Monday, January 08, 2007

EXPEDIENCY AND DEATH

In Judaism, it is said that to save one life is like saving the whole world. But there is a corollary to that principle, now isn’t there? To take one life needlessly …

By contrast, in secular America, it is said that you’ve got to crack a few eggs to make even a lousy omelet. And there is a corollary to that principle too: the folks who’ve been in charge of that Iraq War are definitely secular, not Jewish.

Now, boys and girls, let’s add a new set of names to that list of people in charge. Names like Pelosi, Reed, Clinton, Obama, Hoyer, Emanuel. That’s right – Democrats all. They will be asked to finance the war in Iraq, just as many of them were asked to approve the invasion in the first place. They may even be asked to finance a surge in our military’s involvement in the war – a prolongation of the conflict that has resulted in a Civil War in which the only thing the two combatants have in common is a hatred of the United States.

The Democrats know that a surge means simply a surge in folly. But they just might let it happen. Politically, why would they bail out the GOP? Let the GOP take responsibility for the success or failure of the war, right? Don’t give them an excuse to blame the lily livered donkeys for tying their hands … not when "victory" was still within reach.

Some of my more conservative friends still take the position that Vietnam War was a just, winnable war that would have had a groovy outcome if we only had stepped up the attack. They blame our defeat on the wimps who demonstrated in the streets and the woosies in the Pentagon who refused to give the troops the firepower they deserved. These same conservatives would clearly whip out similar rhetoric if Pelosi and Company pulled the plug on the Neo Cons’ Folly (aka the Mess-o-potamia). Politically, the Democrats would be well advised to give the conservatives all the rope they need to hang themselves.

But then again … there’s more to governing than playing politics, now isn’t there?

Permitting an escalation in this war under these circumstances essentially qualifies as aiding and abetting. Even the Generals don’t support the kind of surge the President is talking about. Now, if we brought back the draft and doubled our troop size and waged a total war against the insurgents … then maybe, a victory would be more plausible (I said more plausible; I didn’t say likely; winning Power Ball is plausible). The problem, of course, is that nobody is suggesting such a massive increase in troops. Not the Generals … not the President. And possibly, not even John McCain.

Actually, I may be wrong about that. McCain seems to be moving further to the right every day. By the time I get around to posting this, he might have passed Barry Goldwater and might be approaching Genghis Kahn in his rear view mirror. Unquestionably, McCain has touched a nerve with the bazillions of gun toting ‘Mericans (I believe that’s how they pronounce it) who supported the war wholeheartedly before it started, after it started going south, and up until the time that Condoleezza Rice admitted that we have made more mistakes in waging the war than the number of stars in the Milky Way. That was a tough admission, but you’ve got to credit Condi for her honesty.

Anyway, McCain seems set on winning the whole damn thing as if it were the Super Bowl – and while I’m not sure if he means the war in Iraq or the Republican nomination, I do know that he means business. Otherwise, why would he – a former Vietnam prisoner of war – toss more American bodies into a place where they’re not wanted?

Yes, to write about McCain is to underscore the Democrats’ “wisdom” in continuing to stand by their President. He’s the one who’s hanging himself politically. He’s the one whose pandering, recklessness, war-mongering, or twisted sense of humor (the charitable view) is going to be most tragically exposed if the surge idea becomes a reality, even in Bush’s more modest and palatable form.

My problem is that I don’t care so much about the political realities. I’m just sick and tired of our throwing gasoline onto this fire.

Democrats – if you are listening, please practice what you’ve preached. You’ve said that you oppose the war. You’ve said it was a lost cause. Frankly, you still say it. But I haven’t got the impression that you’re willing to throw your muscle whole heartedly into the movement for peace. Now that you’re in charge of the Congress, let Iraq be your first real battlefield … either that, or stop blaming the Republicans if the senseless carnage continues.

1 comment:

Finding Fair Hope said...

Doesn't look like it's gonna happen. Once again, the Democrats will betray the people who elected them because the Republicans will say nasty things about them for the rest of their lives ("You lost that war! You pulled out just when we were beginning to win! You listened to the American people!") unless they do.

As for John McCain, let's just say the Straight Talk Express left the station a long time ago. He learned if he was going to get along with "W" he would have to go along with him, and he still thinks he's gonna win the nomination. He once was a better man, but the inevitable compromises have beaten the fire out of him and all he wants now is to say he won the Presidency. We could do worse (look at what we've got now!) but if only he had won the Republican nomination the first time out -- before he learned reality's lessons -- or run as a Third Party candidate against Bush, we would be living in a better world today.

As for me, I've just got to get over wishing the past would change.