When it all gets boiled down, and all of the other superficial and substantive issues are peeled away – this is the choice that this country will be making over the next decade. Not just now – whether to (gulp) pursue impeachment charges against Cheney, Gonzalez or even Commander Guy himself, but also in 2008 and beyond.
There are a number of differences – some very stark differences – between those of us on the left (and the sane ones among us who may not be “on the left” per se), and those rabid chest thumping not thinking past the words coming out of their mouths chickenhawk fingerpointing bloviating warmongering blowhards who are all about “staying on offense”.
Even with the differences in the approach towards education, religion, healthcare, the environment,
reality (sorry, trying to be nice here) – the biggest life and death issue – one where people are sent off to kill and die, and whose actions cause others to kill or die as well as die by virtue of displacement, starvation or whatever other means – is that of war.
Or bombings, military action, surgical strikes, shock ‘n awe™, “keeping all options on the table” – whatever you want to call it.
You would think the answer is obvious. A full two-thirds of Americans want a troop reduction in Iraq. And regardless of what anyone’s opinion is of whether Iran has a right to a nuclear program, Iran apparently (once again) is looking to have a meeting of the minds. Throw in the little petrol rationing in Iran and the blowback there, and it is pretty safe to say that chief saber rattler Ahmadinejad is looked about as highly upon in Iran as Bush is here.
Yet, Bush is still pressing for a missile shield in Europe which pissed off Putin and Russia. And Rice has to deny that Cheney wants to bomb Iran. Over in Afghanistan US led airstrikes (always a great way to fight an insurgency) killed dozens of civilians.
Always most dangerous are those who are backed into a corner when their cover is blown (and yes, that is for you Yoda fans out there).
Of course, we can’t forget the next crop - McCain talking about military options on Iran (after his unforgettable Beach Boys impression). Rudy’s “stay on offense” line of crap means that he completely misunderstands the dynamics of Islamic fundamentalists, why we were attacked (in the city he was in charge of) and why invading other countries won’t make things better. And there is Fred Thompson and his gem of a comment regarding those Cuban’s with suitcase nukes.
Um, is this what we have to look forward to for another eighteen months? Who can try to be tougher but actually out-dumb the rest?
Even Democrats are forced into talking tough, even though some may actually like it. But do you think that anyone dared think to ask John F. Kennedy if he would “take any options off the table” with respect to Russia and Cuba? I think not. Yet, instead of issues and talking in terms of reality, the debate is shifted to “how willing are you to bomb the shit out of another country if it looks at us funny?”
I was away on vacation this past week, and got to watch some BBC News, as well as a whole lot more CNN than I would have liked to (but there was nothing else on in the airport today). And the whole mentality of the US - especially in comparison to the UK – the country who was impacted these past couple of days was stunning. Some talking meatstick even asked Gordon Brown why he thought that London was targeted instead of Washington DC or New York. Is it ALWAYS about the US? Did this idiot feel jealous that it was the UK and NOT the US?
It is obvious that this administration has no clue (willfully or not) what it is doing with respect to Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, Palestine, Syria, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, North Korea or just about anywhere else. It is evident that chest thumping words (remember “bring em on”?) only cater to the morans. However, the morans have been in charge for way too long.
It’s time to change the debate. No more of this “yes, I would never take any option off the table” nonsense. No more “we must stay on the offensive”. No more hypocrisy. No more horseshit.
It is much more simple than all of that. This country does not like the “war” in Iraq. This country is even wary of going to war with Iran. This country is starting to realize that “the other war” in Afghanistan is going real poorly. This country is starting to realize (other than those who knew all along) that our military is at a breaking point and that war not only isn’t working but really sucks.
That is where the debate should be. Does this country want to remain at war or in ill-advised major military conflicts indefinitely? Does this country want to risk nuclear war by continuing its aggression in all corners of the globe?
I don’t think the country does. And if that is the case, there is only one road to go down. Now, next year, and over the next decade. The choice couldn’t be clearer.