don't. WORDS MEAN NOTHING.

2:14 PM  
Anonymous david said...

Well, drm, I wouldn't want to work for you if you think you can take back money you've already paid your staff.

What the Dems want is an orderly withdrawal. As Bush has yet to ask for the cash for his so-called 'surge', they can't exactly do anything. Yet.

I'd recommend a crash course in Federal Budgets. The Dems don't have a Time Machine to fix all the mistakes of the Bush Administration. But they will be able to scrutinize the next Pentagon Budget and decline any increase in spending.

Meanwhile,I'd recommend Monty Python's Terry Jones' essay, US: They Have Made a Killing. It's a world turned upside down when the best commentary comes from crazy comedians.

3:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here! Here! And hello there my friend. I have been through the ringer and back and finally put your site on my Echoing Voices sidebar. (Took me long enough, eh?) Keep up the good fight!


6:27 AM  
Anonymous rkelly said...

Actually the international professor of law, says at that the war because it is illegal, can't go any further unless Congress approves it. I sent an email to Biden with the quote and law from Frank Boyd, who was also schooled all the way through Harvard and more, with the neo-cons.

These people lie to us over and over again because they made certain that we're stupid about international law and of course, our very own Constitution and how it really works.

1:14 PM  
Anonymous drm said...

we shall see David. Bush will be coming to Congress for a supplemental and if the Dems vote on anything besides only providing enough funding for an orderly withdrawl then it is "stay the course". The Dems are in power so there are no more excuses. The only money appropriated should be the amount needed to do an orderly retreat, oops, I meant withdrawl.

p.s., since the Dems seem only to support fighting in Afghanistan I would also expect no funding for the military that just sent many top Al Qaeda thugs to the 72 virgins in the sky in Somalia... One of the ring leaders of the 1998 African embassy bombings was introduced to the wrong end of a special forces AC-130 gunship in Somalia... how wierd, I thought all the terrorists were in Afghanistan... hmmmm

9:09 PM  
Anonymous drm said...

just as I expected, from ABC News

"There may be a growing battle between Congress and the president over the Iraq War strategy, but new House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said she won't block funding for additional troops.

Pelosi's position, revealed in an exclusive interview with ABC News' Diane Sawyer, came a day after a group of senators announced a bipartisan resolution condemning the Bush administration's plan to increase U.S. forces in Iraq by more than 20,000 troops. "

What a spineless Speaker Nancy Pelosi is. Talk is cheap Mrs Speaker. A resolution that is not worth the paper it is printed on is all the Dems can come up with. What a joke. Pelosi has done one better than "stay the course" she will not block funding for increased troops. I guess this is "stay the course + 20,000 troops". So much for the election meaning anything. I thought the Iraq War was the Dems #1 issue and yet they are doing nothing about it. Not blocking funding is caving to Bush.

What a bunch of f'in Cowards you Dems are. You have the power to put a stop to this unjust, wrong, immoral war and yet Pelosi does nothing except maybe support a resolution against Bush.

I have an idea, why don't the Dems pass a resolution condemming OBL and all the terrorists then we will be a "safe" nation with nothing to worry about.

9:46 PM  

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