Friday, February 10, 2006

On resisting King George:

W. is at it again, trying to scare everyone into going along with his monarchical power grab. Yesterday he trotted out an old 2002 al-Qaeda plot to fly a plane into the 73-story Library Tower in L.A. as a justification for his domestic spying program and making the Patriot Act permanent. Nicely dove-tailing with Karl Rove's midterm electoral strategy of keeping all Americans in a state of terror and docility in order to sucker them into voting against their own bests interests, this cynical tactic has been a winner for the president and his party ever since 9/11. Fear is basically the only thing W. & Co. has to offer this country and unfortunately for all those killed and still fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq and their families, it's the one emotional appeal that will cause just enough people to check their common sense at the door to keep King George comfortably seated on his throne.

Not that everyone is fooled, as Lincoln said, "You can't fool all of the people all of the time," but with a compliant media and a gerrymandered Congress it doesn't matter if a majority of Americans now believes we were mislead into this pointless fiasco, our soldiers will keep coming home in a steady flow of broken bodies, broken minds and flag draped coffins for as far as the eye can see. Unless we all start being honest about the horrible cost of this war in Iraq in terms of the billions of dollars being squandered and the human wreckage we'll be living with and paying for as long as today's twenty year-olds will live, we'll surely lose everything we hold dear that we thought our brave soldiers were fighting and dying for in the first place.

The rationale for the war has changed so many times it difficult now to see why so many lives have been lost anymore. Saying we have to stay and compound this tragedy to validate the deaths of those already dead is not a plan for victory; it's an admission of defeat. W. is still looking under tables and chairs for those WMD, but the new party line nowadays is that our troops have to remain until Iraq's democratically elected theocracy---that which gets its marching orders from Iran---can stand on its own two feet. Is this reason enough for you soldiers and Marines over there to put your lives on the line? Are you willing to leave a gigantic hole in their hearts of your wives and mothers for the rest of their lives for this? Watching Lilah Lipscome in Fahrenheit 9/11 break down in front of the White House begging for her son's life is seared in my memory. The pain and anguish of the families who have sacrificed their loved ones is totally unnecessary and unconscionable.

And what happens the next time we actually have to fight a war that is actually in defense of our country? Will young people from all over the country run to the recruiting offices knowing that so many that came before lost their lives for a bogus cause? As Michael Moore said, our soldiers "serve so that we don't have to. They offer to give up their lives so we can be free. It is remarkable, their gift to us. And all they ask for in return is that we never send them into harm's way unless it's absolutely necessary. Will they ever trust us again?" Good question.

We can't see what the long-term effects of this war will be for the future of our country, but judging by history they could be severe. The Mexican-American war, begun in 1846, was another example of a president,James K. Polk, claiming his constitutional right as Commander-in-Chief to launch a preemptive war to grab land in Mexico. (Our present day immigration problems can be directly linked to this fateful war.) At the time of the war it was bitterly opposed by many Americans including Abraham Lincoln and Ulysses S. Grant who, despite his opposition to it, honored his duty to his country and fought with distinction. A great American patriot, future victorious Civil War general and two term president, Grant wrote in his memoirs that the Mexican war "Was one of the most unjust ever waged by a stronger against a weaker nation...The Southern rebellion was largely the outgrowth of the Mexican war. Nations like individuals, are punished for their transgressions. We got our punishment in the most sanguinary and expensive war of modern times."

There is much at stake in the Iraq war, but it has nothing to do with democracy in the Middle East, it has to do with democracy right here at home. The soldiers fighting for us over there deserve better from us living comfortably at home. They can't just pack up and leave if they think the war is unjust, so it is up to us on the home front to do all we can to force our leaders to bring the rest of them home alive and in one piece--- right now. The most basic obligation of those in command is to ensure that those who carry out their orders are protected, prepared and equipped. George W. Bush has failed miserably to honor that sacred trust and now it should be up to Congress to, in Al Gore's words, "start acting like the co-equal branch of government it's supposed to be." That is what democracy is all about. The people rule, not the king. Those in Congress must honor their duty to this country and rein in the executive who has run amok; otherwise they should be replaced at the ballot box by Americans who will do their duty: The Band of Brothers, perhaps?


Post a Comment

<< Home

hit counter script Top Blog Lists Favourite Blogs Top List
My Zimbio
Top Stories