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Kathleen Reardon

Kathleen Reardon

Posted: March 19, 2007 04:53 PM

We'd Be Out Of This "War" In Iraq If...


We'd be out of this "war" in Iraq if it weren't for all the idiots with microphones. What was that circus all about on Meet the Press yesterday? I guess none of the current Republican senators and Congressional Representatives were available, so Tom DeLay had to be invited to give us his "no surrender" version of the war. Surrender to whom? Excuse me, but was that the same Tom DeLay accused of taking bribes -- the one who had to be relieved of his position as House Majority Leader? Was this a huge General Electric bow to the far right? Tim Russert doesn't mind taking Democratic Senator Charles Schumer to task over his criticism of the firing of 8 U.S. attorneys, but two minutes later has Tom DeLay on his show, is nearly kissing his feet, and selling his book. That was a new journalism low.

We'd be out of this "war" in Iraq if for once the arguments against it were clearly presented and then repeated repeatedly. And if it were made clear once and for all that the taking of Baghdad and its aftermath had nothing to do with September 11, 2001. Yet, people like Richard Perle, also part of Tim Russert's circus of Republican hacks yesterday, do whatever they can to keep afloat the deception that these two are linked. And they succeed because Democrats are still willing to discuss the merits of this defunct argument.

We'd be out of this "war" if Democrats weren't so darn nice. I'm nice too, but stop short of whispering sweet nothings to snakes in the grass. Get a grip. Take a few lessons. Learn to stand up for what you believe in. Cease to debate issues on which the jury has delivered a verdict and left the room. One of them is that the terrorists are all in Iraq now for our convenience. Another is that criticizing the "war" is tantamount to criticizing the troops. I'm convinced there's a blue smoke list floating around the White House passed on to Republicans to create ambiguity. And who lets them get away with that? None other than the Democratic "leaders" who continue to debate issues that are closed instead of dismissing them as diversions. We don't need to dip so low as to have a Democratic or Independent Ann Coulter, but neither should we be eaten alive by incivility and crass deception in the name of civil debate with the uncivilized.

We'd be out of this "war" tomorrow if George W. Bush and Co. decided to frame our leaving as a "win." They can frame the hiring of 8 U.S. attorneys as due to the "pleasure of the president" but are equally capable of divorcing their firing from his lack of pleasure. Why hasn't anyone mentioned that firing people who serve at the pleasure of the President sure as hell must require that somewhere along the line he expressed his displeasure? Or did his guys just overstep their bounds - you know, insert their own "pleasure"? These people can make anything look like anything else. So they can make leaving Iraq a "win" if they want. All that talk about "surrender" and "cut and run Democrats" is just because they're not ready to leave Iraq yet.

We'd be out of the "war" in Iraq tomorrow if negotiation weren't synonymous with "surrender" among the G. W. Bush cronies. If we had among leaders in the U.S. people like President Carter's National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski to negotiate a viable consensus, peace would have a chance. He said on The Daily Show, March 14, that George Bush has squandered our nation's credibility, has not led with the social responsibility imperative of a single super power leader, has failed to move peace forward as would have been possible in the post cold war era, and has lost the necessary respect and trust of other nations around the world that would otherwise now be crucial allies in that endeavor.

We'd be out of this so-called "war" in Iraq if our elected representatives had the courage to do their jobs instead of merely filling fat-cat positions. Because they refuse to disallow continued buying off of elected officials so they can keep their own nests sufficiently padded, and this includes many Democrats, war too is on the auction block, bought but not paid for by those very companies that buy our representatives.

We'd be out of this occupation called a "war" if our leaders had courage like that of Dr. Martin Luther King who said in his December 11, 1964 Nobel Laureate lecture:

"In a day when vehicles hurtle through outer space and guided ballistic missiles carve highways of death through the stratosphere, no nation can claim victory in war. A so-called limited war will leave little more than a calamitous legacy of human suffering, political turmoil, and spiritual disillusionment. A world war - God forbid! - will leave only smoldering ashes as a mute testimony of a human race whose folly led inexorably to ultimate death. So if modern man continues to flirt unhesitatingly with war, he will transform his earthly habitat into an inferno such as even the mind of Dante could not imagine."

We would be out of this "war" if the children and grandchildren of those cowards insisting that it continue were the ones fighting. Or, if these self-appointed war experts had ever fought at all. While war-mongering idiots who've never been there insist unabated that any criticism of the war is criticism of the troops so that they can continue to send innocent people into harm's way, lives will be lost and damaged in the service of their ignoble avarice.

We'd be out of this "war" if the press would stop interviewing the press - people who work for one big conglomerate interviewing people who work for the same or similar ones. Isn't it bad enough that most Americans know very little about the world? Do you think we would still be in Iraq if Americans were educated about their world -- if they knew the reality of the dangers brewing in Afghanistan? And if they realized how powerful we're making other potential enemies while we weaken ourselves economically and in terms of security and military readiness?

We'd be out of this "war" if honest leaders could communicate effectively -- if they had courage and if they'd stop watching their backs and watch ours. Yes, we'd be out of this war if courage were not such a rarity on Capital Hill. We'd be out of this "war" if Americans started to insist that their leaders tell them the truth, not as they want it to be, but as it is and if we had the kind of press that helped us keep them honest.

We'd be out of the "war" if we really wanted to be. This is our country. Handing it over to liars and thieves is how we get our just desserts. On this anniversary of the "war," let's keep that firmly in mind and do what each of us can to make it stop. Start by sending your list or this one to your representatives and insist on more than a form letter reply. Demand that they be courageous or hand the job over to someone who has what it takes. And if they aren't up to the task, as soon as you have a chance, fire them. That's when we'll be out of this "war."