Democrats & Liberals Archives

Is It Always Darkest Before the Dawn?

There maybe one small ray of hope in Iraq.

Certainly there is some point when things stop getting darker and start to lighten.

I was opposed to this war from the start. Forget about revelation after revelation after revelation after revelation since the start of the war. The reasons for this war clearly never made any sense - not even at the time. The proto-fascist Bush Regime riding a tsunami of anti republican racist patriotic militaristic nationalism (read proto-fascism), had to have their war. When the reasons for war evaporated they created new reasons. When all of their excuses evaporated they finally fell back on the excuse that they already had their army setting on the desert and that they needed to use it before the season changed. A good excuse right, except they could have waited another 9 months, and the army has now stayed on the desert and continued to fight effectively through all seasons for years.

None the less after the war started, I became a hawk because, as I have written previously, the U.S. is an imperial power otherwise known as a super power (in practice, the same thing). Like Rome, we need to win our wars in order to remain credible. We have many rivals and potential enemies around the world and they will "strike" in the power vacuum of our perceived weakness if we appear to lose. They may strike militarily at us. More likely they will strike militarily at their neighbors. They may strike diplomatically by undermining our influence and leadership. They may strike economically... They will strike. We liberals rightly decry American imperialism, but the world would become much more dangerous if we were not here to "keep the lid on." The fall of Rome led to the dark ages. The collapse of the Soviet Union led to regional instability and risk of nuclear proliferation. The collapse of the U.S. would be far worse. In theory we do not have to practice imperialism in order to "keep the lid on." Having the power and using it to the benefit of all mankind is what true American patriotism should be about. In practice, we are not quite so pure - we have the power and to a substantial extent we will and do use and abuse it to our own selfish advantage - imperialism.

The Iraq Study Group echoes this idea in section C. 1. titled; "Precipitate Withdrawal":

The near-term results would be a significant power vacuum, greater human suffering, regional destabilization, and a threat to the global economy. Al Qaeda would depict our withdrawal as a historic victory. If we leave and Iraq descends into chaos, the long-range consequences could eventually require the United States to return.
I think my writing shows more creative flair than theirs, but I will concede that theirs does have a tiny bit more gravitas than mine.

The dire consequences of losing are exactly why we should only go to war as an absolute last resort. "Walk softly and carry a big stick." But Bush could not be bound by the accumulated wisdom past American statesmen and leaders. Bush had to think that he was special - that he had a divine calling - that he could ignore and disregard hundreds years worth of accumulated wisdom and leadership. He had to "reinvent the wheel." Perhaps he had "internet envy" of Al Gore. Al Gore invented the internet. George Bush invented a bold new American policy of; you're either with us or against us, go it alone, preemptive war with inadequate troops and no post war planning. The difference between Bush and Gore is that Bush really did invent his. His is real. It kinda makes up for that codpiece he wears. See: Bush Stuffs a Sock. Good Lord, I hope it is a codpiece for Laura's and Condi's sake. Forget that, if it is not a codpiece, I have penis envy. An old farmer that I worked for as a boy always used to say: "If I had just that much more, I could get strange stuff right tah home."

I have come full circle and I am now a dove because I have concluded that micromanagement by civilian authorities in this failed regime has made the war unwinnable. While I recognize the dire consequences of the Bush Regimes failed policies, I also recognize that burying our heads in the sand will not change reality. Continuing to fight a lost cause will not make the end result any better. It will make it even worse. More lives will be lost. More people will hate us with even greater passion. Our treasure will be spent, wasted and plundered (by Haliburton). Our strength will be sapped. Our enemies will be even more invigorated and encouraged. When the war is lost - it is lost. As I have written previously:

Come home. Focus on homeland defense. Keep your powder dry. And prepare for the big one. To use a sports metaphor: It is fourth down and fifty. Punt. Play defense like hell. And wait for your chance to go back on the offense. When you do go back on the offense, call a smart play this time, and for Allah’s sake idiot, don’t fumble the ball again.

