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This Is What Democracy Looks Like

www.NationalView.org's Note From a Madman

July 30, 2008


"Time's Table" is on the "Horizon"

I think its a pretty good timetable, as we should or horizons for withdrawal. But they have to be based on conditions on the ground,"
-Senator John McCain on the 16-month timetable for a possible US troop drawdown in Iraq

"President Bush and Iraq's prime minister have agreed to set a 'general time horizon' for bringing more U.S. troops home from the war,"
-The Associated Press quoting President Bush

"sounds good,"
-Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki after meeting Senator Barack Obama and discussing a possible 16-month timetable withdrawal

And here's what Senator Obama's web site has to say on the subject of troop removal from Iraq:

A Responsible, Phased Withdrawal
Barack Obama believes we must be as careful getting out of Iraq as we were careless getting in. Immediately upon taking office, Obama will give his Secretary of Defense and military commanders a new mission in Iraq: ending the war. The removal of our troops will be responsible and phased, directed by military commanders on the ground and done in consultation with the Iraqi government. Military experts believe we can safely redeploy combat brigades from Iraq at a pace of 1 to 2 brigades a month that would remove them in 16 months. That would be the summer of 2010 more than 7 years after the war began.

Under the Obama plan, a residual force will remain in Iraq and in the region to conduct targeted counter-terrorism missions against al Qaeda in Iraq and to protect American diplomatic and civilian personnel. He will not build permanent bases in Iraq, but will continue efforts to train and support the Iraqi security forces as long as Iraqi leaders move toward political reconciliation and away from sectarianism.

So now that we're all in agreement, can we lay off the semantics and get down to getting our troops home? President Bush said, "When they ask us to leave, we'll leave." That is just what the Iraqi people, through their Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki have asked us to do.

President Bush now even speaks of a timetable. Of course, in true Orwellian (Bushworld) fashion, he can't call it such, so he and his band of word-makers came up with this: "Time Horizon". In any form, we all know that a phased troop pullout, depending on the circumstances and with a residual troop level remaining behind "just in case", is the right way to go.

Obama's plan is the only plan. President Bush offers the same old rhetoric he has offered for the past five years. We hear things like "until its over" and "stay the course" while he, his would be successor John McCain and all of the human megaphones at Fox news Channel, WABC Radio, etc. call anyone who suggests saving even one American life "over there" a "traitor".

McCain, for his part, has even suggested now that his opponent's (Obama) timetable is "pretty good". He finally realizes that to suggest an open-ended war financed by the American people at a time when the dollar is worth pennies and our jobs are being preformed by overseas workers is just plain stupid.

When McBush (McCain, Bush or any variation of the pair or their mouthpieces) insist that we "stay the course", they negate the fact that we can't afford to stay this particular course. Sure the Iraq war and its ensuing occupation weren't thought out; and sure we didn't have enough troops on the ground as we got ready to take over a nation of some 28 million people; but forgetting the true cost in lives as well as our hard-earned US middle class tax dollars is nothing but short-sighted, even at this late date.

There are no solutions coming from the White House. There is only rhetoric. And McCain's web site, words and deeds amount to nothing but the same. JohnMcCain.com offers no proposed solutions. The GOP candidate must be hoping that the same robots come into the voting booth this November and pull the switch just because he is the next Republican candidate.

And in the end, that is all he has to offer.

So even as President Bush and John McCain attempt to lay claim to timetables or time horizons, we all see the truth. They'll offer up whatever sells.

-Noah Greenberg

Republicanism's Obstructionism

The Republican Party in the 110th Congress have behaved disgracefully. Keep these facts in mind (courtesy of the ever brilliant Robert Borosage of CAF):

A partisan minority in the U.S. Senate has blocked legislation that would lower the price of prescription drugs for seniors, invest in alternative energy sources while cutting subsidies to oil companies, require U.S.
soldiers get adequate rest and training at home between tours in Iraq, and empower employees to join together to form unions at work. Each of these enjoyed the overwhelming support of the American people, and majority support in both the House and Senate.

In all, Senate Republicans have launched 43 filibusters in the first seven months of the Congress, on a pace to triple the previous record. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has brazenly announced that every "controversial measure" will face a filibuster in the Senate, trampling majority rule to require 60 votes to cut off the filibuster. No longer can reforms be passed on a clean up-or-down majority vote in the Senate.

President Bush has vetoed legislation that would require him to end the occupation of Iraq and would allow stem cell research to go forward. Each of these enjoyed overwhelming support from the American people and passed the House and Senate. In all, the president has threatened 31 vetoes between May
1 and August 1, including a threat to legislation that will extend health care to millions of children, lower interest rates on student loans, and increase monitoring of food and other imports through our nation's ports.

The Republican minority in the Congress is now planning to use this August recess to rail against the "do-nothing" Congress. Sen. John Kyl, R-Ariz., has reportedly distributed talking points about the failure of the Congress to get things done. Already the House and Senate minority leaders are trotting out laugh lines about the "post-office Congress" that does nothing but name post offices and launch divisive witch hunts against the administration.

This is akin to someone mugging the postman and then complaining that the mail isn't delivered on time. In fact, the Bush White House and Republican minority have pursued a systematic and openly admitted strategy of obstruction.


-Robert Scardapane

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-Noah Greenberg