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Cowardly and deceptive means

The Webster Retort

Publication date: March 9, 2007

By Stephen Webster

Cowardly and deceptive means

I think the term “Democratic leadership” has become an oxymoron.

From the green fields of Crawford, Texas, during the sweaty summer of 2005, a rallying cry was issued from coast to coast. Thousands gathered just miles from the Bush Ranch, sparking a flurry of media coverage and the onset of an inevitable national debate. People of ever political stripe came together and built the most powerful emerging movement in America which now holds a commanding majority in the electorate.

In short, the Peace People Cleaned House. They swept a dearth of Iraq war supporters from their representative halls, proving our democracy may yet be salvageable.

This is not about partisanship. It is not liberal or conservative to be against dropping our brave men and women into a pit of razors. It is not Left or Right to wish our wounded soldiers were receiving proper medical care at government-run facilities. There is no Left or Right when ideology becomes of principal import over and above the health and safety of our sons and daughters.

But seriously, folks. This is getting absurd.

The amount of disgust that pursed through my veins at the notion of a “non-binding resolution” opposing the troop surge reached a level that nearly gave this Faithful Muckraker a Dick Cheney. Ehrm, I mean, coronary.

The Texan in me wants to stand up and shout: “You yellow-bellied, silver-tongued, lying, traitorous, unwashed, flat-footed, cowardly, good-fer-nothin, rot-gut scoundrels!”

First, the facts of this so-called “surge” ...

The president has “decided” to send in 21,500 additional troops, or so he said. (It is actually more.) Once complete, the “surge” would bring troop levels to – dun dun dun – the same level they were at in 2005; which was lower than in 2004.

America currently has about 120,000 troops in country. Post surge, it increases to roughly 141,500 troops. The nation of Iraq has a population of 26,783,383 terrorized, gun-clutching, panicky people. So, by that measure, there will be 189 Iraqis to every one American. In all reality, the “surge” is nothing more than a meaningless PR campaign; or as John Soltz of VoteVets calls it, “a drop in the bucket.”

BoiBush is clearly getting desperate to save face. Unfortunately, all this does is place a greater number of our men and women in an extremely dangerous situation far beyond their control.

It will make no difference.

And if the Walter Reed scandal is any indicator, the military is little better today at providing care for our wounded vets than they were during 'Nam. Sure, battlefield medicine has improved. But what good is it if we abandon them once they come home?

And the White House's line? “That's not our responsibility. Talk to the people across the river.”

Good Lord! My grandmother used to have a saying about America's power structure. It went a little like, “The buck stops here [meaning, at the White House], but most politicians just want to play 'smear the queer'.”

We are like the French in Algeria, and no amount of guns, bombs or fighting will solve our problem. The solution lies in a decentralized federal system with wealth-sharing, localized police and an emphasis on individual freedoms. Instead, we have given them a divisive and authoritarian religion-based state that serves only to fuel sectarian tensions, driving the civil war to new heights.

Nancy Pelosi, our esteemed House Speaker, was placed in a position of power by The American Peace Movement. Our bipartisan majority understands what it will take to pacify Iraq, and bringing our soldiers home NOW is just the first step. There is no point in keeping them in the middle of a crossfire. Even James Baker, DadiBush's third hand, understands this.

That Pelosi would promote the “non-binding resolution” as something useful is unconscionable. And now she is lending support to the passage of yet more funding to escalate the war? Who have we elected?

Republicans say that de-funding the war “puts troops in harm's way”. As though military command is just going to up-and-vanish, forgetting about all 141,500 soldiers in country. Give me a break!

Sadly, the utterance of such a phrase sends “Democratic leadership” scurrying for the hills.

Is the memory of our leaders so short that they cannot recall the 90's?

Texas Republican Congressman Sam Johnson is one such forgetful individual. He recently argued against a proposal to tie war funding to concrete troop readiness levels. “The grim reality is that this House measure is the first step to cutting funding of the troops,” said Johnson. “Just ask John Murtha about his 'slow-bleed' plan that would hamstring our troops in harm’s way.”

However, when President Clinton attached U.S. troops to a NATO peacekeeping force in Bosnia, Congressman Johnson had no problem committing to an action which, as he now feels, would “hamstring our troops in harm's way.”

In 1996, Congressman Johnson said, with some amount of indignation over Clinton's marching orders, I wholeheartedly support withholding funds! [Mmhmm.] Although it is a drastic step and ties the President’s hands, I do not feel like we have any other choice. The President has tied our hands, gone against the wishes of the American people, and this is the last best way I know how to show my respect for our American servicemen and women. They are helpless, following orders. But we, we are in a position to stop this terrible mistake before it happens.”

Even the esteemed Senator Phil Gramm of Texas vowed to support efforts his colleagues today claim would “put troops in harm's way.”

Yes, that's right: they were for cutting funds before they were against it.

Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Reid need to grow some spine. Their Republican counterparts utilize cowardly and deceptive means to avert honest debate. But they, being the so-called “Democratic leadership”, are proving no less cowardly or deceptive as they shirk their promise of Ending the War.

De-funding war opens the Path to Peace. Anything Else is just Smoke and Mirrors.

Accept No Substitute. Power to The Peaceful.

Mahalo.

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