Willing to Reconsider my Position.

New blood in the form of the Iraq Study Group could conceivably move me part way around the circle again - but only part way. The situation in Iraq is either hopeless or nearly hopeless. I had concluded that the war was lost, but the Iraq Study Group and Democratic majority have created a new day. Odds are that the war is still lost. I am willing to give a new a policy a little bit of time - emphasis on NEW POLICY and LITTLE TIME. Certain preconditions must be met by this failed Regime before I grant even temporary conditional support to a new policy. These bald faced liars have entirely lost the right to expect me to trust them.

PRECONDITIONS FOR MY SUPPORT

A new policy needs new leadership. We have a new Secretary of Defense. We need a new Secretary of State that will enthusiastically embrace the study group's request for diplomatic initiatives to Iran and Syria. The current Secretary of State is discredited and will have no credibility in talks with Iran and Syria. She supported the Regime's failed policies from the start. She also has close ties to 'Big Brother" Bush. So she is fatally tied to the failed policy and she cannot effectively represent the new policy. Foreign leaders need to know that there is a new sheriff in town otherwise they will not take the new policy seriously. We really need a new President, but of course that is probably not possible for 2 years. However the Vice President could and should resign and take the blame for the failed policies with him - if he cares about this country anyway. It is time for him to fall on his sword - maybe he could get drunk and shoot himself in the face with bird shot for a change. His huntin buddies are getting tired of getting shot - maybe they should act preemptively. Note to the Secret Service and the NSA - I am half kidding, I do not want anything bad to happen to Cheney, but for the good of the country, he needs to remove himself from power.

The burden of proof is on the "Big Brother" regime to convince me that they enthusiastically accept and embrace the new policy and are not just stalling for time in order to pass the problem and blame along to a new President and preserve the failure's legacy. Failure is the only legacy that the failure has. He can try to put lipstick on a pig, but the pig is still going to just be a pretty pig.

Protest.

In my article titled an open letter to Senator Debbie Stabenow I wrote that that the Dems should not focus our efforts on impeaching Bush because we have "bigger fish to fry." I also said that we should be prepared to impeach him if we found the necessary proof and he did not accept the rule of law. There is a protest scheduled in Washington DC by "The World Can't Wait to Drive out the Bush Regime." The protest is scheduled for January 4, 2007. I may still attend. For more information go to: The World Can't Wait. Bus tickets are available from some cities.

Posted by Ray Guest at December 24, 2006 4:30 PM
Comments
Comment #200321

If the weather is warm, maybe I will run past the protest. This time of year you have to run in the middle of the day to take advantage of the warming sun. Ask them to make enough room on the path for legitimate runners.

I remember the last time the Cindy Sheehan crowd set up near the Washington Monument. There were not many of them, but they managed to get in way very well.

One of the fun things about living in the DC area is that you get to watch the protestors come and go. The downside is they tend to be noisy and straddle the good running trails during the prime lunch times.

Posted by: Jack at December 24, 2006 6:25 PM
Comment #200322

Jack,

Was that on Feb. 4, 2006? If it was, I was the guy that tripped you.

Posted by: Ray Guest at December 24, 2006 6:32 PM
Comment #200324

Jack,

You live in Washington D.C.? Are you a lawyer? It’s all becoming clear now.

Ray,

At this point the only position regarding the war that I will support is to end it immediately. It’s gone on too long as it is.

Posted by: Max at December 24, 2006 6:48 PM
Comment #200325

I wear black sweatshirts to soak up that sunshine that I wear November-March. People might try to trip me but I am very nimble for an old guy) and nobody manages pull it off. Besides, I know the ground better than the protestors.

Posted by: Jack at December 24, 2006 6:52 PM
Comment #200326

Max

You must know that I am too dumb to get into law school.

Posted by: Jack at December 24, 2006 6:53 PM
Comment #200332

Ray
We do not have a new Secretarry of Defense. We have another old one. Same cold warrior.military-industrial,imperialist etc. etc. crap that has kept us from pursuing anything like an intelligent,honorable forign policy for years.More of the same with a better haircut.

