S/SW blog philosophy -

I credit favorite writers and public opinion makers.

A lifelong Democrat, my comments on Congress, the judiciary and the presidency are regular features.

My observations and commentary are on people and events in politics that affect the USA or the rest of the world, and stand for the interests of peace, security and justice.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Facts of Iraq

(Spc. Christa Martin's image)

A number of current news items point out important facts about Iraq. A summary from Juan Cole's Informed Comment reveals that Muqtada al-Sadr is still a powerful oppositional force to the relatively powerless Iraqi prime minister al-Malaki, who has yet to reconcile with Iraqi Sunni Arabs. These are just the most current examples that our current president has been less than forthright on Iraq from the beginning.

The war in Iraq was a mistake from the outset. Now after almost eight years the result is that the influence of the U.S. in the Middle East is considerably diminished. Putting the most charitable face on the realities of Iraq, at the very least, the Bush administration lied about a number of facts in order to justify its aggressive invasion of the still troubled Middle East country. A number of officials no longer in the government have revealed a set of facts that show culpability for those charges. The latest is former Press Secretary to President Bush, Scott McClellan. Not everyone is impressed, however. Lapopessa, blogging at Make it Stop! Make it Stop.! has little sympathy for former Bush Presser Scott McClellan's treatment following the release of his new book, "What Happened." She concludes "Rats and Sinking Ships" with some pertinent questions for him:

Why do you consider yourself exempt from the contempt the rest of the administration deserves?
Why didn't you see fit to warn the American people when it mattered?
Why did you believe that loyalty to a political party trumped loyalty to the nation?
Why do you think you deserve money for discovering a conscience now?

Military means became the Bush administration's corporate ends -- It is more openly acknowledged that the war was about oil from the beginning. Not surprisingly, the administration's term for the aggression, the "war on terror," is no longer a phrase upon which administration officials can agree. "Kitchen Window Woman" wrote the 5/26/08 Dishpan Chronicles post, "Memorial Day 2008." The mother of a son who fought in the military, this articulate blogger is a fierce and active advocate for getting out of Iraq. She explained her post this way,

I'd been thinking about what I was going to write on Memorial Day for a long time. I finally decided to write exactly what I was thinking and feeling.

Memorial Day has become a day of exploitation. Those who fought in all of our wars are exploited equally to perpetuate the fraudulent use of our military today. The American military is being used to expand a corporate empire with little regard for international law or human rights. We have gone from a nation noted for fairness to a flag-waving, nuke happy global bully.

The UN mandate used by the administration to legitimize the U.S. invasion is about to expire. There is talk of a U.S./Iraqi Status of Forces deal that could be struck in July, but opposition is already forming on both sides of the ocean. The war debt in both the U.S. and Iraq continues to go up and neither government wants to pay for it. Worst of all, the Bush administration has failed to support the troops who fought in Iraq in proper and and appropriate ways. Blogger "bosskitty" at Bluebloggin has been following a story that is but a small example. It tells of how the Veteran's Administration is failing to deal with wounded soldiers' rights to vote. To quote:

On April 25, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) issued Directive 2008-023, “Voting Assistance for VA Patients,” allowing voter registration drives in VA hospitals, only to reverse itself on May 5 with Directive 2008-025. Without registration drives, it appears that each veteran will have to request support individually, placing the burden on veterans who are staying in hospitals, long-term care facilities, or nursing homes. Litigation on the issue is pending.

. . . [Senators] Kerry and Feinstein had earlier requested that the VA be designated a “voter registration agency” under the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA) — also known as the “Motor Voter Act.” The Act requires states to offer voter registration opportunities at all offices that provide public assistance, services to the disabled, and motor vehicle registration services.

The facts of Iraq are stark. The facts above, and the thousands of others, should continue to inform the Presidential campaign. Our current president's chosen successor, Senator McCain, will not be operating from the facts of Iraq, but using fear inducing rhetoric, hyperbole and distortion, hoping it will work with the voters once again. This time, however the facts of Iraq are emerging, and it is the facts that may save the nation.

View my current slide show about the Bush years -- "Millennium" -- at the bottom of this column.

(Cross-posted at The Reaction.)

My “creativity and dreaming” post today is at Making Good Mondays.

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