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This is What Democracy Looks Like
Today's Note From a Madman
Monday, January 29, 2007
Still in Iraq
"this is the last chance for the Iraqis to step up."
-Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell (REPUBLICAN-KY)
McConnell believes that the Senate, and more to the point, Senate Republicans won't pass the non-binding resolution condemning the Bush troop "surge" in Iraq. His belief is that his party members in the Senate are willing to give the Iraqi government one more chance. How many chances do they get, anyway?
Benchmarks are what McConnell thinks the GOP should be hanging their hats on. Setting targets and having the Iraqis meet them, almost a full four years after the war started, is what he believes is necessary. But what he fails to see is what the President fails to see. As we wait for these benchmarks to be met (or not), hundreds of American soldiers, and thousands more Iraqis will die.
"I will make you a bet, you will not find 20 percent of the Senate standing up and saying the president is headed in the right direction,"
-Senator Joseph Biden (DEMOCRAT-DE)
Right now, other than McConnell, Senators Joseph Lieberman (INDEPENDENT-CT), John McCain (REPUBLICAN-AZ) and a handful of others, I believe you'd be hard-pressed to find a dozen GOP stalwarts (and I do mean STALL) who want to keep our troops in Iraq for some, as of yet, undecided benchmarks.
And speaking of benchmarks, what were the formation of the government, and national elections with, what the Bushies called, a seventy percent turnout, if they were not "benchmarks"?
"extricate" US troops before he leaves office,
"the height of irresponsibility" if Bush leaves office with the US still entrenched in Iraq,
-Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (DEMOCRAT-NY)
Senator Clinton, the front-runner for the Democratic nomination in 2008 is right. But isn't an endless war the strategy of the Bush administration anyway? It wouldn't come as a surprise to me if Bush escalates the war in Iraq so as to make it more difficult for a new president to end it quickly after taking office in 2009.
"This was (President Bush's) decision to go to war with an ill-conceived plan and an incompetently executed strategy,"
And it will be his decision to keep the troops there as long as he can, even if it means making the situation on the ground all that much worse.
Of course, as the debate goes on in the Senate about Iraq, people like the Secretary of Defense Robert Gates believes that controlling the purse-strings in Bush's eternal war means that the Senate doesn't support the troops:
"it was "pretty clear that a resolution that in effect says that the general going out to take command of the arena shouldn't have the resources he thinks he needs to be successful certainly emboldens the enemy and our adversaries."
Biden put it a little more clearly:
"It's not the American people or the U.S. Congress who are emboldening the enemy, it's the failed policy of this president — going to war without a strategy, going to war prematurely, going to war without enough troops."
And if all of this weren't bad enough, Vice President Dick Cheney is still spewing the same old crap that we all have heard before. Do you all remember statements like "last throes," "We'll be greeted as liberators," and "They'll throw flowers at our feet?" The new, toned-down Cheneyism is this:
-Cheney, as in We are making "significant progress" in Iraq
"It's not something that's going to end decisively, and there's not going to be a day when we can, say, 'There, now we have a treaty, problem solved.' It's a problem that I think will occupy our successors maybe for two or three or four administrations to come."
If those such as Cheney, a leader of the Bush "base" of "haves and have mores", and his war profiteering friends have their way, his statement will be true and Iraq will become an American possession which will cost the lives of those who haven't even been born yet.
Speaking With The Enemy?
Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai, A.K.A. "The Mayor of Kabul", says he wants to begin talks with the ousted-but-returned Taliban government which used to run all of the nation which he now runs. It's called talking with your enemy and its purpose is to make Afghanistan a more peaceful place.
"While we are fighting for our honor and dignity against an enemy who wants our destruction and wants us to bleed, once again we want to open a way for negotiations,"
Sort of like a back-handed compliment, if you ask me.
The reason, one would suspect, for Karzai's urge to talk to the brutal Taliban regime is two-fold:
1- They are back and in control of a large portion of Southern Afghanistan
2- Karzai likes being president
But we, as Americans, must remember that it was the Taliban which gave Osama bin-Laden a safe haven from those who would do him in. Conversely, we must also remember that it was the administrations of President Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush who, through our very own CIA, armed and trained the Taliban to kill Soviets in third quest for independence from the former Soviet Union. It was their on Vietnam. The idea of talking to the enemy is one which can't possibly please our present President George W. Bush, nor can it please any 911 family member or anyone with the least amount of sympathy towards them.
The Taliban has rejected any and all such offers of talks in the past. The reason is simple: They feel that they will regain the leadership of Afghanistan soon enough.
One might ask why they feel that way? After all, doesn't the United States and NATO have forces in the nation of some 27 million people? yes, but not nearly enough. You see, this was screw-up number one for the Bush administration, and you can separate it into multiple parts:
I) A) Not keeping enough troops in Afghanistan directly after the invasion
I) B) Allowing bin-Laden to escape - a six-foot, five-inch Arab, complete in tow with a kidney machine
I) C) Allowing Afghanistan's leader, Mullah Omar - the blind guy - to get away and reorganize
I) D) Not getting enough troops back into Afghanistan even this late after the invasion
And the list goes on.
Even today, we have a force of troops about half the size of the New York City Police Department in Iraq. It's a pitifully small force and it's going to stay that way due to Bush's ill-advised crusade for oil, money and power in Iraq,
There can be no doubt that the ignorance, pettiness and stubbornness of the Bush administration is the main cause why Afghanistan is a worse problem today than it was just months after the invasion. And it is for those reasons that it will stay that way.
Don't tell us who wish the troops to come home that we don't honor them. Don't tell us that we can't mourn those who gave their lives for the people of Iraq if we bring the troops home now. We honor them by getting them home safe and sound and ready to defend our nation on her home soil. And in the process, we can get so many more needed troops in Afghanistan and, finally, finished the job there as well. Afghanistan back in the hands of the Taliban is a bad and dangerous idea, and it will happen due to the ineptitude of the Bush administration.
And it will be the Bushies who dishonor our troops who have given their lives because we didn't finish eliminating our enemies; those who attacked us on 911; those who are now back in charge in Southern Afghanistan.
There can be no doubt about it.
Worth Watching - John McCain vs. John McCain
We at Brave New Films are becoming increasingly concerned that the real John McCain story is not being told. Many in the media are in love with the "maverick" despite his changing positions, and obvious political pandering. We HAVE to do something about this!
So we did some extensive research on his flip-flopping, and can now proudly present: John McCain vs. John McCain
On our new website, TheRealMcCain.com, you'll also find a scathing new blog penned by top McCain watcher and fellow hell raiser, Cliff Schecter.
Please forward this video and email on! We need your ideas, inspiration, and smart ways to spread this new website and video to your networks. It's how we'll change the media's love affair with McCain, and everyone else's too.
-Robert Greenwald and Brave New Films
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