Posted by: BillS at December 24, 2006 8:03 PM
Comment #200339

Ray,
I can”t believe it”s not a crusade!

And sadly, I see no cause for optimism in Iraq or Afghanistan. Once the winter passes and the fighting season is renewed, NATO is expecting the situation in Afghanistan to be the worst one yet. Pakistan has essentially withdrawn from the northwest, Wajiristan.

Meanwhile, Somalia has erupted into a full scale war, pitting Christian Ethiopia against the Islamic Court Union (ICU). Ethiopia and neighboring Muslim Eritrea recently fought a long war with each other; Somalia has not had a funcitoning government since 1991; and rather than see a replay of history, mirroring the Taliban ascendancy in Afghanistan, in which Muslim fundamentalists overthrew the warlords, the Ethiopians seem unwilling to watch the the ICU overthrow the Somali warlords.

It may be Gingrich was right after all: between Afghanistan, Iraq, & Somalia, we are sliding into WWIII.

Of course, we will never go into Somalia with American troops. Somalia does not fit the story we like to tell ourselves. Although it is every bit as capable of providing training & sanctuary to terrorists, and the ICU is actually run by a fellow who used to be on the terrorist watch list & was a compatriot of Osama bin Laden, we pretend Somalia is not happening.

There is no oil in Somalia.

It is all an awful lie. Or maybe a horrendous miscalculation. But the further we go down the road set by the Neocons, the more we stay the course, then the more committed we become to this disastrous outcome. Osama bin Laden achieved his strategic objectives more successfully than anyone could have ever dreamed.

I can”t believe it”s not a crusade!

Posted by: phx8 at December 25, 2006 12:17 AM
Comment #200340

phx8,

Excellent points. I have been concerned about Somalia as well. I knew that the ICU was Taliban like and had the potential of harboring terrorist but thought that there was a possibility that they would engage constructively with the civilized world. You seem more well informed than I am at the moment. We are in danger of losing Afghanistan as well, especially if we remain pinned down in Iraq. There would however still be some small ray of hope in Iraq if the Bush regime would enthusiastically embrace change. Granted of course, that is the same as saying, if pigs could fly Bush would not have to put lipstick on them. The key to the hope is diplomatic engagement with Syria and Iran which is why Condi needs to stay in the bedroom with George and Laura and out of the Department of State. For a better analysis of why there is still some small hope in Iraq reread my article titled:“Iran has won the war. It is time to sue for peace.” and follow the links to the: “Iran Its Neighbors and the Regional Crisis.” Of course the real hopelessness lies in the “Big Brother” Regime. What is the chance that pigs can fly? What is the chance that the Bush Regime will embrace real change? So, we will see pigs with lipstick on them.

Bills,

Yes, Gates is another indictable treasonous criminal from Iran / Contra, but he is the best hope we have got under the circumstances. At least he knows how run an imperial empire. The only thing worse than imperialism is to be a defeated, collapsed imperial empire.

For any of this to work, Condi has to go.

Posted by: Ray Guest at December 25, 2006 1:11 AM
Comment #200355

I think the magazine that called them “surrender monkeys” had it right.

Iran is building a nuclear bomb so it can wage a nuclear war against Israel. If is waging a terrorist war all across the globe. Has indicated to Al Qaeda that it should have leders in key positions in Al Qaeda. Its sending in Jihadists, explosives, and cash to kill americans.

And you want to go surrender to them and beg them to let us get out? You are the same folks that were giving Hitler bits and pieces of Europe proclaiming “peace in our time”. You are the same folks that told us that it was wrong to fight the cold war, that we needed to accept the enslavement to Russia of the the millions of Eastern Europeans. This same bad advice comes to us time and time again because of your anti war religion.

Go burn your candles and smear those who do not agree with you….now there’s true enlightenment…inventing crimes for a persident that has committed none because you “hate” him so much.

