February 27, 2007

I'm Just Loving All This Leadership!

I am overcome by teary-eyed inspiration as I contemplate the boundless bravery of Harry Reid:
Democratic leaders backed away from aggressive plans to limit President Bush's war authority, the latest sign of divisions within their ranks over how to proceed.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, said Monday he wanted to delay votes on a measure that would repeal the 2002 war authorization and narrow the mission in Iraq. ...

"Iraq is going to be there -- it's just a question of when we get back to it,"
Reid said, predicting it would be "days, not weeks" before the Senate returned to the issue. The war reauthorization legislation also appears to lack the 60 votes it would need to pass the Senate.
Harry is my man. "Iraq is going to be there." So deep, too. I really like that. And lots of Iraqis and Americans get killed and horribly wounded every single day.

No rush, Harry. You just take your time. Since you have no trouble passing non-binding resolutions, I'm sure ending a criminal war and occupation won't be a problem. Oh, darn it: you actually couldn't do even that, could you? Well, you're still my man, Harry. And Nancy's my woman:
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California, meanwhile, said she doesn't support tying war funding to strict training and readiness targets for U.S. troops.The comments distanced her from Rep. John Murtha, D-Pennsylvania, who has said he wants to use Congress' spending power to force a change in policy in Iraq, by setting strict conditions on war funding.

Pelosi said she supports holding the administration to training and readiness targets, but added: "I don't see them as conditions to our funding. Let me be very clear: Congress will fund our troops."
Wait just a sec. "Training and readiness targets"? Isn't that what the administration is holding the Iraqis' to? And now the Democrats are going to hold the administration to "targets"? Everybody's being held to "targets." Obviously, this is because it's working out so well.

And they'll "fund our troops." She is being "very clear." Way to go, Nancy! Lots more slaughter and mayhem. I love it.

John Edwards gave me a great leadership fix, too. In the first part of my Dispatch from Germany series, I mentioned an article I'm working on, tentatively titled: "John Edwards -- A Case Study in Foreign Policy Ignorance, Amorality and Failure." If I were to include everything that proves the truth of that title, the essay would become a very, very long book. The man just won't stop providing material:
John Edwards' presidential campaign wants to make it clear that he does not consider Israel a threat to world peace.

A spokesman for the 2008 Democratic candidate issued a statement Tuesday denying such a report on Variety.com. Columnist Peter Bart reported that Edwards told a Hollywood fundraiser last month that the possibility that Israel would bomb Iran's nuclear facilities is perhaps the greatest short-term threat to world peace.

The report was circulating on the Internet, and the Edwards campaign wanted to reassure its pro-Israel supporters that is not his position."The January 19th Variety article is erroneous," said Edwards spokesman Jonathan Prince. "Senator Edwards did not say nor does he believe that the greatest short-term threat to world peace is the possibility that Israel would bomb Iran's nuclear facilities. Senator Edwards said, as he has in the past, that Iran acquiring a nuclear weapon is one of the greatest short-term threats to world peace."
I suppose by "short-term" he means five to ten years, at a minimum. You would have had it right the first time, John, if you had actually said it. But it's very dangerous to speak the truth, especially on this subject. Given how politics has been conducted in America for a long time, you fit in perfectly, John: truth is entirely dispensable. You're my man, too, John!

This doesn't help, either:
Prince added that Edwards contends the Bush administration has failed to deal effectively with Iran and should begin by negotiating directly with the Tehran government to end its nuclear program.
"Negotiating directly" is fine, and is obviously what we should have been doing for years. However, negotiating "to end its nuclear program" is not fine. See here, here and here. See Gareth Porter, too. Well, I can easily leave this particular story out of the longer essay on Edwards. I have more than enough material as it is.

Turning to a related subject -- but still about war and killing, have no fear! -- I had an insight this morning that truly stunned me. I can't believe I never saw it before. I realized that it is absolutely critical that we continue with the two parties as presently constituted. Nothing is more important in the world.

Now why is that, Arthur? you inquire with interest piqued. I'm so glad you asked. This is what I realized. Republicans are just crazy about sending American troops into ground wars, where lots of them get killed. From the Philippines, to Vietnam (where Nixon continued and expanded that war for a long time, and got whole bunches of people killed), to Afghanistan and Iraq -- ground fighting all over the world. Lots of people die and get ripped apart, including lots of Americans. Now, some unkind critics of the Republicans say they like this sort of combat -- sending other people off to do the fighting, of course -- because they have deluded, nonsensical visions of their own "manliness," and relatedly that they're trying to compensate for considerable anxiety over their masculinity (or, as some genuinely unkind people might contend, for their fears that they have tiny...well, you know). Whatever. The point is that lots of Americans die. This is cool, so shut up.

On the other hand, Democrats love air wars. Call it the Truman Tradition, ably carried on by W.J. Clinton in Kosovo. In that Clinton business, including several other similar episodes (which largely destroyed some critical concepts of international law, severely eroded national sovereignty, provided a key impetus to the internationalization of the Muhjihadeen ["Mujihadeen forces effectively became the armed wing of Western liberal opinion"], and has led to what appears to be an endless American presence, all of which is exceptionally cool), no Americans died at all. Now, that is not cool. But look! Whole bunches of other people got killed. Clinton even bombed a Serbian television station, and killed and maimed journalists! Unbelievably keen. True, some cruel critics say Democrats like air wars because they're wimpy, emasculated cowards. To which I say: humbug. They still kill lots of people! That Truman guy was a piece of work, and Clinton did what he could. What great guys. Killing people is the important thing. So this is also cool, and you should still shut up.

You see? By alternating presidents from both parties, we get to kill lots of Americans and lots of them! So we can eventually kill everyone! This is very, very cool. I'm sorry I ever said a critical word about this wonderful system we've devised. Sometimes, I'm just terribly, horribly wrong.

Looking ahead: if for some unfathomable reason Bush can't get his Iran war on (like the Democrats are going to stop him, hahaha), Hillary can take care of it. That's really the Democratic kind of war anyway. One way or the other, we'll get it on. Another World War! With nukes! Now how cool is that!

See how much you have to look forward to? And you were depressed. Aren't you the silly goose. Lots more war coming, all kinds with tons of neat new gadgets. God, is this a great country or what?

P.S. About related matters having to do with Iraq, Lieberman, and ongoing Democratic control of the Senate, Digby writes:
But I have to say that I'm just a teensy bit disappointed in the Democrats. This is a war we're talking about not some tax cut legislation.


You can't help but wonder if Lieberman and the Senate Dems aren't working the same side after all.
You're "just a teensy bit disappointed"? Just a teensy bit? Eighteen children were killed today near Ramadi. Yesterday, fourteen people were killed in the same area. Just one small area in Iraq, just one city out of countless cities. It is, indeed, a war.

Digby, my friend. C'mon. I mean, c'mon.