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Wed

20

Dec

2006

Sell-Out Democrats Have Walked into a Bush Trap on Iraq
Wednesday, 20 December 2006 13:59

by Dave Lindorff,


The Democratic Party and its feckless leaders in Congress are about to fall into a trap. The trap is being sprung by President Bush and his too clever brain trust, but the sad fact is that it was actually laid by the Democrats themselves.

Taking over the Congress on a wave of popular revulsion at the twin catastrophes in Iraq and Afghanistan, Democrats could have issued immediate calls for an end to those wars, a return of the troops, and investigations into the criminal causes of those costly fiascos. They could have initiated efforts to halt funding for further war and foreign occupation. Of course, taking such stands and actions would have opened them to charges of being "soft on terror," but the public clearly isn't buying that crap any more. With a little courage and leadership they could have handled it, and come out winners.

Instead, they took what they thought was the easy road, condemning not the criminal policies themselves, but only the administration's handling of the wars. This led some to call not for an end to the wars, but for more troops.

Now, Bush has called their bluff by proposing just that: more troops for Iraq (the so-called "surge" option), and a major expansion of the army over the longer term--the better to allow the president to invade other countries even as the nation is already mired in two losing wars.



And what are the Democrats in Congress going to do? Devoid of any principles, their chance to demand an end to reckless imperialist military adventures squandered, they are likely to fall in line and vote to fund both an escalation of the Iraq War and an expansion of the military.

It's a double win for Bush. He gets the funding for more war right through the end of his second term of office, allowing him to hand the Iraq quagmire to the next president, making it someone else's job to take the blame for the eventually unavoidable loss. And he gets a bigger defense budget and more troops to play with--perhaps as much as a 10 percent increase in total combat troops.

Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), the allegedly liberal, allegedly anti-war incoming speaker of the House, and incoming Senate Majority Leader Harry "send-in-the-cavalry" Reid can kiss their much touted "First 100 Hours" progressive agenda goodbye. With all the new money that will have to be thrown into the Pentagon sinkhole, there won't be a dime for domestic spending.

The Pentagon budgeters claim deceptively that every increase of 10,000 new troops adds another $1.5 billion in defense costs, which makes a 50,000 increase in troop strength sound like a manageable $7.5 billion extra--a drop in the bucket of a $500-billion defense budget. But this figure is grossly misleading. First of all it doesn't include the back-end costs of pensions, benefits and support costs, and the interest on the debt, which taken together at least double the figure to over $15 billion a year. But more importantly, it doesn't factor in the costs when those extra troops are actually sent into battle, where the costs of support, equipment, equipment replacement, medical and long-term care can explode. And make no mistake, the purpose of adding troops to the U.S. active-duty roster is to use them for further war-mongering and further imperial adventurism.

Singer Dan Fogerty had it right: this is déjà vu all over again.

When President Lyndon Johnson saw that the Vietnam War was being lost, he over-rode the best advice he was getting that the war was a lost cause, and escalated the fighting with a massive infusion of troops and an expansion of the U.S. military. The only result was more killing of Vietnamese and Laotians, and more dying of American troops. President Nixon did the same thing. Instead of ending the war when he took over the presidency in 1968, he upped the ante again, eventually raising the number of US troops in Indochina to over half a million, doubling the number of Southeast Asians killed to over two million, and more than doubling U.S. casualties to an eventual 58,000 before the U.S. finally had to admit defeat.

"Surge" is the new escalation, and we're set to repeat this tragedy, with Democrats (the new "sucker"), who had a chance to call a halt to the nonsense, instead stupidly joining the mad charge.

The end result of this betrayal of the electorate, which has made it clear it wants an end to the Iraq War, will be a collapse of the Democrats in 2008, with the party losing both houses of Congress and probably the White House too. It will be a richly deserved collapse.

While the hour is late, there is yet a slim chance for the public to rescue the Democrats from this course of political suicide and the nation from disaster. If masses of committed people from all walks of life take to the streets on January 27, when United for Peace and Justice (UFPJ) and Impeach for Change are planning a major demonstration against war and against the crimes of the Bush administration, maybe enough Democrats in Congress will realize the intensity of public opposition to further pointless mayhem and slaughter in the Middle East, and will realize the only option is to pull the plug on the president’s imperialist megalomania--and to initiate impeachment hearings against the president.

I realize counting on Democrats to do the right thing, even in their own self-interest, is a thin reed on which to rest hopes for a return to national sanity, but we need to grasp it.

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M Jackson said:

0
There's no trap
Both Democrats and Republicans are on the same side (Israel). They will follow their masters dictates in the Middle East. However, Iraq is an opening, bloody diversion. As the army attacks Iraq, the US gov't erodes rights at home by suspending habeas corpus, stealing private lands, banning books like "America Deceived" from Amazon, rigging elections, conducting warrantless wiretaps and starting 2 illegal wars based on lies. Soon, another US false-flag operation will occur (sinking of an Aircraft Carrier by Mossad) and the US will invade Iran, (on behalf of Israel).
Final link (before Google Books bends to gov't demands and censors the title):
http://www.iuniverse.com/bookstore/book_detail.asp?&isbn=0-595-38523-0
 
December 20, 2006
Votes: +0

Jimmy Montague said:

0
New name for the House of Representatives
Let's us just call it Madam Pelosi's whoreHouse and be done with it.
 
December 21, 2006 | url
Votes: +0

ddjango said:

0
...
There is nothing that better predicts future behavior than past behavior. Therefore, to expect that the Democrats, who have consistently supported the administration's juggernaut, to suddenly reverse themselves makes no sense.

The past two years has been a total waste of time for the Left, who instead of organizing a vital third-party movement, decided to concentrate on "reforming" the Democratic Party through Howard Dean. Sheer folly, that.
 
December 21, 2006 | url
Votes: +0

Tommye Rodrigues said:

0
...
I have given up on the democratic leadership. And the term "sell-out Democrats" was applicable when the good guys were sweating blood trying to limit the damage the Republicans are doing to the constitution. When we could have survived because of a few "decent" republicans, a few "turncoat Democrats" voted with the Republican majority. My belief is that Bush should be impeached; however, the Democrats and Republicans in the House and Senate who allowed him to break the law and violate the constitution, are they not his co-conspirators? They really should be impeaced also. So, let us proceed: we just need to clean house and start all over with a new band of thieves.
The difference is "Americans are a lot smarter now and will see the crazies coming."
Remember the line of one famous British historian: The men who can do the job would have to be dragged kicking and screaming to Washington. Those desperate for the job: they want to get rich mostly - and they do! There are, thank you God, some notable exceptions but they are few and far between. Thanks, Tommye
 
December 23, 2006
Votes: +0

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