Hyper partisanship at it’s finest.

Posted by: Stephen at December 25, 2006 3:57 PM
Comment #200360

Stephen,
“Iran is building a nuclear bomb so it can wage a nuclear war against Israel.”

Prove it.
You cannot. No one can prove it. However, I do think the Iranians will eventually build one. According to our intelligence agencies, Iran is ten years away from doing this. In any event, Israel has its own nuclear weapons. Pakistan, an unstable dictatorship which does not even control substantial amounts of its territory, already has nuclear weapons. The Pakistani intelligence agency, ISI, supports Al Qaida. If you want to worry about proliferation, think about Pakistan.

“If is waging a terrorist war all across the globe.”

No. It it not. No Iranian has ever attacked the US on American soil. Not one. Zero. Zip. Nada. Zilch. No attempts, either. Same holds true to Great Britain, Australia, and almost every other country in the world. This is simply a lie.

Iran does support Hezbollah, which opposes Israel. This is a case where one theocratic democracy opposes another. Support of a Jewish state or an Islamic state is not a matter of national security for the US. Please remember where you owe your loyalty. Presumably, you are a citizen of the United States. If your primary allegiance is to Israel, they welcome jewish immigrants with a very undemocratic policy of a “first right of return.”

“Has indicated to Al Qaeda that it should have leders in key positions in Al Qaeda.”

Bull. Provide a credible link. Iran is populated by Persian Shias. They share neither religion nor ethnicity with Al Qaida. In fact, Al Qaida (actually, Al Qaida in Iraq) targets Shias. Iran supports SCIRI & Dawa, al-Hakim and the Badr Brigades. These are the groups controlling the Iraqi government, police, & Army. They are one major source of the Death Squads, which execute Sunnis.

Currently, there is a diplomatic to-do because the US military arrested Iranians in Iraq. These Iranians were there at the invitation of President Talabani, to aid the Iraqi government security forces (read Shias) against the insurgents (read Sunnis). Talabani is pissed.

“Its sending in Jihadists, explosives, and cash to kill americans.”

Bull. I would concede there are Iranians aiding Iraqis, primarily Shias against Sunni insurgents, and that some aid may be turned against US troops. But you are badly confused, because you think Iranians are part of some monolithic, coordinated opposition to the US. True, the vast majority of Iraqi Arab Sunnis & Shias want the US out of their country- over 70& of Shias, and over 90% of Sunnis. It is, after all, their country and not our country. However, that does not mean The Arab Sunnis cooperate with Iraqi Shias, never mind Iran, whose population is made up of a different ethnic group speaking a different language.

“This same bad advice comes to us time and time again because of your anti war religion.”

So, Stephen, tell me about your pro-war religion. Are you repelled by the reality of war? Why do you think killing people is a good idea? Tell me you advocate violence.

“… Inventing crimes for a persident that has committed none because you “hate” him so much.”

We will see. If congressional oversight results in an investigation, and reveals Bush committed crimes- that he did not merely lie to the Amnerican public, but actually broke the law- would you support impeachment?

Posted by: phx8 at December 25, 2006 6:09 PM
Comment #200362

phx8,

From your post it appears to me that to be a surrender monkey a prerequisite is to be in a deep state of denial.

Iran has put forward material telling Al Qaeda that they feel Iranians should be in upper levels of their organization. You WANT the link? www.google.com. Go find it them. I read it, it’s real, I don’t invent my facts like you….you want the link, do the work.

Iran funded terrorists have attacked the US in Iraq and killed US troops. Iran funded terrorists in Lebanon, killed the US troops there many years ago. Iran funds terrorism around the globe including Al Qaeda and Al Qaeda has attacked us in many places. Your denial of Irans radical right wing support of global terrorism is nothing more than self delusion to support your radical appeasement religion.

