Monday, November 27, 2006

A Progressive Ultimatum Part II

Tell Bush to get out now: either out of Iraq or out of the White House.

American progressives - Republicans and Democrats - should demand that Bush either resign or clean-up his mess in Mesopotamia before he leaves office in 2008.

One recent morning, I forgot my need to get up and fetch another cup of coffee when I read this:
. . . .All I read were criticisms, many of which were harsh but no alternatives to the current Elephant plans in place. The Elephant plans are without a doubt flawed and big mistakes have been made in Iraq. On the other hand the Donkeys don’t really have a plan from what I’ve concluded. I have the impression they’re only focused on withdrawing from Iraq. If they do withdraw before Iraq is stabilized then I must honestly say that I’ll consider it as a defeat. . . a very bad defeat and a second Vietnam. Here comes the question: Which one is better having no plan or having a flawed plan?
Planning by the worst administration in history is worse than no plan at all.

Michael Moore's letter (below) answers the first part of this objection.
Our current occupation of Iraq is in a state of free-fall in a cascade of civil war, ethnic cleansing and insurrection. Part of the problem was that this un-provoked, unnecessary, largely unilateral invasion and unplanned occupation of Iraq (UULUIUOI) has been driven by a Bushevik-Sharansky dogma that democratic governance was the silver-bullet answer to terrorist werewolves.

Secondly, at the risk of slapping up the most presumptuous comment ever, I told the author that tragically he was probably too young and callow to realize that Bush’s UULUIUOI has amounted to and continues to be a major departure from the American tradition in foreign policy. Neocons are not just an ultra-conservative administration: they represent a militarist mutation of conservatism which tracks its origins only back to Leo Strauss, not to settled American traditions or political thought. As such, they are alien strain to American political thought.

If they were only a ‘very conservative’ Republican administration, there could be room for confidence in a belief that the merciful pendulum of history would swing back naturally in a couple of years. In which case, we could say, foreign policy stops at the water's edge, suck it in, manage the mess in Mesopotamia as best we can, honor Bush’s commitments as if they were our own, etc.

But this is not the case. Bush and Cheney and Rove represent the worst American can be and, left to cycle out in 2008, will yet become. After 2008 they will not be long gone. They’ll be back, metastasized in an even more virulent form.

All this is to say, there are stakes bigger than Iraq involved here. In foreign policy alone, the doctrine of preventive war, preemptive war, or whatever - in hell - you want to call it, has to be repudiated and banished from our American lexicon. Until we do this, we can accomplish nothing of value for Iraqis or for ourselves. This has to be accomplished by 2008. If not, it will be done by future historians which is to say, too late.

Bush and Cheney have to be forced to eat their war before they’re excused from the table.

16 comments:

  1. Happy Thanksgiving a couple of days late to you and your family. Had a nice one with mine. Have spent a lot of time watching LittleBill and Merc play together. Carl took some good pictures of the two. I'm still waiting to get them by email. Watson is still having trouble adjusting, and I have started walking him to the corner and back again. In a lot of pain when I get back, so I take a Vicodin and nap with him on my stomach. As usual, you are right on re Bush. It looks as though Al Gore may have climbed the list a notch or two. Let's keep him climbing.

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  2. In Iraq, Bush and Cheney have resorted to diplomacy as a last resort. Now that this "plan" has produced a cul de sac in Mesopotamia, They will have to eat their 5-course meal instead of staying for it.

    Diplomacy has moved from looking over Bush's shoulders, to passing him by. He will have no truck with Iran or Syria, but they have just establish diplomatic relations with Baghdad. And the Baker Commission will offer to take the tiller of American statecraft. They may let him salvage his image by letting him rest his hand on the stick, but their reality-based judgment will provide the navigating function.

    His goal is to make it through two more years with his self-respect. I agree, such an end game will not feel satisfactory, and should be defeated.

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  3. I maybe will have to Google Gore. I have not noticed him saying much of late.

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  4. AIPAC will not approve of Bush dealing with Syria and Iran diplomatically. However Americans in the Newsweek poll agree with talking with these two neighbors of Iraq, 65% to 29%.

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  5. There is no such thing as American progressives. Not you politicos left or right anyway. You are actually part of the problem , by not seeing the actual problem.
    The U.S. will not be leaving Iraq any time soon.
    They built permanent bases.
    We went to steal , and stop oil from getting to market
    This is purely a price system move to capture and strangle resources to make money.
    Our political system is a complete fraud.
    Both sides are working for the man.
    It is a mistake to look at this thing through a jaded political eye.

    We have had the same basic policy since world war two.
    We have been at some phony war since then.
    Our economy is based on it. The military/industrial/congressional complex is the problem.

    It is the system we are using.
    It does not work. It is controlled. It is a joke. It is not a Democracy.
    Or a republic. It is now a police state controlled by people that hate America to the point of seeing it only as a place to pillage and destroy for resources.
    Money, Money , Money , ain't it funny.
    People on this site are so removed from reality that it is kind of staggering. Ha.

