I had fully intended my first issue posting to be about civil liberties. I was all geared up to write how Democrats have a unique opportunity to drive a wedge between social conservatives and civil libertarians by advocating a right to privacy amendment as recently suggested by Dan Savage in his Op-Ed to the New York Times. That will have to wait for another day. Thanks to Congressman John Murtha and the resolution just passed in the Senate, I must instead write about Iraq.
I find myself agreeing with Congressman Murtha's demand for withdrawl and disgusted by it at the same time. Candidly speaking withdrawl is dishonorable. Withdrawl is analagous to going into a small town, taking out a homicidal crime boss who plunders the community's resources, promising everyone that life will now be better, and leaving behind multiple rival crime families that kill anyone who gets in their way. That is what we're talking about doing. Let's not kid ourselves. The Iraqis are not capable of establishing and enforcing a civil society while conflict rages between the Shiites and the Sunnis. Any chance they ever had was eviscerated by the Bush Administration's inability to obtain international help in properly training Iraqi's on the ground and their reluctance to utilize the infrastructure from the former Bathist regime.
What sickens me the most about the Bush Administration's approach to the Iraqi occupation is their halfway concept. As my father has told me many times in life, it is impossible to be a little bit pregnant. Either success in Iraq is truly vital to our national security, or it isn't. If as Bush's rhetoric suggests Iraq is the central front for the war on terror then why didn't he put more boots on the ground from the very beginning? We never had enough forces in the first place to get the job done. Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld wanted Iraq to be the War of Novocaine. No pain. No broad sacrifice. War is not supposed to be cheap or easy. That's why responsible leaders only initiate it out of necessity. If it's not worth the sacrifices to win, then it should not be fought. Over 2,000 troops have perished and thousands more were wounded because the neo-cons wanted to make Iraq into a client state for the oil.
Now we find ourselves in a box because our military presence can no longer accomplish anything postive. Indeed, our presence is toxic and legitimizes Islamic Fascists as well Saddam's former minions as they wage attacks on their own people.
In Washington, the Democrats are feeling their oats. As Bush's poll numbers continue to plummet they smell blood and want to go for the kill. They joyfully accuse the Administration of lying about the intelligence before the war and are in a fever over the CIA leak investigation. I have no doubt the Administration lied, and history will judge Bush quite harshly - as it should. His stewardship of our nation is bereft of decency, honor, and competence. He easily ranks among the worst Presidents in our nation's history. More corrupt than Warren Harding and the cronyism of the Teapot Dome scandal. More feckless than the pre-Civil War Presidents who were textbook examples for the consequences of weak leadership. Even more feculent and nefarious than Richard Nixon who applied power more cynically than any President before him.
Nevertheless, I'm more disgusted with the Democrats. While everyone is focused on Congressman Murtha, my attention was captured by former Senator Bob Graham's Op-Ed in the Washington Post
Senator Graham was the ranking Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee during the lead up to the war. In his Op-Ed it appears obvious to me that while the Democrats did not have access to the same intelligence as the White House, they absolutely had enough to at least vigorously question the Administration's policy. Senator Graham found all sorts of inconsitencies and contradictons in the intelligence that was available and made the right call.
He closes his column with this: "
I voted no on the resolution to give the president authority to go to war against Iraq. I was able to apply caveat emptor. Most of my colleagues could not."Senator Graham you did your job. Your colleagues didn't do theirs. They were regulated by political fear and cowardice. It's bad enough to put your finger to the wind on issues such as taxes. War requires a much higher standard of leadership. Consequently, I have equal contempt for George W. Bush, John Kerry, and Hillary Clinton. Both parties are disingenuous on the Iraq War and a cabal of phony debaters and pathetic partisans.