My Pro War advice? I am absolutely FOR war against those who use violence and death against us. I oppose the left wings cowardly, appeasement approach. Butchers around the globe only stop for one reason. Death, military power applied. The Arab world is watching you democrats and it feels you are surrender monkeys..and that with the bodies they can pile up and you surrender monkeys on their side, they can lick us anywhere. You are a part of their fifth column. You aid the enemy because you feel it advances your cultural war to reshape America into a more pacifist, amoral, Socialist nation. One that is self loathing and impotent in the face of agression from the violent of the earth.

If you were in charge, we would still be bowing our knees to the King of England.

Posted by: Stephen at December 25, 2006 6:24 PM
Comment #200366

Stephen,
Enough vague accusations. I will provide a link for anything I say which you doubt. I will provide a credible source. I will not tell you to go find it yourself. “Bring it on.”

The fact is, you will not, because you cannot. And reading something, somewhere, does not make it true. As incredible as it may seem, not everything you see on the internet is true. So, I say it again: Bring it on.

When you refer to the attack against the US Marines in Lebanon, in which 241 soldiers died, the group(s) which did it were predecessors of Hezbollah. There is suspicion of Iranian involvement. But I would point out to you that we invaded their country. Hezbollah consists of Lebanese Shias who live there. We do not live there. Lebanon is not our country. It does not belong to us. We have no right nor any justification for stationing US troops there, and we did not in the early 80’s, either.

Did you know Iran cooperated with the US in 2003 in hunting Al Qaida? I really, really do not think you understand. Iranians do not like Al Qaida. Iranians were very, very glad to see the Taliban fall, because the Taliban was primarily backed by Pakistan, at the expense of Shias in Afghanistan.

Most people, including myself, supported taking down the Taliban. The Pashtun Afghans gave safe harbor to Al Qaida & Osama bin Laden, and Bush was absolutely right to bring down their regime.

Most Americans, Republican & Democrat alike, both liberals & conservatives, still support the effort in Afghanistan. Of course, that inconvenient fact does not fit, does it? If it does, please explain. If I am a “surrender monkey” and a part of their “fifth column,” that must apply to Afghanistan as well as Iraq. But like your entire world view, that simply does not make sense.

Of course, we are not supposed to remember Afghanistan or Osama bin Laden. We are not supposed to question the fact that no Iraqi and no Iranian has ever attacked the US on American soil, or for that matter, attempted an attack, or even funded such an attack. Instead, we are supposed to give credence to unsubstantiated accusations.

You want war? You had better be able to provide solid evidence, Stephen. Vague accusations will not work. Do you want to bring it on? Then back it up!

Posted by: phx8 at December 25, 2006 7:50 PM
Comment #200369

phx8,

Thanks for doing the tedious work of rebutting Stephen. His views seem extreme and poorly supported. Where did this surrender monkey talking point start from anyhow - Tony Snow? My suggestion that we might need to come home, keep our powder dry and prepare for the big one is hardly surrender.

Iran is seeking nukes - sure. Bush labeled them part of the axis and said he was coming after them. Israel has nukes. If Israel would give up their nukes it would be a lot easier to persuade Iran to forgo theirs. Meanwhile we say we are concerned about proliferation… the “Big Brother” signs a deal with India that allows them to accelerate their nuclear program in exchange for mangoes which will provoke a nuclear arms race with Pakistan which is unstable and in danger of falling under the control of Islamic extremist - hello… is anybody home in the neo-con mind.

Finally, the U.S.S.R. had nukes, they were crazy and bent on destroying the west - but we still talked to them - but the idiot “Big Brother” and his followers want to reinvent hundreds of years worth of accumulated statesmanship and wisdom…

Posted by: Ray Guest at December 25, 2006 8:58 PM
Comment #200378

Ray,
The phrase “cheese eating surrender monkey” was uttered by Groundskeeper Willie, referring to the French. Recently a New York Post front page depicted two “surrender monkeys.” I think one was James Baker. It was basically a slam on the ISG recommendations. Typical Neocon modus operandi: cast slurs, attack the manhood of opponents, accuse critics of being traitors and fifth columnists.

