Friday, September 07, 2007

Until The Military Breaks, Or Longer

By Cernig

John Cole has everything you need to know about the Saintly Bush-Pet Report. The Saintly Bush-Pet has told his owner that "he wants to maintain heightened troop levels in Iraq well into next year to reduce the risk of military setbacks, but could accept the pullback of roughly 4,000 troops beginning in January, in part to assuage critics in Congress." As John says, "how nice of him".
If there is anyone out there who honestly thought Petraeus would come to Congress on the 11th and tell us it was time for a substantial drawdown or anything other than that “the surge is working,” please surrender your car keys to someone sane. I don’t want you on the road. Bush made it clear in his interview with Draper that we are here for the long haul, and that is what is going to happen. We are going to be there, in large numbers, until the military breaks. Or longer. Just get used to it. There is nothing you can do, because the Decider has decided. The dog and pony show that comes next week is just to make things easier politically for continuing the course of action that has been chosen- the reports we may withdraw some troops were just something thrown out there to mollify the opposition before getting back to Operation “DO WHATEVER THE FUCK WE WANT.”

All of the reports of problems by independent and respected group and backed up by hard data don’t matter. Their recommendations don’t matter. All the administration needs to do is count on the Weekly Standard and Michael O’Hanlon and the rest of the crowd to go out and do what they have been doing for years, and this administration has the cover they need. And if you argue otherwise, Bush and his supporters will claim you aren’t giving our troops what they need to win. Or that it is just the liberal media reporting only bad news. Or that the Democrats want to screw the country again, just like they did in Vietnam. The fact that the GAO is now caught in the crossfire and they can smear it is just an extra bonus- they don’t like accountability in ANY form. If the GAO is collateral damage, that is just a lucky break- those guys have been a pain in the ass for Republicans the last six years.
Meanwhile, over at Firedoglake, Scarecrow, like many of us, is pissed at the bystander mentality among senior Democrats:
Using the 2006 elections as a guide in which the public thumped the White House and Republicans for their conceit, childish arrogance and all around bad behavior, the Democrats have been acting as though letting the wayward children do whatever they want will work for them again in 2008. The implicit assumption is that somehow, the country will survive having the most irresponsible, reckless, lawless and dishonest Administration any of us has ever seen, and the Democrats can clean up the mess when they get in. But the costs of this strategy to the country, and to our Constitution, have been heavy.

It has not yet dawned on many Democrats that responsibility for everything the immature and reckless frat-boy and his dangerously reckless friends are doing may actually pass to them in January 2009. It won’t be seen as the Republicans’ problem; it will be theirs, and the American people will expect them to deal with it. If the 2008 elections go as the pundits are predicting, the Republicans will cease to be the irresponsible parents and the Democrats will have to deal with the unprecedented catastrophe this President has made of everything he and his dangerous friends have touched.

It is the corollary to Powell’s Pottery Barn rule: The Bush/Cheney regime broke it, but the Democrats will own it. And if that is the rule, one would think that the most important strategy for the Democrats now is to do everything they can to prevent the White House occupants from doing any further damage to the country.

...If Democrats have essentially conceded they will inherit the full catastrophe of Iraq, then they should have the good sense not to allow the Administration to start yet another war to pass on to them. The first priority of any defense funding bill should be to include language disavowing any authorization, either in that bill or in prior authorizations, for starting an aggressive war against another country. Congress should remove any legal argument that the Administration has authority to engage in military actions against Iran (or Pakistan or . . .) without coming back to Congress, making the case, and getting explicit authorization.

That seems the minimum the Democrats should demand for accepting responsibility for what is becoming their war. And if they can’t insist on that minimal degree of accountability, then then don’t deserve our support.
I agree, they don't. Especially, those that don't actually think the invasion of Iraq was a bad idea but instead is just poorly executed, those that want an attack against Iran (or Syria, or...) and those overly-enamoured of the whole concept of an American divine mandate to get involved militarily in every world situation where military intervention is the last thing needed.

However, the simple truth is that the Democratic party, for all its faults, is the only real alternative to the More Bush candidates being advanced by the GOP. The Dems are going to get support even if many hold their noses to do so - and maybe in years to come the spinless and the enablers can be given some well-earned payback in primary contests. In that, at least, the long memory of the internet will help matters - every word, every vote, is easily accessible nowadays. It isn't going to be easy to hide the past or sweep it under the rug. However, progressives who want a Democratic party they can support without a nose-clip shouldn't underestimate the strenth of the entrenched Dem heirarchy, the depth of corporate pockets, the inertia which favors incumbents. Maybe they'd be better accepting a couple of decades as the price to pay for building a new third party. Would it really be any slower?

(Luckily, I'm not a Dem - I have no problem supporting my party's policy on these matters.)

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