“It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into”

Jonathan Swift
"The Democrats have moved to the right, and the right has moved into a mental hospital." - Bill Maher
"The city is crowded my friends are away and I'm on my own
It's too hot to handle so I gotta get up and go

It's a cruel ... cruel summer"

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Democrat Has Plan for Iraq

The prattling parrots of punditry are still at it, claiming Democrats have no plan for Iraq, no plan for this, no plan for that. Well last month that raving liberal the AGN suffers to occasionally publish presented his plan to the Democratic Club. This writer managed to acquire a copy. Take that Mrs. Crumbly!

Potter-Randall Democratic Club
October 23, 2006

The Iraq War, Poisoned American Politics and Cranky Columnists: A Solution
Erik V. Williams

The election is in just a matter of days, so if there are any doubts about which candidate or proposition to vote for my family tradition is to follow the newspaper’s recommendations, to carefully read and scrutinize them, and then vote just the opposite. Unless there’s a Democrat. I don’t know how a Democrat got endorsed by the Globe-News but vote for him!

My talk is titled “The Iraq War, Poisoned American Politics and Cranky Columnists: A Solution.” It has been quite some time since I’ve given a political speech, so I hope you will bear with me.

My last political speech, or as any liberal speech is labeled today -- tirade -- was in front of the American Legion Women’s Auxiliary in Los Angeles. If any of you have read my writing you might imagine that my audience, after the initial pleasantries, were soon on the edge of their seats, hanging on every word, and after I had finished sat there in astonished silence. Then came a burst of excitement! Now, whatever may be said about the genteel ladies of the American Legion Women’s Auxiliary and their tea and lemon cake, let me assure you they know a thing or two about tar and feathers.

How many here believe that American patriotism is identical to militarism, to supporting the president’s war policies without question? Anyone? Good. Then maybe we won’t be repeating the last episode.

However much we have been against the Iraq war there is no denying that the invasion of Iraq was an absolute success. America’s shores are not threatened by Saddam Hussein or by his weapons of mass destruction. That Saddam Hussein posed no threat and had no weapons of mass destruction is, of course, a trivial detail.

This whopping mistake about WMD has been attributed to a massive intelligence failure, or in the White House a massive intelligence absence. But while this Republican administration has emphasized accountability, there is only one person responsible for George Bush, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld’s mistaken belief that there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq: Bill Clinton. He said they were there; it’s Clinton’s fault.

As the Iraq war has gone from bad to worse, and each rationale put forward by the White House has worn thin and been replaced by a new one, we hear that the majority of Americans has come to believe that Iraq was a “right-turn,” a diversion from the war on terrorism.

I propose that this belief is mistaken. We know that before his election George Bush’s ambition was to be a “great president” by fighting a great war. Just weeks after his inauguration his administration began planning regime change in Iraq, and in the immediate wake of 9/11 he was determined to pin the attack on Saddam Hussein. The course for Baghdad had been set. With or without 9/11 we would be in Iraq. It is awful to recognize that 9/11 and the war in Afghanistan was the detour and that the war on terrorism was for George W. Bush a distraction.

Certainly it is troubling to think that an event that affected us all, which so unified the nation, was incidental to our president. Bush’s refrain has been that “9/11 changed everything.” Obviously it changed his war plans, but 9/11 also furthered them, and when the Taliban had been routed, and Osama Ben Laden had slipped away, he quickly returned to his objective of invading Iraq.

More terrible is that the Iraq war, Bush’s crowning achievement should, through his own hubris and incompetence, end up a complete shambles. Still one must admit it has been a great success redistributing wealth from taxpayers to needy corporations. If only it had not so miserably failed. The people we went to save from fear of one man now fear all men. The people we went to save from torture and butchery in secret places are now tortured and butchered in the streets.

A car bomb rips through a market and an Iraqi man, standing in the middle of the carnage, screams that Americans think of them as less than dogs. In Amarillo people are outraged, outraged over the death of a sheltie killed by a pitbull. Citizens complain they feel tortured by Hell Week and terrorized by egg throwing juveniles who toilet paper their homes. These are the people who bully us to “stay the course”?

This is the stubborn formula for victory, from the farcical “Mission Accomplished” through the insurgency to sectarian death squads, a long bloody march after a distant and ever receding triumph. Yet the believers continue to berate us ever more stridently that if we stifle our criticism and unite behind the effort, through sheer force of will we shall prevail.