Stephen is unwittingly echoing material coming from the few remaining Neocons. Cheney has set up an Iranian Directorate, similar to the notorious Office of Special plans for Iraq. A Neocon named Abram Shulsky is feeding Cheney an independent pipeline of “intelligence” about Iran, which Cheney in turn feeds to Bush, thus escaping any caveats raised by State or the CIA. Addington (of signing statement fame) and Wurmser, from the Office of the Vice President, just briefed Gates.

There are not many people who will “ape” Cheney and the Neocons anymore. They have been proved disastrously, hideously wrong about… well… just about everything.

They will be gone soon, and with any luck at all, they will be forced from office in utter disgrace. I do not think Republicans will accept another election debacle, and that Republicans- not Democrats, but Republicans- will ultimately bring Bush down.

Given the choice of another election disaster or turning on Bush, the men in the gray suits will toss Bush overboard.

Posted by: phx8 at December 25, 2006 10:38 PM
Comment #200387

phx8,

Given the choice of another election disaster or turning on Bush, the men in the gray suits will toss Bush overboard.
Lets hope. Bush and his followers probably think that he can walk on water though. Posted by: Ray Guest at December 26, 2006 9:55 AM
Comment #200405

Saying,
The Democrats are not on the hot seat, because Bush is still the CINC. Democrats have little power over the decisions made by the Executive Branch, short of cutting off funding. It may come to that. Oversight and investigation may reveal reasons to impeach Bush & Cheney, but Democrats have already made clear they are loathe to go that route.

Own it, Saying.

Own it.

Own the worst strategic error in the history of the United States.

Why do you think Iraq will get better in the next two years?

Posted by: phx8 at December 26, 2006 12:38 PM
Comment #200410

saying,

What are saying saying… I am not:

starting to see things George Bush’s way.
Did you not read my article before you started saying saying? The whole point of my article is that the “Failure” has to completely utterly and enthusiastically abandon his failed policies to receive any temporary support from me. He has to start seeing things “our” way. Otherwise, I am still in favor of impeachment. By “our” way, I mean by the way of someone outside of his insular proto-fascist neo-con bubble…

Posted by: Ray Guest at December 26, 2006 1:10 PM
Comment #200412

Ray,
Impeachment seems unlikely, because it would take a supermajority in the House & Senate. If the crime is bad enough, maybe, but why would Republican wait for that to happen?

There is no way Republicans are going to stand for the 2008 election to be a referendum on Iraq. The 2006 midterms were a slaughter, and with 22 R Senate seats in play v 12 D seats, the math is against them. It is only a matter of time before Republican leaders intervene.

What really worries me is that Saying may be right. Bush & Cheney and the Neocons know they have very little time left to accomplish their vision. They know they will never be in power again, that they will be political pariahs; but they are ideologues, and less concerned with the 2008 elections that achieving their ideological goals.

These next few months will be scary. If they are ever going to bomb or invade another country, it will be in the very near future.

Posted by: phx8 at December 26, 2006 1:27 PM
Comment #200416

Correction: impeachment requires a simple majority in the House, but a 2/3 majority in the Senate.

Posted by: phx8 at December 26, 2006 1:42 PM
Comment #200426

phx8,

I agree impeachment is unlikely. I believe that Bush has committed impeachable offenses but finding the smoking gun that proves it is another matter. So Dems should not waste time and political capital on it. Serious investigations are needed and if smoking guns are found then impeachment should occur. I think that saying is wrong about me but somewhat correct about the Dems. The Dems do not have much power here but they could cut off funding at least threaten to if Bush does not want to play ball. Cutting off funding (Bush’s economic balls) should not be taken off the table so soon. The Dems have been neutered. They are afraid of getting left with the blame for Bushes failed policy so they staying in the back seat. Iraq is a mess whatever we do so they don’t want their fingerprints on it - but we need for them to lead.

Yes Bush would like another war. I don’t think he could get away with it but…

Posted by: Ray Guest at December 26, 2006 3:26 PM
Post a comment