Sunday :: Nov 6, 2005

Knowing When It's Time To Go Home

by pessimist

King George has overstayed his welcome in Iraq. With thousands dead, and absolutely nothing but great expense to show for their deaths, there comes a time when one must cut ones losses before they get any worse. That time is now, and I'm not the only one to say so:

It is futile to stay in Iraq.

The solution is to rebrand the war. It's not America's war, it's not a war on terror, it has to be labeled as George Bush's war. It needs to be established in the popular mind that it's Mr. Bush's personal war, that he led us into for his own political and psychological reasons - it was not about security, not about weapons of mass destruction, not even about terrorists. That he lied to the American people and effectively conned us into following him, and that once in the war, he planned it foolishly and led it ineffectively. Most important, George Bush has already lost the war.
If it is Mr. Bush's war, not America's, it is patriotic to end it.
Mr. Reid, and anyone else who realizes we need a way out of this great bog, should not be fazed. He should respond this way:
"The president waved the flag. I saluted. I never expected to be misled by the president of the United States. Sadly, that was the case. Now it is my duty to the people of this country to do what I can to correct that, at whatever risk there is to my personal career. There is no shame in being wrong. But it is shameful to be so afraid to admit a mistake that you push a wrong into being a disaster."

Armando at Daily Kos calls upon the Democrats to do the right thing by the nation:

How can we believe the Bush Administration is telling the truth on "how we can win in Iraq" when they can not be trusted, either because of lack of competence, if you want to be charitable, or because they are liars, part of the truth of the matter, or both, the whole truth of the matter.
You can't trust the Bush Administration to tell the truth or to do the job. The Bush Administration does not tell the truth. The Bush Administration is hopelessly incompetent. You can not trust them on Iraq (or anything else for that matter.)
To support the Iraq Debacle is to support incompetence and deception. No Dem should be for that. It is time that all Dems understand these central facts and take their positions based on these facts.
Do what Sen. Rockefeller has done, admit your mistakes, and now act accordingly.

Some pundits are concerned that the Democrats are not effectively taking up the cause:

Sen. Harry Reid recently offered a glimpse of the "no plan" plan in action, when he urged the president to "change the course" in Iraq:
"The president must in a clear and complete way lay out what military, political, and economic progress will be necessary in order to begin to bring our troops home...After two-and-a-half year of enormous sacrifice in Iraq, we can and must do better than empty rhetoric. The troops and the American people deserve a plan."
We certainly do. Care to offer one, Sen. Reid?
Demanding a plan from the president while avoiding putting forth one of your own may be smart politics when it comes to a wide range of issues but not when it comes to life and death, war and peace decisions.

Speaking of those who have had to make such decisions, Bu$hCo is also losing their support:

Governors Balk at Bigger Role for Military

Several governors have been critical of a Bush administration suggestion that the active-duty military take a greater role in disaster response, calling it an attempt to usurp state authority over National Guard units.

President Bush suggested in September that the active military ought to have a greater role in responding to disasters. He said its training, command structure and resources put it in a better position to lead recovery efforts.

"It's a bad idea for the military to make that decision and usurp the authority that under the U.S. Constitution stays with the governor and local authorities," Gov. Mike Huckabee of Arkansas, a Republican, said last month.

Such concern is quite self-serving, but there are other reasons to express reserve over the Bu$hCo plan:

Guardsman re-enlists, Pentagon kills bonus

A Department of Defense decision to renege on war-time promises to pay bonuses to more than a dozen re-enlisting Washington National Guardsmen has sparked outrage from prominent elected officials and state National Guard officers working to rectify the situation.

According to a state Guard spokesman, Maj. Phil Osterli, at least 15 Washington National Guardsmen and women signed re-enlistment forms promising them a tax-free $15,000 bonus in return. Many of them were stationed in Iraq at the time, he said.

Pentagon officials have said in published reports that the bonuses were canceled because they duplicated other programs and were prohibited.

The state Guard is fighting the Pentagon's sudden reversal on the issue. Osterli said the state Guard's recruiting and retention commander, Maj. John Sharrett, is in Washington, D.C., arguing to National Guard and Pentagon brass that the reversal is unwise and unfair. "We're clearly concerned about this issue and want to make sure these soldiers get what they deserve," said Osterli.

Sgt. 1st Class Carl Latson is one of those in the Washington National Guard directly affected. The Spanaway man, a 13-year military veteran who said he has served both in Operation Desert Storm and in the current Iraq war, re-enlisted in January for another six-year term, which would have taken him close to retirement from the service.

Latson said that regardless of whether he gets the money promised him, he's made one decision. He plans to quit the military long before retirement age.

"I'm to the point now where I want to get out," he said. "I'm just really disappointed."

Our media is generally piss-poor when it comes to accurately reporting the plight of our troops subjected to Bu$hCo lies and abuse. Such isn't the case in Great Britain, where Tony the Lap Poodle's citizenry is growing restive about how British participation in King George's Oil Rustle isn't doing their sons any good:

5,370 [British] infantry soldiers [bought] themselves out of the army in the past three years rather than be posted back to Iraq or Afghanistan. Divorce rates have soared. The wives of soldiers who return from Iraq complain that their husbands are suffering from exhaustion and stress but refuse to seek medical help for fear that it will blight their promotion prospects.

One British columnist gets down to the nitty-gritty:

[T]his war was not instigated for any of the usual, coldly pragmatic reasons — self-defence, a wish to swipe more territory or claim some back. Its aim, we are led to believe, was altruistic — to impose secular democracy and western standards upon people for whom, in the nicest possible way, such concepts are alien.
We should be angry at the way our soldiers are being treated, both those of us who, like me, opposed this war and those who believe it just and necessary.

And what of those who so believed? It looks as if their time is gonna come - soon:

Last Tuesday, Senate Republicans were winding up their weekly luncheon in the Capitol when the vice president rose to speak. Staffers were quickly ordered out of the room—what Cheney had to say was for senators only.

[A]ccording to two GOP senators who did not want to be on the record about a private meeting, [Cheney] was very upset over the Senate's overwhelming passage of an amendment that prohibits inhumane treatment of terrorist detainees. "We have to be able to do what is necessary," the vice president said, according to one of the senators who was present.

The lawmakers listened, but they weren't moved to act. Sen. John McCain, who authored the anti-torture amendment, spoke up. "This is killing us around the world," he said.

The House, which will likely vote on the measure soon, is also expected to pass it by a large margin.

Such failure! Such incompetence! Such ineptitude! How pathetic, having to beg ones inferiors for permission to do what one should just go ahead and do as if ther was no law preventing it! What is a wannabe world-conquering, war-mongering, would-be sovereign to do?

Fire the lot of them:

Several well-wired Administration officials predict that within a year, the President will have a new chief of staff and press secretary, probably a new Treasury Secretary and maybe a new Defense Secretary.

And a new Vice-President, and a new President, and a new Supreme Court, and ...

Copyrighted [©] source material contained in this article is presented under the provisions of Fair Use.


This article contains copyrighted material, the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. I am making such material available in my efforts to advance understanding of democracy, economic, environmental, human rights, political, scientific, and social justice issues, among others. I believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material in this article is distributed without profit for research and educational purposes.

pessimist :: 12:44 PM :: Comments (65) :: TrackBack (0) :: Digg It!