Nasty Letters To Crooked Politicians

As we enter a new era of politics, we hope to see that Obama has the courage to fight the policies that Progressives hate. Will he have the fortitude to turn the economic future of America to help the working man? Or will he turn out to be just a pawn of big money, as he seems to be right now.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Majority will have its way
Gene Lyons

Posted on Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Game definitely on. With Democrats assuming control of Congress, the
pieces are in place for a struggle that could redefine American politics
for a generation or longer. Personally, I’ve always opposed impeaching
President Bush. After the Republicans’ ludicrous attempts to remove Bill
Clinton, for Democrats to normalize the practice by appearing to
retaliate in kind could only inflame partisanship, boosting TV and radio
shout-fest ratings at the expense of weakening the Constitution.
Although polls show slight majorities favoring impeachment, the votes
just aren’t there. Even so, it’s not hard to imagine how it could
happen. Because to allow an arrogant, arguably delusional president and
his shrinking band of ideologically driven aides to double-down in Iraq,
gambling the “lives and sacred honor” of American soldiers to save face
in a misbegotten war also would do incalculable harm to the idea of
self-government. To remove Bush, however, Republicans would have to take
the lead. As Bush is currently wrecking the GOP everywhere but the Deep
South, chances may not be as remote as they seem. The cult of
personality surrounding the White House has broken down. Last November,
American voters delivered as clear a verdict on Iraq as an off year
electorate can possibly render. No Democratic incumbent lost anywhere.
Yet Bush acts as if it never happened.

For three years after the administration forced Gen. Eric Shinseki into
retirement for testifying that a far larger force would be needed to
occupy Iraq than Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld planned, the White
House insisted that the U. S. had precisely the right mix of soldiers in
place, that victory was imminent and that Bush never failed to heed his
brilliant generals in Baghdad.

Only after Rummy got fired did we learn that he’d himself proposed “an
accelerated drawdown of U.S. bases” in Iraq in 2007. Instead, more than
3,000 American lives into the war, Bush dumped him and cashiered the
brilliant generals, also apparently for opposing escalation.

He’s chosen Gen. David Petraeus, the author of the Army’s manual on
counterinsurgency, to replace them. True, Petraeus’ 101st Airborne
troops did a better job pacifying the locals in Mosul in 2003 than other
U. S. forces. But his second job there involved training the Iraqi army
and police forces, an unqualified disaster.

Some conservatives argue desperately that a “surge” of 20,000 troops
will save the situation. Writing in The Washington Post, former NATO
Supreme Commander (and Democratic presidential candidate ) Wesley Clark
sets them straight: “We’ve never had enough troops in Iraq. In Kosovo,
we had 40,000 troops for a population of 2 million. That ratio would
call for at least 500,000 troops in Iraq; adding 20,000 now seems too
little, too late. Further, U.S. troops so far have lacked the language
skills, cultural awareness and political legitimacy to ensure that areas
‘cleared’ can be ‘held.’”

The larger problem is the same one that confounded Petraeus’ efforts to
train Iraqi forces. As a nation, Iraq scarcely existed in 2003 when the
U.S. invaded. Since then it’s disintegrated into sheer, bloody chaos,
with tribal and sectarian loyalties overwhelming all others. The
transformation of Saddam Hussein’s execution into a sectarian snuff film
ought to teach Americans all they need to know about the government
we’ve installed there.

Mere reality, however, has never made an impression on the Bush White
House. What’s more significant is that Clark, valedictorian of his West
Point class, after all, no longer looks like a maverick. The president’s
political support is melting like the polar ice cap. And it’s not merely
pundits like the Post’s George Will and Charles Krauthammer and The New
York Times’ David Brooks who’ve pronounced themselves appalled. ABC News
recently polled the members of the 2002 U.S. Senate that voted 77-23 to
authorize Bush to use force in Iraq. Knowing what they know now, they’d
oppose the war 57-43—a 34-vote swing.

Writing in Human Events, right-wing icon Oliver North argues, “Sending
more U.S. combat troops [to Iraq] is simply sending more targets.”
Recently back from Baghdad, North says contrary to Sens. John McCain and
Holy Joe Lieberman, “[n]ot one of the soldiers, sailors, airmen,
Guardsmen or Marines I interviewed told me that they wanted more U.S.
boots on the ground. In fact, nearly all expressed just the opposite:
‘We don’t need more American troops, we need more Iraqi troops.’” Fat
chance. Even more ominous for Republicans not named Bush was a recent
Military Times poll. Since 2004, active-duty service members calling
themselves Republicans dropped 14 percent (from 60 to 46 percent )
seemingly in direct response to Iraq. Thirty-five percent think Bush has
handled the war competently; 75 percent think the military’s dangerously
overstressed. Predicting the future is folly. History, however, teaches
that when strong majorities of Americans want something, our political
system finds a way to give it to them.


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