Sunday :: Aug 26, 2007

Overthrowing Maliki? Is That a Democratic Value?


by Mary

Democratic Senators who are calling for the ouster of Iraqi's Prime Minister are betraying their constituents and assuming responsibility for Bush's failed war. From the LA Times:

Like most of the problems the U.S. faces in Iraq, there is no solution to this one. Of course, the United States could engineer Maliki's ouster, even without resorting to a crude coup. It need only withhold aid until the teetering government in Baghdad collapses. Perhaps merely the calls by Sens. Carl Levin (D-Mich.), Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) and Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) for Maliki to resign or be replaced by the Iraqi parliament, combined with President Bush's tepid support, are sufficient to doom Maliki. But beware what you ask for: Maliki's successor could well be worse. Many U.S. analysts believe the man most likely to come to power if Maliki falls is Muqtada Sadr, the radical anti-American Shiite cleric and militia leader with deep ties to Iran.

Who do they plan to put in place? Do they imagine there can be an election? Or are Levin, Clinton and Feinstein in on the coup that the Bush administration is trying to push?

And when their new strongman fails, will they own the war? Instead of holding the line on the war and making Bush take responsibility for it, or moving Bush out of the picture (guess who's a bigger failure than Maliki) so some wiser people can take over, these Senators are listening to the Generals who don't want to have a "failure" on their watch and so would prefer to hang on for another decade. And this is why we voted for them?

Update: one Democratic Congresswoman came away from the August road trip to Iraq even more determined to push to end the war now. (h/t BooMan)

I think that Mimikatz describes the problem clearly here. Today Congress is being told that they can't leave for another decade because leaving would be worse than staying. However, what they forget is staying could be infinitely worse than leaving. Once more the politicians are refusing to be frank with the public about what the real tradeoffs are. We must demand honest and frank discussion and a real voice in the decision that is made.

Above all, they should say that Iraq is not the only, or even the most serious, threat we face. America's existence as a nation is not threatened by the insurgents in Iraq, who overwhelmingly are fighting over who will control Iraq, not the US. Nor is our existence as a democratic nation threatened by Islamic extremism, even if we may suffer an attack or two in the next several years. Rather, our existence as a democratic nation is threatened by the drift toward centralization, secrecy and fascism by the Bush/Cheney regime. By the hollowing out of our industrial capacity and the decaying of our infrastruecture. By the decline in our schools and our public health system, indeed our whole health care system, that leaves us vulnerable to epidemics and natural disasters. By climate change, which is already bringing more severe storms and extremes of temperature, and changes in ecosystems.

And most of all it is threatened by politicans who treat the public like children, who won't speak to us honestly, who tell us to shut up and shop, and not raise our voices and act like citizens.

Mary :: 9:41 AM :: Comments (15) :: Digg It!