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The *NEW* definition of 'Cut and Run'

The Webster Retort
To be published on February 23, 2007

By Stephen Webster

The *NEW* definition of ‘Cut and Run’

Good Golly! With men like Patrick Murphy – a newly-elected Democratic Representative from Pennsylvania and veteran of the Iraq war - speaking truth to power in Congress, it is no wonder the GOP is doing everything it can to avoid a substantive debate on Iraq.

“[H]ow many more street corner memorials are we going to have for this war?” asked Rep. Murphy. “This is what the president’s proposal does. It sends more of our best and bravest to die refereeing a civil war. […] A few blocks away from this great chamber is a Vietnam memorial, where half the soldiers listed on that wall died after America’s leaders knew our strategy would not work. It was immoral then, and immoral now, to engage in the same delusion.”

I can only imagine the look on my Republican Congressman’s face as he watched this man, who knows the lay of the sand pit better than my “representative” knows the lay of his own district, rebuking his shallow, one-line philosophy with such somber requiescence.

Yet still, the new minority - cow-eyed, ‘yes-sir, anything you say, sir’ Republicans - just slink back into the shadows, mumbling about those dern Mousellums.

The stench of political desperation became so rank last week that a wisely anonymous staffer from the offices of either Rep. Shadegg (Arr-AZ) or Rep. Hoekstra (Arr-MI) leaked an insider memo to GOP friendlies, outlining how the party will attempt to avoid the debate. Their “strategy” - quoted verbatim - is …

“The debate should not be about the surge or its details. This debate should not even be about the Iraq war to date, mistakes that have been made, or whether we can, or cannot, win militarily. If we let Democrats force us into a debate on the surge or the current situation in Iraq, we lose.”

The memo further states that they seek to shift the debate away from Iraq and onto “the global threat of the radical Islamic movement.”

See? Like I said: dern Mousellums.

To think, the minority of our Congressional representation does not wish to discuss what we are spending not just billions, but trillions of dollars on. Oh, and there’s the whole massive loss of life, generations of galvanized people, untold amounts of collateral damage and crispy-fried credibility thing, too … Yeah, better change the topic to that invasion of Iran we’ve been cooking up the last six years.

To myself and many people my age - whose duty it will be to fight and die in Iraq should we continue on our present course - this is utter nonsense. The mid-term elections this past November should have sent a clear message, not only to stalwart, business-interests-first Republicans, but also to the out-of-touch D-droves, that the American public has grown very impatient with this senseless killing.

Fifty veterans of the Iraq war ran for Congress in November. Only one ran as a Republican. Most of them – well, the Democrats anyway – won hands down.

One might think that with all these Iraq vets in the halls of power, nasty stabs at our brave men and women - like Bush slashing the Veterans’ health care budget in half by 2009 - would not be pushed through. Alas, in thinking this, one would be wrong. The cut is part of the new-and-improved Bush War Budget.

But at least the Army of Iraq vets in contention last year lead to some very interesting rhetoric during the campaigns. Take Tammy Duckworth, who ran for Congress as a Democrat in Illinois. Three years ago, her Blackhawk helicopter was shot down over ‘Dad. Both of her legs had to be amputated, and she came within a breath of dying. So what did her opponent, Republican Peter Roskam, accuse her of doing?

“Cutting and running from Iraq.”

Ouch, in more ways than one.

But now that Bush has retired the phrase, I have suddenly taken a shine to it. Cutting and running … Hmm. Maybe it does have a place in our lexicon after all. Is that not what the minority of our Congressional leadership has done on this debate? Cut and run?

Yep. Except this time, the context has changed. The cut was inflicted against our soldiers, increasingly abandoned upon returning home, just so Shrub Jr. could dump billions more into his war for fatherly approval. And the running, as we can all so plainly see, is in a bee-line, tail between their legs, right-the-hell-away from the truth.

As Shadegg and Hoekstra’s memo so clearly illustrates, they know this all too well. If the truth is spoken, they lose. New idea: Since Republicans admit they lost the Iraq debate before it even starts, let’s just skip it and end the war.

Sadly, this is within the new Congress’ power. They simply lack the will. That means it is up to you and I to keep on cranking up the volume. Not one more dollar; not one more death.

Troops. Home. Now.

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