By Bernard Weiner
Co-Editor, The Crisis Papers
January 9, 2007
...Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity...
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?
W. B. Yeats, "The Second Coming"
In the Vietnam-War era, which was the crucible of activism for my generation, we had a devil of a time trying to get the Democratic Party to recognize the necessity for withdrawing our troops from that ill-advised, unwinnable war. With regard to Bush's misadventure in Iraq, it turns out not all that much has changed.
The midterm election and many polls since have clearly demonstrated that Americans recognize that Bush's Iraq policy is and has been a thoroughgoing disaster -- from taking us into war based on lies and deceptions to the way the Occupation has been totally mismanaged. Our troops are now caught in the middle of a brutal sectarian civil war. But the Democrats appear to be divided about how to proceed: give Bush one last chance to "win," whatever that may mean, or start pulling out our troops while we still can with at least a shred of dignity.
Given this situation, the time for politeness, for speaking around the truth, is gone. Civility yes, holding one's tongue, no.
Not while more and more young Americans are dying in Iraq, 3000 to date, with an estimated 25,000 maimed; not while up to 3000 innocent Iraqi civilians are being slaughtered every month; not while billions of dollars each month (half-a-trillion! total so far) are being siphoned from the U.S. treasury, and vital social programs, to pay for this moral monstrosity of a war.
And definitely not while CheneyBush are determined to send tens of thousands more U.S. troops into Iraq's civil-war hellhole.
The "surge" scenario is one written to satisfy the Administration's political goals, not one expected to change much on the ground in Iraq, which is why so many military leaders are opposed to it. Clearly, the "surge" is a public-relations, fig-leaf operation to cover Bush's embarrassing exposure of mendacity and fecklessness.
REPUBS ARE NERVOUS ABOUT BUSH'S "SURGE"