How To Get Out of Iraq

I dont know if people are talking about this, I don't blog or watch TV news too much, but the time for this idea is now.  

We need to advocate an Iraqi referendum - let the Iraqi people decide if the US should stay in Iraq.  The scales are now tipping decisively against the war, but those politicians who support withdrawing our military are still open to charges of "not supporting our troops" or "cutting and running" and "turning Iraq over to the terrorists." 

We need a strong argument which will persuade moderates and casual Bush supporters, who are starting to turn against him, to reconsider their support.  And using Bush's own hypocrisy against him makes me smile.  

We must frame the debate:  "We all agree that Saddam was a vicious tyrant, and we all want Iraq to become a peaceful stable democracy.  But we disagree on whether a continued US military presence is helpful or damaging to that goal.  We went to Iraq to bring democracy, now we must ask the Iraqis what they want.  If they want us to stay, it will shut down the anti-war movement and Bush will be strengthened as a leader.  If they want us to leave, then we have no choice.. that is what democracy is about: letting the people of a nation determine their future."

The neoconservatives who run this country would never allow this referendum to take place.  It will put them on the defensive.  "Why won't you allow the Iraqi people to vote, didn't we go to Iraq to bring democracy?" It will allow the Bush moderates who are getting sick of the war to question Bush and the war without being accused of being unpatriotic.  

And it protects the politicians who want an end to the war.  It is inevitable that the situation in Iraq gets worse.  If we pull out under public pressure and Iraq becomes a fundamentalist terrorist haven, the neocons will forever blame the US antiwar movement, who pulled out of Iraq on a timeline.  But if we pull out because the Iraqis ask us to, then it is not a domestic political issue.  We will not have "fed Iraq to the terrorists," but rather, respected their freedom.  

If we make this our talking point, and we able to frame this debate on a national level, we can't be accused of not supporting the troops, we seize the freedom and democracy platform, and we expose Bush for the lying, greedy, warmongering hypocrite that he so obviously is.  

Do any Iraqis post on this site?  I never see anyone from Baghdad telling us their opinions.

WHERE IS THE VOICE OF OPPOSITION?!

I am so angry, not at the bush insanity, but by the failure of the Democratic party to elucidate clear policy alternatives.  Never in my life have I seen my country more in need of a voice of loyal opposition, and the Democrats are silent.  How will our message resonate with the American people when there is no message?

I am not talking about scoring political points.  I am talking about standing up for the truth, regardless of the political consequences because it is right and necessary.  Do we have leaders?  Do we?! Where the fuck are they?  Maybe they haven't been watching the news the past two weeks.

Our foreign policy is insane.  Our soldiers are engaged in an occupation that the UN sec general has called illegal.  We being cast in the role of war criminal, so concisely captured on videotape this week.  It is the president's fault that we are there, and things will only get worse.  What is the opposition party position on this?  Do we have one?

We, as a country, are incapable of dealing with real risks in Iran and North Korea, diplomatically and militarily, because of the current policies.  Shouldn't we be talking about this in a true public forum?

We hemorrhaging money inside and out.  Our trade deficit is unsustainable, and our deficit spending will require massive cuts in entitlements or massive tax raises soon.  Does anyone believe that tax revenues will increase due to huge tax cuts for the rich, as their theory supposes?  What is the evidence for this?  Is it worth risking our economy and our children's future on this theory?

Bush the first was right when he called this voodoo economics.  Why are the Democrats not yelling about this at every opportunity?  When the Euro surplants our currency in international commodies trading, and the dollar crashes as foreign governments liquidate their stocks of US reserves?  Considering the vehement anti-American feelings around the world, and our irrational economic policies, I think this is a real possibility.

Our intelligence agency is imploding under political pressure, our environment is being ravaged, our civil liberties are being erroded and the opposition is silent?  If it was a Democrat controlled house that changed its rules regarding criminal indictments and leadership to protect a vicious partisan Democrat speaker, would the Republicans be silent?!

