Friday, August 31, 2007

American Exceptionalism In Iraq

This film by John Pilger was made before George W. Bush invaded Iraq in 2003, but after George H.W. Bush attacked Iraq in the 1991 Gulf War in response to the Iraqi invasion Of Kuwait. "After Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1990, the United Nations (backed strongly by the US and UK) imposed harsh sanctions on Iraq that lasted for 10 years (1991-2001); the harsh restrictions on imports of everything, including access to key medicines, resulted in over a million deaths, more than half a million of which were women and children. That's more deaths than the two atomic bombs dropped on Japan and 9/11 combined." The film is an hour and fifteen minutes long. Watch it. While you're watching it, keep in mind that George W. Bush's Iraq and Mid-East Debacle has happened to Iraq since this film was made.

I saw someone earlier today make the claim that the Democratic control of Congress is too narrow for a fast, effective action to get us out of Iraq. That, in the sense that matters most, is utter, unadulterated, self-deceiving bullshit. The only sense in which it is true is that too many Democrats in Congress are placing their own interests ahead of the the lives of the soldiers and the Iraqis that are dying everyday, while those Democrats cynically try to use supporting/funding/continuing the debacle to win elections next year.
If the Democrats don't want to do the right thing... it becomes obvious that they want to continue the occupation.

For what? Cheap gasoline? Or the neocon vision of world domination?

What has been needed all along and is needed now is for the Democrats to show that they have some balls and display A Measure of Morality in Congress:
If you could secretly tell a magic genie "Yes" and suffer horribly and die but save the lives of a million people you've never met, would you say No? This one they don't even ask in philosophy school, much less Congress. But let's think about it for a minute. What's the worst fate a Congress Member could face as a result of voting against funding the war? For most it must be the loss of their seat. How horrible is that? Some of these congress members are freshmen, first elected last November campaigning on promises to end the war. Now they're prepared to vote $100 billion for the war in hopes of getting elected again in 2008. What in the hell did they want to get elected for in the first place? What district is going to receive less money if we end the war and redirect our spending to useful projects than if we continue the war but fund special pieces of pork here and there?
So what if they chance losing their seats. How horrible is that?

Personally, I think it is the best way for them to retain their seats.

The continuous whine that "we don't have the votes" is also part of the big lie.

If the Democrats stand up NOW and announce that they will no longer fund the occupation and that there will be no more emergency supplementals introduced when the current one runs out, the situation will become one of NO votes needed to NOT pass a bill. The ball will be in Bush's court.

The Democrats have absolute power in this debate. What good is it and why should voters let them retain it next year if they are too weak kneed to use it to end the Debacle? If they will not, then by default they proclaim their complicity with Bush.

The argument that 'defunding endangers the troops' is utter bullshit and is completely and irrefutably debunked. Let the rethugs try to accuse Democrats of it. Democrats will win that political argument, but ONLY if they have the cohones to do what they know is the right thing. ........................................................... Maybe America needs an Exceptional new National Anthem.
When I was a child I caught a fleeting glimpse, Out of the corner of my eye. I turned to look but it was gone. I cannot put my finger on it now. The child is grown, the dream is gone. I have become comfortably numb.