Saturday, January 13, 2007

"The swagger is gone."

So writes Chuck Durante in a short, sharp opinion piece in today's News Journal:
We've seen Presidents in no mood to smile -- Reagan humbled, Johnson weary, Nixon defiant, Clinton angry -- but never before a President whose bearing betrayed that he knew his excuses were used up.
The oratory was familiar -- invoking a "global war on terror" early, feigning respect for consensus by mentioning the Iraq Study Commission whose recommendations he ignored -- but unfortunately, so was the unfocused strategy.
Like a flummoxed CEO explaining a plummeting stock price or the doomed manager of a floundering ballclub, he showed no understanding of the disaster nor a realistic way to curb the carnage.
Chuck, a lawyer and stalwart Democratic Party activist, continues:
President Ford's inaugural comments echoed recently: "Our Constitution works ... Here the people rule."
Yet, we were lucky. The nation nearly lost its hinges; the system can be hacked.
For the likes of Dick Cheney, the lesson of Watergate is to avoid Nixon's tactical mistakes, not his tactics.
If the people really rule, Congress must show courage. It must prevent the expansion of hostilities foreshadowed against other countries.
It must issue a vote of no confidence in increasing troop commitment.
And if the President doesn't get the message, it must use the power of appropriations to curb the most insane, misguided foreign policy blunder of our time, perhaps ever.
The scary part is the rising drumbeat for a wider war in the region. Right wing heartthrob Christine O'Donnell, also in today's News Journal, adds her voice to the chorus:
We are not at war with Iraq. We are at war with Iran in Iraq.
The logic (if you call it that) is that having failed to control the chaos in Iraq, we should widen the conflict to the entire region. As the New York Times reports, Bush seems determined to continue, and perhaps even widen, an unpopular war:
A recent series of American raids against Iranians in Iraq was authorized under an order that President Bush decided to issue several months ago to undertake a broad military offensive against Iranian operatives in the country, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Friday.
While we are likely to remain in Iraq for the remainder of Bush's presidency. Fortunately, as the News Journal reports, some in Congress including Joe Biden, are warning the commander-in-chief not to lead us into a regional war:
Sen. Joe Biden, chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, warned Rice that the authorization of force against Iraq that Congress approved in 2002 did not give the president a green light to invade Iran or Syria.
"We will fight that out if the president moves," said the Delaware Democrat. "That will generate a constitutional confrontation here in the Senate."
Bush, having ignored the results of the recent election and the findings of the Iraq Study Group, may force the issue.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

As time marches on more and more analogies between our current situation and that of Vietnam, become apparent.

In Vietnam, when we could not seem to quench the insurgents, we said "They are in Laos and Cambodia. That is why we cannot beat them." We have returned to that embattered frame of mind again. This talk of Syria and Iran is an outlet to steer our focus to a makeshift antagonist, and away from the failures of this administration's and (darling Christine's**) failed policy.

There will always be those who utter such nonsense, not to promote America's best self-interest, but to ingratuate themselves with whom they receive their bread and butter. There will also be those who will call them out when they do.

Yesterday George McGovern was asked about analogies between both wars. His sad response was something like: I always thought that I would die at least knowing that this country would never again make the same mistakes we did in Vietnam, and that would be the silver lining around that cloud that happened then. But this administration, by collapsing its intelligence, by limiting its decision makers to their own imput, has again put us right back to where we were. If we persue the same course we are on, we have the example in Vietnam, we will end up in the same place, someday pulling out in utter defeat. How many more lives will be lost, How many more billions wasted......"

Note to Christine O'Donnell: Be careful quoting scripture: He also said whatever you do to the least of my brothers, that you do unto me.......surely you are not saying our treatment of Iraq prisoners is mirroring his greatness?

5:08 PM, January 13, 2007  

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