Now that the elections are over, can't our leaders make our positions clear, and passionately assert them, not to win elections, but because we need to hear alternative ideas?  Can't we agree as a nation that we cannot tolerate irrational policies based on the belief that Christ will return to earth shortly, and clean up our mess?

Here's a suggestion:  we take some of the 15 mil that Kerry stashed away, and buy TV ads explaining our party's position on some of these issues.  Again, we should do this not to score political points, but because we need to aggressively engage in real dialogue.  

How can the leaders of our party be more irrelevant?  Lupron injections?  Asking Falwell and Heston to write our party platform?  Fuck the honeymoon.  If the leaders of the Democratic party can not now step up and fight for this country, then we live in a one-party dictatorship.  Democrats of standing from Carter to Obama need to engage the debate.  If they can not find it in themselves to do this, then, in the words of Dick Cheney, they can go Fuck Themselves.  

The Future

I think like a lot of people, I allowed my hatred for the bush agenda to overshadow my goal: making the country a better place.  My rhetoric was anti-bush, not pro-USA.  We need to close ranks and remember our goals.  

We need to advocate a strong platform, because it is in the best interests of the country.

My own contributions,for what they are worth:

  1.  The US needs to leave Iraq.  The justifications for the war have been proven wrong, too many people have aleady died. The proud Iraqi people will never accept a permanent US presence, and the longer our troops stay, the worse it will be for the pro-west, pro-democracy factions there.  After the January elections, the Iraqis need to have a referendum on the US occupation.. if they say leave, we leave... that is what democracy is all about.

  2.  The government needs to become fiscally responsible.  Right now we pay almost 20% of federal tax revenues to foreign banks, just for the interest on the money we owe.  Given the current tax-cut mindset of the GOP, combined with their need to pay entitlements, and increases in spending, the situation will be much worse in four years.  Taxes will need to rise, or spending slashed to avoid federal bankrupcy.  I doubt most Americans will tacitly accept slashes in the entitlement programs.

  3.  Full scale roll-backs in enviromental regulations will accelerate global warming, climate change, and will have repercussion far beyond this administration.  The levels of mercury emissions alone (I love that clean coal technology ad with the coughing eagle, thanks Dick) will make it likely all fertile women in the industrial midwest will have toxic levels of mercury in their bodies in a few years.  No problems for them, but big problems for their babies.  Increases in birth defects and mental retardation will result.  We need to advocate stronger environmental protections, and I think most Americans will agree when the see the results of this administration.

  4.  We need to stay true to our core values on social and social justice issues including better access to health care, and reproductive rights for women.  We should invite moderate republicans to join us to fight for these issues against this extremist administration.  

  5.  We need real leaders who can inspire us, and the American people.  I agree with Chris, I think Dr Dean is a great choice to lead the DNC.  We can wait to see who becomes the titular head of the party later, but I hope its a southern governor, with a last name that starts with a C.  Seems to be good luck for the party.

Strategy.  Since 1993, the GOP has clearly out-flanked us in the public relations war.  They play the media much better.  Lets do the following things:
  1.  Defence.  Deconstruct every talking point.  Its easy for the media to give any issue a GOP slant, or allow the GOP to at least define the argument,  when their machine pre-digests the facts for them.  To counter this, we should have an organized group who takes each talking point, and aggressively deconstructs it, point by point.  

  2.  Offense.  I dont advocate the contruction of a GOP-like talking-point machine, but it probably is not a bad idea to have an organized group determine the best way to present our own talking points.  The fact that a majority of the voting population thinks a decorated war hero would be a weak leader, and that a draft-dogding commander-in-chief  (that didnt know enough to leave a classroom when told the country is under attack)  is strong and resolute, speaks to the state of the spin war better than anything else i can think of.  

  3.  All things in moderation.  We, as individuals, can support some far-left things (ie. gay marriage), but the party must unite squarely in the middle.  Clinton's welfare reform is a good example.  

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