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  6. If they do withdraw before Iraq is stabilized then I must honestly say that I’ll consider it as a defeat. . . a very bad defeat and a second Vietnam.

    Heard today on NPR that up to 1000 refuges a day are flowing out of Iraq to neighboring countries. The rich Iraqis left early but now poorer Iraqis are leaving and that camps might have to be soon established. With growing sectarian violence and US troops and equipment at the breaking point I just don't see that tortured country being stabilized at all. The replay of a helicopter lifting off from the roof of the US embassy like what happened in Saigon seems the most likely future.

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  7. Vigilante
    I have to say, nothing will save Mesopatamia now. Bush and Cheney's perverted Diplomacy is worthless. I won't get too involved but I will be posting on that again and what the Popes visit to Turkey is going to do to further the middle east breakdown
    Bush ensured when he diverted from the so called war on terror and destabilized the entire middle east by attacking Iraq.

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  8. Howard Zinn Does not agree with Vigil's claim that the doctrine of preventive war is alien to American traditions. I am borrowing liberally from him.

    He calls this thread in our traditions as "American exceptionalism". Just after the United States annexed Texas, the editor and writer John O’Sullivan coined the famous phrase “manifest destiny.” He said,

    “the fulfillment of our manifest destiny to overspread the continent allotted by Providence for the free development of our yearly multiplying millions.”

    Invoking Providence or God has been a habit for American presidents throughout the nation’s history, but George W. Bush has made a specialty of it.

    Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz, the reporter talked with Palestinian leaders who had met with Bush. One of them reported that Bush told him,

    “God told me to strike at al Qaeda. And I struck them. And then he instructed me to strike at Saddam, which I did. And now I am determined to solve the problem in the Middle East.”

    The authenticity of this quote has been debated, but it sounds very authentic in Bush's carless syntax. Divine ordination is a very dangerous idea, especially when combined with military power, as in, “Gott mit uns”

    American exceptionalism was never more clearly expressed than by Secretary of War Elihu Root, who in 1899 declared,

    “The American soldier is different from all other soldiers of all other countries since the world began. He is the advance guard of liberty and justice, of law and order, and of peace and happiness.”

    At the time he was saying this, American soldiers in the Philippines were starting a bloodbath which would take the lives of 600,000 Filipinos.

    Fortunately, there are people all over the world who believe that human beings everywhere deserve the same rights to life and liberty. On February 15, 2003, on the eve of the invasion of Iraq, more than ten million people in more than 60 countries around the world demonstrated against that war.

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  9. Good and true point Recidivist. Far from an anomaly , it is standard operating procedure for our price system under both so called political party`s.

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  10. The insurgents are leveraging the oil, among other things, to finance their ventures. They have hundreds of millions and they aren't expected to file bankruptcy anytime soon.

    As BB said the Iraqis are leaving by the droves and who can blame them. One has to wonder where they are going as they are pretty much hated by their neighbors. As to "demanding" that Bush leave Iraq or resign that is just not going to happen, and no one has the power to make it happen. Dubya has demonstrated time and again that he doesn't plan to leave anytime soon, and the American people are simply too tired for civil disobedience like we saw during the Vietnam era. The fact that the casualty numbers are approaching 3,000 will cause much head shaking and much second guessing, but it won't caue mass demonstrations. As a result: The Bushmaster stays.

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  11. We will see about that. We will see...

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  12. Bush has telegraphed this already --he's been saying for some time now that Iraq will be solved by future presidents. That's two years away, and can only be viewed as an abdication of responsibility for the war that he started. Anything less than a full withdrawal increases the risk of pre-emptive war being a continuned part of the "tools" in the GWOT or whatever.

    It is funny - when Hagel is actually calling for a withdrawal, I wonder if it could actually happen...

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  13. Hi Vigilante,

    Bush is pretty lucky that he hasn't got Lady Thatcher to deal with or he would've been handbagged, forced to toe her line. Blair is more docile.

    Speaking of which, although not quite the topic here, thought might amuse you that "handbagging" is still very much alive in UK journalism.

    Here's a news report today in The Times UK re Lady Thatcher and "handbag":

    "It was déjà vu for BA as prime ministerial salt was rubbed into its PR wound yesterday. In 1997, it was handbagged by Lady Thatcher, aggrieved that its new logos had no Union Jack. Declaring: “We fly the British flag, not these awful things,” she draped her handkerchief over the tailfin of a model jet."

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  14. Bush & Co. have royally fucked over the one region of the world we could not afford to fuck over.

    Impeachment will send a signal to the world that we repudiate the failed policies of Bush & Co . and desire a new start in the middle East.

    Democrats and Republicans need to get on board.

    It's the only solution at this point.

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  15. One thing should be pointed out; Bush is still the leader of the most powerful nation in the world. He also happens to be the most loathed and disrespected statesman anywhere but still acting as the undisputed leader of the free world. The farce of his leadership, however, will go on still almost two more years. Insane situation for the world and deadly for the interests of the U.S.A.. While this baboon put all his eggs into the Middle Eastern crusade and broke them all, China is cobbling up countries and winning the hearts and minds.

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