Why is this unity absent? It is not just the nature of the war. We were given a choice, as one Republican acquaintance put it before the invasion of Iraq: “you either trust them, or they’re liars.” Republicans damned themselves out of their own mouths, yet after the lies have been piled higher and deeper, we are still expected to trust and obediently follow.

Others wish we could recapture the unity we had after 9/11. Even then our unity was under assault. In January 2002 Karl Rove told Republicans they could run on their record of anti-terrorism. The White House politicized terrorism, used a national crisis for partisan political gain, yet Democrats were saddled with partisanship and dividing the country.

9/11 had already been used as a political cudgel. Remember Jerry Falwell and his rant about abortionists and gays? Have we forgotten that while the ruins of the World Trade Center were still smoldering Rush Limbaugh, Newt Gingrich and others were blaming who for the attack? Not the terrorists. Bill Clinton.

This “blame game” Republicans do not play has been going on from the beginning. In their view this war could be won but for dissent, and every disagreement makes it that much harder to win. A war supporter blasts a writer who blames Bush for the killed and wounded, then blames liberal critics for every soldier that gets shot. A columnist deflects anti-Muslim remarks made by a Pentagon officer by saying the insurgents don’t read the papers, then condemns anti-war statements as treasonous because the terrorists read newspapers.

Now the president of Iran is the newest member of the Hitler-of-the-month club, and anyone who has ever criticized military policy are “appeasers.” Jihad is transformed into Islamofascism, an ideology seeking world domination just as atheist communism once did. The war against terrorism is, we are told, a new kind of war, but it is couched in the old Cold War rhetoric: Democrats are weak on defense; if Democrats are elected we shall be blown to little bits; Democrats are behind the nation’s disunity.

With the election coming up there are indications the Democrats may regain control of the House of Representatives. Should this happen many hope we shall finally turn the corner on this travesty, that it will lead to investigations of the White House, even to the impeachment of George Bush and Dick Cheney. I caution against such a hope, as many miracles, from the indictment of Karl Rove to the collapse of the Republican machine from corruption and sex scandals, have not materialized.

If the new congress were to consider impeachment they will still be confronted by hostile Republicans and a right-wing media that, when in a good mood, think liberals should be executed occasionally to keep the rest cowed, that San Francisco should be targeted by terrorists and hope New York City gets nuked. Many seem to think it’s not a bad idea to exterminate a billion people so they won’t have to take their shoes off at the airport. You get the feeling that Mr. “I think I speak for every American cause I watch FOX news and know the truth” might get a little touchy about impeaching the man God made president.

And while we are trying to do that every catastrophe in Iraq, every terrorist attack that Bush neglects to stop, will be blamed on Democrats, while our men and women are fighting and dying overseas. We want to bring them home, not in 2010, but as soon as possible, and that is not going to happen with Republicans in power. But we also should not abandon the Iraqi people to terrorists and death squads. It would become a regional catastrophe, and it would be all Nancy Pelosi’s fault.

So I have a proposal. I call it “The Republicans to Iraq Exchange Program.” We bring our troops home and in their place we send in 16 million rabid Republicans who supported the war. Bush gets his “so long as I’m dictator” wish, Cheney will have no bag limit on lawyers and Rick Santorum can keep digging for WMD.

To protect them there will be 2 million heavily armed Imperial Republican Guardsmen drawn from our fierce warrior elite -- the NRA. The government will be given daily reality checks by the Ministry of Information’s Rush Limbaugh and the FOX News network. Pat Robertson can swap fundamentalist religion stories and compare Holy War notes with Muqtada al-Sadr. Sadly we may still hear of human rights abuses out of Abu Ghraib as suspected terrorists are tortured by Ann Coulter and Michelle Malkin reading their latest columns.

Many of our neighbors will doubtless want to go, drawn by the prospect of the oil wealth to be had in a country that magically pays for its own invasion and reconstruction. The brochures and travel ads will say the insurgency is in its last throes, the rebuilding is making incredible progress, and around every corner Americans are greeted with flowers as liberators.

Here at home, freed from the oppressive bombast of the Right, the corrosive public discourse of Republicans, and the trampling of the Constitution by the administration, we will restore our liberties, our freedoms and our democracy. We will confront the real threats to our nation as a united people, as a free people.

And should we ever receive a plaintive call from the smirking pasha of Baghdad we will simply reply “You broke it, Mister, you own it.”