Monday, November 20, 2006

My Vote is for "Go Home"

It is being reported that the Pentagon has drawn up an options paper for Iraq which has been given the nickname "Go Big, Go Long or Go Home." This is shorthand for either more troops, a longer stay or a pullout. My vote is for "Go Home." I do not think the American presence in Iraq is doing any good and by all accounts it is making the situation worse by inflaming anti-American hostility in the Muslim world and thereby creating a fertile ground for the recruitment of terrorists. There have been so many reasons given for being in Iraq that I do not even think the Bush Administration knows why we are there. In my view it was a combination of arrogance, greed, irresponsibility, incompetence and recklessness fueled by President Bush's bravado, oil and military/industrial interests, apocalyptic Christianity, and neoconservative imperialism. Let me be blunt. I do not care if the Iraqis have democracy. If they want it they can get it for themselves. And, yes, Saddam Hussein was a bad guy but that did not stop us from supporting him when he fought against Iran and he is not unlike many of the bad guys the United States supported during the Cold War because they were anti-communist. Let's stop compounding the error at the cost of American lives. I also do not want to here the Republican line that we have to finish the job for the sake of the troops that died. That is just flawed thinking. First of all, we do not even know what the job is. Second, every soldier, sailor, marine or airman that makes the ultimate sacrifice in Iraq gave his life for his fellow citizens because that was his job and it does not matter if the war is good , bad, right or wrong. The politicians will have to live with those lives on their consciences because of an ill advised policy. All of us should honor the valor and courage of our fallen men and women.

Finally, if we are to use our military and intelligence resources properly, it should be for going after Bin Laden and other known terrorists. Why hasn't the U.S. military been scouring Afghanistan for the last 5 years. I think that when the new Democratic Congress begins in January each day someone should make a speech on either the floor of the House or Senate indicating how many days it has been since September 11, 2001, and that Bin Laden still has not been captured. According to my calculations it is 1896 days. Think about that.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Fixing the Mess

Now that the Democrats have taken the House and look like they will take the Senate as well, it is time to start fixing what the rubber stamp Republican Congress and the Bush Administration wrecked over the past six years. I do not want to see President Bush impeached nor do I want months of hearings on why we got into Iraq. However, I do want the Democratically-controlled Congress to be a strong check on the unbridled presidential power that President Bush has tried to wield these past few years. I want real answers on what we are supposed to be doing in Iraq and when we are going to get the hell out. Secretary Rumsfeld's departure is a start but that does not address the fact that the war in Iraq is still the brainchild of Bush, Cheney and their neocon cronies. I want to know why we are not actively going after Bin Laden and the Taliban. I think Nancy Pelosi's call for bipartisanship is admirable and honorable. I am skeptical of the President's statement's on that issue because it only comes now that he is backed into a corner. Where was the spirit of bipartisanship when those opposing the war in Iraq or raising questions about the Patriot Act were labeled unpatriotic? Where was the spirit of bipartisanship when President Bush vetoed the stem cell research bill passed by both houses of Congress? The Democrats need to aggressively push an agenda that will help ordinary, hardworking Americans instead of the Republican agenda of greed helping corporations and the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans. On November 7 the American people rejected Roveian Republican politics and gave the Democrats a chance; let's hope they do not screw it up.