(Update: The U.S. House of Representatives voted 246-182 Friday in favor of a resolution denouncing President George Bush's escalation of American troops in the continuing Iraq occupation.)
"We owe it to the men and women of our armed forces to pursue a policy that offers them the best possible chance of success—not a plan that repeats past mistakes.”—U.S. Rep. Dan Boren.
Democrats will reaffirm America’s basic constitutional structures Friday in the most important political vote in at least a generation.
The U.S. House of Representatives has been debating a short resolution criticizing Bush’s escalation of the gruesome Iraq occupation the last few days. This is a much needed discussion created by the November elections in which voters spoke clearly they want an end to President George Bush’s botched debacle. A vote on the resolution is scheduled Friday. Some Republican House members are expected to join Democrats in passing the measure.
The only Oklahoma Congressional member on the right side of history in this greatest vote in a generation is U.S. Rep. Dan Boren, a Democrat who spoke eloquently in favor of the resolution during the debate.
Adopting the modus operandi of their unethical leader, many GOP members are consistently lying in their presentations, using straw-man and red-herring arguments and, of course, presenting contradictory points. How did some of these illogical, angry corporate toadies, liberty-haters, and Bushbots become empowered in our democracy when they obviously stand against democracy as a basic concept and philosophy?
Let’s dissect some of the GOP lies in the debate:
GOP Lie #1: The resolution helps terrorists. Nothing in the resolution mentions our fight against terrorists throughout the world, and the only reason outside terrorists are in Iraq is because of the incompetent war planning by the Bush administration. The Bushies have also sided with a Shiite government in Iraq that is sympathetic to anti-American interests in Iran. Consequently, given our current occupation strategy, an escalation of troops only supports terrorists in organizations such as Al-Qaeda.
GOP Lie #2: By standing against the resolution, the GOP supports committing enough troops to stabilize Iraq. In fact, not a single Republican has come forward with a valid plan to institute a draft in order to deplore the half million troops needed to get the job done. It’s the GOP which lacks plans, not the Democrats. Many Democrats favor a phased redeployment. They realize the country citizens will not allow the government to establish a draft for the occupation.
GOP Lie #3: The resolution does not support the troops. But a majority of troops and their families, according to a recent poll, do not support the president’s plans for Iraq. They want to come home. They know the occupation will not work. The resolution very much supports a majority view of what the troops think about Bush’s handling of his misguided occupation.
GOP Lie #4: The resolution emboldens our enemies throughout the world. No, what emboldens our enemies is American quasi-fascism and neoconservatism. In the past six years, the country transformed itself from a democracy of checks and balances into an imperial-presidency form of government established to benefit war profiteers, such as Halliburton. That's how the world thinks of us now. But democratic debate and free speech will always be our country’s most important asset.
GOP Lie #5: The resolution is really an attempt to micromanage the war. This one is laughable. The resolution is staggeringly significant in terms of symbolic value, a first step back to a constitutional democratic republic, but it’s a nonbinding measure, and it does nothing to cut off or limit funding for the occupation.
GOP Lie #6: The resolution is just a meaningless political game because it’s nonbinding. This is another laughable point and contradicts the GOP Lie #5. The resolution has created the first open debate about the Iraq occupation in five years. It’s intellectually dishonest to call that meaningless. A majority of Americans disagree with Bush’s handling of the Iraq occupation, and they desperately want this debate. And so what is it? Is it micromanaging or just political crap? The Republicans want it both ways, of course.
GOP Lie #7: It’s wrong to even debate the occupation in the House and Senate because Congress shouldn’t ever question military decisions made by the commander-in-chief. But then what is the role of Congress? Why even have one? Each GOP member who speaks against debating all components of the bloody occupation essentially speaks against the core principles of our democracy.
The Republicans don’t want a debate because they have been so dreadfully wrong about the Iraq occupation for five years now. Of course they don’t want to be held accountable for the needless deaths of thousands and thousands of American soldiers and innocent Iraqis or the $370 billion already spent on the occupation. What’s the political gain in truth for these people? Better to risk it all, and, by extension, all of us, and our children’s and grandchildren’s futures.
America has not been so challenged by such reckless and blind presidential and Congressional leadership since the Vietnam War era. The November elections changed that. If America, using its democratic structures, can now correct its error—the Iraq occupation—it will be the greatest story of democratic affirmation and people power in a generation. That story is the best weapon against those who wish us harm, not bombs.