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August 19, 2005

Iraq Part II

-- by Dave Johnson

Continuing my "what I'd do" about Iraq if I was King rant, and recognizing that anything we advocate is irrelevant. Like the Social Security debate, anything we put forward leaves us open to criticism and blame - but not to credit. One commenter wrote, "you know the President does not listen to anyone with a different opinion, giving him one enables him to shift the blame."

I'm saying that the RIGHT solution is not to mess everything up and just "withdraw," but to FIX IT. We should advocate that Bush either fix things or turn Iraq over to the UN and finance bringing in sufficient forces to restore stability, establish a government and justice system, AND finance the reconstruction. Not like this is what is going to happen.

Bush and the war-planners should be tried for war crimes. The Rule of Law demands this. They committed the crime of aggressive war, and the world needs to know that this is not tolerated.

Everyone in the chain of command of Guantanamo and Abu Grahib should be prosecuted for allowing the pattern of abuse of prisoners to occur.

And, finally, we need to change our country's political, election and information systems so that a far-right coup can not happen again.

Oh yeah, one more thing. Everyone who voted for Bush should be sent to Iraq to keep the peace until the UN takes over. And THEY should be taxed to pay for fixing things.

Update - For new Seeing the Forest readers: Don't misread my position as support for this war. I was completely, totally against invading Iraq from the moment it was first mentioned. I wrote from the start that it was clearly an illegal, immoral scam -- lies intended to manipulate the public. It is from this position - that it was wrong to do what we did - that I believe we now have a responsibility to the people there, and to the world, to do what we can to fix things there. As I said, you don't mess things up and then think "withdrawal" makes it right again. Unfortunately it was done "in our name" so it is us, you and me, who are responsible for the consequences. Just like the huge bill that's coming for Bush's tax cuts, trade deficit, housing bubble, etc. We're the ones on the hook for it. And one thing we can do to help set things right is put the perpetrators in jail.

Posted by Dave Johnson at August 19, 2005 9:01 AM

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Comments

Oh yeah, one more thing. Everyone who voted for Bush should be sent to Iraq to keep the peace until the UN takes over. And THEY should be taxed to pay for fixing things.

Now, that is how this game is played. Turn disadvantage into opportunity. When you're in the position where nobody will seriously consider the policy proposals you have to offer, make proposals that nobody should seriously consider, but which clearly illustrate the nature of the problem that needs to be addressed.

Posted by: s9 [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 19, 2005 10:13 AM

"And, finally, we need to change our country's political, election and information systems so that a far-right coup can not happen again."

We need to fix it so that NO coup can happen again. The far left can become just as fanatical and dangerous as the far right, given the correct circumstances. The Yin/Yang rule really seems to work here. Carried to extremes, ideologies and political beliefs tend to become their opposites.

Once oil begins to flow again in Iraq, provided the money from oil is also flowing into the iraqi treasury, I don't think we need to pay every dime of reconstruction and defense there. If we're providing all the cash, it's just too tempting to feel we then also have the right to provide all the ideology and political ideas as well. We don't. They have just as much right to set up whatever form of government they want as we do, regardless of whether or not we like what they choose to do.

Posted by: MJ [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 19, 2005 10:19 AM

We need to fix it so that NO coup can happen again. The far left can become just as fanatical and dangerous as the far right, given the correct circumstances. The Yin/Yang rule really seems to work here. Carried to extremes, ideologies and political beliefs tend to become their opposites.

Jeez, you had to bring that up! I'm sharpening my guillotine every day. Can't WE have some fun for a change?

Posted by: richard [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 19, 2005 10:57 AM

Dave's concept of "fixing it" is just nuts. It's just a dodge to try to avoid the inevitable -- the right-wing -- though in total control of EVERYTHING -- blaming decent, lawful and smart people for the consequences of their own indecent, illegal, and stupid behavior. If Dave actually believes this "fixing it" nonsense, which I REALLY doubt, he's been driven insane by the right. Too fucking bad.

Posted by: richard [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 19, 2005 11:02 AM

I am saying that AMERICA has a responsibility to Iraq because we invaded, killed tens or hundreds of thousands, destroyed their infrastructure and created the conditions for civil strife. You can't invade, fuck things up and think that it is then OK to just "withdraw."

Today I am also saying that part of that is a responsibility to prosecute the perpetrators. And then hand them to Richard and his guillotine.

Posted by: Dave Johnson [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 19, 2005 11:09 AM

Dave - you're right: anything we say can and will be used against us. So it is better to just shut the bleep up and stay on message:

Bush screwed up, Bush lied, Bush continues to lie and mislead the American people about the situation on the ground in Iraq, the situation in Iraq is screwed, Iraq is a disaster, Bush is delusional or a liar, how do you know Bush is lying? his lips are moving, Haliburton and Bush/Cheney's defense-contractor buddies are getting rich on the blood sweat and tears of American soldiers and Iraqi suffering, the Republicans are responsible, the Republicans don't have a solution, they need to come up with a solution that both prevents Iraq from being turned into one big honkin' terrorist training camp run by fanatical Islamic fundamentalists been on turning the clock back to the twelfth century AND avoids bleeding the United States dry, financially and morally, and killing a few thousand more of our young men and women (not to mention untold thousands of theirs), etc. etc.

I.e. we've got plenty of talking points without giving the Repugs ammunition.

Now, that said:

In an ideal world - we *would* fix it. In an ideal world, we'd systematically cease any and all support for dictatorial regimes, hold every government to the highest standard of democratic participation (and reform our own electoral system to be more representative), invade and depose any and all dictators, etc. etc.

The invasion and occupation of Iraq would have been a cakewalk, the Iraqi's would have risen up and deposed Hussein on their own, Iraq wouldn't be a crazy quilt of three major and several minor ethnicities and two major and several minor religious traditions that are geographically separated, the oil in Iraq wouldn't be everywhere but in Sunni territory, we would have been greeted with open arms everywhere in Iraq, the Iraqi people would take care of the terrorists, the Iraq armed forces would not be utterly dysfunctional, etc. etc.

Posted by: Thomas Leavitt [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 19, 2005 1:59 PM

I want to make a strong point. If we "withdraw" that does not end it. Aside from all the consequences for Iraqis there will be long-term ongoing consequences here. I'm talking about serious national security concerns. While we had no reason to invade Iraq WE HAVE CREATED THE THREAT. If we leave, we are leaving behind an Afghanistan, with a Taliban, but with all the resources of an oil-rich nation-state.

We went over there and killed maybe as many as 100,000 fathers, brothers, sisters and mothers. They aren't just going to forget that.

Anyone who thinks that "withdrawal" ends it hasn't thought past the painful events of today that are making them want to "withdraw." As if "getting out" means we'd be out. No, it means never being safe again.

No, leaving means we're STARTING not ending the problems.

If you think the weapons they will deploy against us in coming years are going to discriminate and not target the people who wanted to "withdraw," you are kidding yourselves. You are in the "denial" phase, as the consequences of what America has done are beginning to come home to roost. 1800 dead soldiers is NOTHING. We STARTED A WAR. Now we are AT WAR. We can't just "withdraw" and think that war ends because we want it to.

Posted by: Dave Johnson [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 19, 2005 2:11 PM

.."And, finally, we need to change our country's political, election and information systems so that a far-right coup can not happen again."

AMEN! If we don't, we will not see a Dem majority or Whitehouse again (imho).

Posted by: BadGimp [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 19, 2005 7:53 PM

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