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, April 04, 2007

Trust in short supply
Gene Lyons

Posted on Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Here’s a puzzle: If President Bush really thinks he’s holding all the
cards in his impending showdown with congressional Democrats over Iraq
funding, why bother with a veto? On previous occasions when Congress
passed laws Bush found irksome, he’s quietly issued “signing statements”
declaring in essence that the president is a law unto himself. Statutes
Bush doesn’t like, he vows to ignore. He’s done it scores of times. He
did it with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, granting himself
the authority to indulge in warrantless wiretaps. He did it again with
the 2006 Patriot Act, signing a bill mandating reports to Congress about
the FBI’s use of national security letters, but asserting that the
president needn’t comply. It’s no coincidence that the Justice
Department’s inspector-general later found widespread FBI abuses of
privacy rights. So why not just issue another signing statement saying
Congress can pass all the resolutions it wants, but U. S. troops won’t
be leaving Iraq until the Decider gives the order? Two somewhat
paradoxical reasons. First, the stakes are too high, because everybody’s
watching. Bush may be commander-in-chief, but the United States isn’t
yet a military dictatorship. Second, some Republicans have convinced
themselves they’ve got the Democrats where they want them.

A recent Washington Post news story claims that the impending deadlock
“has Republican political operatives gleeful.” Rep. Jack Kingston,
R-Ga., predicted, “It’s going to be like the government shutdowns”
during Bill Clinton’s administration. “The Democrats’ honeymoon is
fixing to end. It’s going to explode like an IED.”

Not the most appropriate simile, I wouldn’t have thought. GOP glee is
contradicted not only by 2006 election results, but also by every extant
opinion poll. A March 29 Pew survey asked whether “Democratic leaders in
Congress are going too far... in challenging George W. Bush’s policies
in Iraq.” Exactly 23 percent said “too far,” 30 percent answered “about
right” and 40 percent “not far enough.”

The Post’s own poll shows that 56 percent favor pulling U.S. forces out
of Iraq “even if that means civil order is not restored there.”

The public’s far ahead of the Beltway opinion elite. This president is
no longer trusted. Once people make that fundamental decision, they
rarely change their minds. They’ve pretty much had it with Bush, Dick
Cheney and their far-fetched World War II analogies. They understand
that Iraq’s not a war, it’s a military occupation, and a
catastrophically bungled one.

When as relentless a hawk as former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger
says, as he did recently in Tokyo, that “a ‘military victory’ in the
sense of total control over the whole territory, imposed on the entire
population, is not possible,” Americans no longer believe that any
conceivable Iraqi government is worth the cost in lives and treasure.
They recognize the childishness of basing U.S. policy on al-Qa’ida
taunts, as Bush and Cheney have done repeatedly.

Conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer recently repeated the trope.
No less an authority than Osama bin Laden, he argued, “has been explicit
that ‘the most... serious issue today for the whole world is this Third
World War that is raging in Iraq.’”

Yo, Chuck, you don’t reckon bin Laden might try to sucker the U.S. into
a strategic blunder, do you? Besides, if this is World War III, then
Iraq should be likened to Dunkirk, not the Normandy Invasion. Sure,
Adolf Hitler crowed and boasted after the heroic British retreat from
France in May 1940. But Winston Churchill understood that if the Brits
didn’t withdraw, they’d have no army left to fight with. Every day the
U.S. remains in Iraq, killing Arabs and presiding helplessly over a
civil war, gives Islamic extremists a propaganda victory.

Meanwhile, Bush’s most strenuous defenders look ever more ridiculous.
Holy Joe Lieberman recently wrote a USA Today column claiming that
“sectarian violence is down in Baghdad” and lamenting that “just at the
moment things are at last beginning to look up in Iraq, a narrow
majority in Congress has decided that it’s time to force our military to

Let’s not notice that this is maybe Lieberman’s 10th announcement of
impending triumph. Violence has risen sharply across Iraq. Last week’s
Tal Afar truck bombing killed 152 people, the single bloodiest incident
since Saddam Hussein’s overthrow. Shiite police rounded up and murdered
65 Sunnis in reprisal. Got that? Iraqi police are sectarian insurgents.

Then there’s Sen. John McCain. The famous straight-talking maverick
recently got insulted by cheeky CNN reporter Michael Ware, who called
McCain’s claim that an American could safely walk through many Baghdad
neighborhoods “beyond ludicrous.” Stung, McCain flew to Baghdad with a
delegation of hawkish senators who bravely visited the city’s Shorja
market—wearing flak jackets and guarded by 100 U.S. soldiers, three
Blackhawk helicopters and two Apache gunships. The next day, 21 Shiite
workers were kidnapped leaving the market. Their blindfolded, handcuffed
bodies were found in a nearby village. Any questions?


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