Submitted by a World Can’t Wait organizer, 11/20/06.
In its every aspect the wars the United States is waging in Iraq and Afghanistan are monstrously unjust and immoral. The demand of people throughout the entire world has been that these wars must stop. And they must stop – the massive storm of killing and bloodshed and destruction they have unleashed upon the peoples of Iraq and Afghanistan must stop – without equivocation, without amendments, without adjustments, without delay. The justifications for the wars the Bush Regime have launched stand before the world for what they are – lies; these people and this regime are not fighting a “war on terror”, they are inflicting terror and horrors beyond description upon millions of people. They fully intend to extend and expand the suffering and destruction they have let loose upon the world. They are fighting a war for empire.
Millions of people voted for Democrats recently because they wanted to make a statement against the war and against the whole direction the Bush Regime has been driving U.S. society and the entire world. But very quickly it has become evident to all who can see that the elections have not in any fundamental way changed the basic course of the wars.
A NEW DIRECTION?
Leading Democrats talked about the need for a “new direction” in U.S. policy in Iraq. Then before the smoke had even cleared from the Republican defeat, the man more closely associated with the war and the way it has been waged than anyone except Bush himself, Secretary of “Defense” Donald Rumsfeld, was forced to step down.
Any hopes people may have had that these events signaled the U.S. would put an end to its occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan were quickly dashed. The talk in Washington hearings and press conferences became how to expand the number of troops, and by how much; it became how to continue and prolong the military occupation, not to end it.
Immediately after the election, Bush told his top advisers that they had to plan a “last big push” to achieve what Bush describes as victory. This will require an additional 20,000 U.S. troops in Iraq. Increasing troop levels in Iraq is also expected to be the first point in a four point “strategy for victory” in the much anticipated report from a panel headed by long time Bush family consigliere James Baker. (US plans last big push in Iraq, The Guardian, 11/16/06)
John McCain also called for at least 20,000 more troops. This is not a “set number”, McCain said, meaning it could be more. “The simple truth is that we don’t have the numbers to accomplish our military objectives”, McCain continued. McCain has been joined in the call for more troops by his ever loyal companion, Senator Joe Lieberman of Connecticut. Lieberman’s partnership with McCain is a component of achieving the “bipartisan unity” talked about so much lately in the media. The essential point of “bipartisanship”, as explained by Lieberman, is to be able to forge a strategy for pursuing and even expanding the war in Iraq despite the overwhelming opposition to it by people in this country. (McCain: Send 20,000 more troops to Iraq, Associated Press, 10/27/06)
General John Abizaid, who is the top Army commander in Iraq, also said there is a need for more troops to stay longer in Iraq. The Associated Press reported that Abizaid’s testimony before a Congressional panel was that “The U.S. military is likely to maintain and may even increase its force of more than 140,000 troops in Iraq through next spring”.
The Democratic leadership, in particular Nancy Pelosi in the Congress and Harry Reid in the Senate, have made it perfectly clear to all who will listen that they have no intention of stopping funding for the U.S. military presence in Iraq, and controlling the funding is the primary way they have of actually affecting Bush’s war policies. Spokespeople for the two of them spelled it out last week. “We”re going to continue to give the troops everything they need,” said Jim Manley, spokesman for Harry Reid. An aide to Pelosi added “The bottom line is that ” Democrats will leave no soldier left behind in Iraq. As long as there’s soldiers in the battlefield, funding will continue.”
The problem the Democratic Party has with the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan is not that they are unjust and immoral. It is not that hundreds of thousands of people have died needlessly. The Democratic Party leadership has a problem with the way the Bush Regime has waged these wars, not with the wars themselves. A recent article in the New Yorker expressed a criticism the Democrats have of Bush – that by closing himself off to differing views of how to pursue the war in Iraq he is lurching into a dead end that could damage the larger interests of empire: “between the President’s resolve to persist in the folly and the public’s instinct to be rid of Iraq there is a range of choices that could prevent the disaster from inflicting permanent damage on American interests”.
These are the terms the newly found “bipartisanship” is striving to establish. Finding a way to pursue the horrific slaughter for empire that Bush and Co. have unleashed in Iraq, while deflecting and muffling the demands of the people in this country and throughout the world that the war come to an end. These are not the “interests” of the people in this country. They are the interests of a criminal enterprise.
If this is the “new direction” events follow – if massive and powerful political opposition doesn’t manifest to all of this society and indeed the entire world that this war and all the atrocities of the Bush Regime come to a halt – then the killing and death will continue. The war will grind on, chewing up the lives of countless people. The destruction and havoc devastating Iraq will deepen, and quite possibly extend to other countries.
People in this country who want the war to stop must face this situation squarely in the face. Continuing to wait for the Democrats to act to end the wars is worse than useless. The hopes of many people that the war would finally end have been raised through this election. Those hopes are being crushed in the realpolitik of empire. Now the question is, what are we going to do?
This Regime Does Not Represent Us, and We Will Drive it Out !