Maybe it’s time to sit George down with a psychiatrist, because he keeps advocating doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
There’s talk of using a U.S. ‘troop surge’ to stabilize Iraq early next year. Soon to be Senate Majority Harry Reid, in an effort to quell any hope we had in politicians, spoke out in support of it as long as it is intended to be temporary. Maybe someone should give George, Harry and the Pentagon a history lesson on the number of ways this hasn’t worked for the U.S. in the past.
While the President calls for enlarging the Armed Forces, it may be harder to pull off that kind of recruitment with a neverending ideological war. Bad behavior isn’t helping the recruiters’ cases either: this week it was discovered that Arizona recruiters involved in cocaine trafficking were kept on the job months and even years after they were filmed in the act, with continued access to students and schools.
At the same time, soldiers are organizing and calling for withdrawal from Iraq. These are the folks, alongside Iraqis, that we should be asking about next steps. Folks on the ground who have been a part of the current situation and can give a far clearer assessment of what it is like and what is not working are the voices that we need to support. On Martin Luther King Jr. Day they will present their Appeal for Redress to Congress demanding the withdrawal of troops and closing of U.S. bases in Iraq.
Our other reality check, the Iraqi people, continue to have little voice in our decisions on Iraq (despite the fact that it is their country and we are there to ‘give’ them democracy, but apparently they aren’t qualified to play with that toy yet). While one strategy in talking about Iraq is the need for ‘political will to win’ and more troops from the neocons, moderates and democrats have taken to…blaming the victims. It isn’t that the Iraqis need to step up, or be willing to fight for peace, it’s that we need to stop squashing their power within their own country to do what needs to be done. The elected Iraqi parliament has repeatedly demanded the withdrawal of U.S. forces, and at the very least they want a timeline for when we would be inclined to withdraw, yet we block all democratic efforts for reconciliation by giving the Iraqi people no power over what they see as the biggest cause of violence right now. So not only do we (racistly) talk about and treat the Iraqis like children who have no devoted self-interest in making their country safe and functional, even though they are the ones who most desperately want it, the whole time we chide them for not taking charge and doing just that.
It’s time to sit the U.S. down with all its (former) friends and relations, and tell them they have a problem. The Iraq Study Group Report [grim and deteriorating] wasn’t enough of a reality check for politicians already playing games to gain or retain power in 2008 (Iraq wasn’t our party’s fault, it was their party’s fault, vote for me!). We need to support the voices of our soldiers and the Iraqi people who are saying enough. We need to let them know we’re there and join our voices with theirs.
January 27-29 we’ll be doing just that. Marching on Saturday and talking to legislators face to face on Monday, we’ve got to make the new Congress act to end the war. It’s time for an intervention.
Will you join us?
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