See Josh Marshall’s post from yesterday and link to the Murray Waas piece he references. It’s one of the smoking guns in the Iraqgate coverup that needs to come out. If you need #11 added to the Iraq points in the last post below, how about this?
It’s time to face reality and take civic responsibility for the disaster in Iraq. With events worsening daily, it’s no longer good enough to wring our hands and lament how the Bush Administration has screwed Iraq up beyond all belief. It’s our country too. It’s past time to shake our heads, wishing the neo-cons who run the government were reality-based.
We need to be seriously considering what we can do as citizens— to make it impossible for our leaders to continue on this path. In no particular order of preference, here are several things that we CAN do:
1) Demand that your Congressional representative take a stand to turn over the day-to-day oversight of Iraq to the UN and to Iraqis.
2) Discuss the fallacy that we can’t change policy now that we’ve committed to war and occupation. The only thing this policy has led to is more war and more insurgency. If what your country is doing isn’t working, how exactly is continuing to do it going to work better going forward? Isn’t it time to change course and ask for the UN to help? Our Administration has proved it has no credibility on this issue. The US can still help rebuild Iraq’s infrastructure, but clearly can’t provide security.
3) Work to get a new Representative if yours won’t help. It’s an election year.
4) Write letters to the local newspaper describing your realization that Americans must take charge and stop this war, a war that makes us less secure against terror and more culpable for death and destruction in the Middle East.
5) Insist that there be an investigation into the origins of the Iraq War. Demand to know more about the Downing Street memos.
6) Support the Feingold censure resolution in the Senate. Write to your Senator and demand he or she take a position on the censure resolution. The power grab Feingold addresses should also open up discussion about the Administration's Iraq adventure and the secretive nature of its planning.
7) Speak up when people say, “There’s nothing we can do. These idiots will have their war whether Americans want it or not.” It’s only so if we let it happen. This is an election year and we will get the leaders we deserve.
8) Think about joining the April 29th demonstration in Washington against the continued occupation. The mainstream media says that people don’t care enough to demonstrate against the war. Prove them wrong.
9) Seriously discuss what to do with a President who ran for office advocating a ‘humble’ US foreign policy in 2000, even while it now is clear that he and his advisors were planning war against Iraq—before September 11, 2001.
10) Remind everyone you know that Osama bin Laden attacked the US and that our national interest is served by finding him, not Iraqis.
These are just a few things we CAN do. We wouldn’t want to tell our grandchildren we did nothing back in these dark days, right?
Seeing the pictures from the last few days of immigrant protests in cities across the U.S., I’m thinking that some of the most valuable qualities of Americans are our differences—from one another, from the Mayflower descendents, from what the colonial Americans thought citizens were. America is always evolving.
It’s amazing to see so many immigrants and supporters of immigrants take to the streets to speak out about their situation. It makes you realize how serious the challenges are to undocumented people’s lives— that with few options and so many reasons to remain invisible, people would still march in the streets rather than stay under the radar.
Despite the huge problems people encounter on arrival, they still come here, still revitalize this country with their labor and ideas and their will to make a better life for themselves and their families. Despite the fears of many Nativists that immigrants will drain jobs from the legitimate economy, history shows that waves if immigration have been followed by the economic changes that built up the U.S. in the world, not a falling off of American vitality.
Most of our families wouldn’t be here if someone hadn’t decided it was worth a try in the U.S. A lot of what our families accomplished here wouldn’t have happened if, in spite of the hardships and the anti-immigrant backlash of their times, someone hadn’t persevered and made a life in America. Much of what America itself achieved and invented over the years wouldn’t have occurred without immigrant thinkers and doers.
The people in the streets these past few days are coming from the same place in the human spirit. The images of people marching, coming from so many different countries, but marching together as one— well it looks pretty American to me.
For better perspective on the three years and counting since the US invasion of Iraq, it only makes sense to ask Iraqis. At Glen’s urging, I took the link to Riverbend and recommend you do as well. One theme that jumps out quickly is about religious warfare and how it has developed wholly since the invasion:
... I read constantly analyses mostly written
by foreigners or Iraqis who’ve been abroad
for decades talking about how there was
always a divide between Sunnis and Shia in
Iraq (which, ironically, only becomes appar-
ent when you're not actually living amongst
Iraqis they claim)… but how under a dictator,
nobody saw it or nobody wanted to see it.
That is simply not true- if there was a divide,
it was between the fanatics on both ends.
The extreme Shia and extreme Sunnis. Most
people simply didn’t go around making
friends or socializing with neighbors based on
their sect. People didn't care- you could ask
that question, but everyone would look at you
like you were silly and rude...
"We want to develop defenses that are capable of defending ourselves and defenses capable of defending others." - Washington, DC, March 29, 2001
The Wikipedia currently defines a Bushism as a”word, phrase, pronunciation, or other linguistic configuration unique to the public speaking style of President George W. Bush. It is unplanned, occurring most commonly when the president strays from his prepared text, or has no relevant notes to which he can refer. Quite often the meaning is different from the intended message…”
In today’s Bushism, we deviate slightly from that definition to bring you a Bush bite that actually incorporated a more Rovian trait, bridging back to your own agenda. In this Bushism, we see the President mangling the language to create a new definition of “defend.”
While the quote predates September 11, one wonders whether the President was even then thinking of “defending” others in Iraq, without yet having discovered the fig leaf of checking under Iraqi rocks for Osama bin Laden.
A hat tip to The Progressive Society Blog for the quote. With this remark, we mark three years of bloodshed in Iraq and no end in sight. Maybe the word that should have been redefined was “capable.”
Happy St. Paddy’s Day all. I’ll be wearing green tonight (and hopefully swimming in it too, after my poker buddies belly up to the table).
I won’t be marching with fellow Irish here in New York, however, until the St. Patrick’s Day parade welcomes all people, gay and straight, into the celebration.
Jane is seeing red (and a little dirty green too), in an excellent post last night on some of the little-known crooks who are part of the Bush data-mining cabal. It’s worth a look, as well as a check on FDL’s Lions and Lemmings list of Senate commitments on the Bush censure motion.
More good updates on Senators, Democrats, and the censure debate are available at PBD: Progressive Blog Digest, where Nick labors in the wee hours of the morning to round up the best and latest info throughout the blogosphere.
Today, Nick also highlights some New York dirt from police memos about preemptive arrests at demonstrations here…we’ve been ranting about this (into the wind) for years now. Finally, the Times noticed the cops even write this tactic down now, it’s so brazen.
(Photo on right taken near Irish Beach, CA. Top o' the mornin' to yez)