Tuesday, February 6, 2007

My Civic Duty

At this time, our Congress people are focused on some type of resolution which will express disapproval of President Bush's "surge" or escalation in Iraq. Whatever they manage to pass will not stop the escalation, unless they cut off funding for the "surge", which they probably will not do for fear of being seen as "not supporting the troops".

My advice to them would be not to spend all their congressional time on Iraq, and to give attention to relations between the US and Iran. Here's a likely scenario that I see developing.

The bellicose rhetoric has already been ramped up. I envision a trumped up or exaggerated "incident", which will require an immediate response "to protect the troops". Bush will go forward with some sort of attack on Iran, without seeking permission from Congress. He'll just do it. Frankly, this scares the hell out of me.

Now I fervantly hope that that my prediction comes to nought. Nevertheless, this seems an appropriate time for me to get in touch with my representative, my senators, and those in the leadership in Congress, to call this matter to their attention. Perhaps, they could do something to prevent this from happening.

What caught my attention was this piece from The Atlantic by James Fallows. In it he says:

Deciding what to do next about Iraq is hard — on the merits, and in the politics. It’s hard on the merits because whatever comes next, from “surge” to “get out now” and everything in between, will involve suffering, misery, and dishonor. It’s just a question of by whom and for how long. On a balance-of-misery basis, my own view changed last year from “we can’t afford to leave” to “we can’t afford to stay.” And the whole issue is hard in its politics because even Democrats too young to remember Vietnam know that future Karl Roves will dog them for decades with accusations of “cut-and-run” and “betraying” troops unless they can get Republicans to stand with them on limiting funding and forcing the policy to change.

By comparison, Iran is easy: on the merits, in the politics. War with Iran would be a catastrophe that would make us look back fondly on the minor inconvenience of being bogged down in Iraq. While the Congress flounders about what, exactly, it can do about Iraq, it can do something useful, while it still matters, in making clear that it will authorize no money and provide no endorsement for military action against Iran.

Fallows is an editor at The Atlantic and has contributed to other magazines. His book, Blind Into Baghdad, was published in 2004.

When I first started this blog, I wasn't sure what it would be about. Apparently, for better or for worse, it's to be about whatever is on my mind.


  1. Exactly right, ma'am.

    Cut-and-run? As one of those betrayed Vietnam vets, spilled blood and ruined lives betrayed again by all who launched, authorized and have acceded to the war in Iraq without attending to that earlier war's lessons --- well, the betrayal bull's already jumped the fence. About all we can do is pray, work to stop the killing and encourage those in power to not spread the madness.

    A fairly new book by Jason Elliot, "Mirrors of the Unseen: Journeys in Iran," offers some useful insight into the people of Iran to anyone interested.

  2. Frank, my heart goes out to you. The treatment of Vietman vets has been shameful, indeed. I'm ashamed of myself that it took me until 1971 to fully grasp the wrongness of the Vietman War and to begin to actively oppose it. I'll add that I never ever blamed the troops. I blamed the leadership.

    It's not that I think my emails will carry great weight, but we must do what we can, mustn't we?

    I'd like to see two or three high-ranking generals tell the administration, "We can't do this," and if they're commanded to go forward, then say, "No, sir. I'm sorry, but I cannot in conscience do this," and resign. One of the primary duties of the leadership of military is to care for those whose lives are entrusted to them.

    Thanks for the info about the book. I'll make a note of it.

  3. I fear you are correct -- a quagmire in Iran is next. I think it's part of the "if we can't continue to run on the 'gay marraige threat' campaign, let's run on the 'don't change horses in midstream' campaign." I had GLBT acquaintances tell me in 2004 that they HAD to vote for Dubya, because you couldn't change presidents during a war. I hope and pray that the Iran scenario won't happen, but I fear it will.


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