Friday, September 14, 2007

Caught between Iraq and a Hard Place?

Not according to "Lightwave" on the Wake Up America blog:

"This is now an unassailable fact: The official position of the Democratic Party of the United States of America is that America must surrender in Iraq to the terrorists, that so far these traitors to the country have not yet paid a price.

I do not use the term traitor as exaggeration or hyperbole. It is entirely appropriate. It is defined as “…one who betrays one's country, a cause, or a trust, especially one who commits treason.” The Democrats in Congress meet all four definitions of the word.

They have betrayed the country by attacking our troops and policy publicly, and by meeting with those who directly support our enemy. They have betrayed our cause by portraying our troops as murderers and savages and inciting Americans against our cause during a time of war. They have most certainly betrayed our trust as national elected officials, accusing our sitting President of lying during a time of war. And most of all they have committed treason by showing direct support for the actions and measures our enemy wants us to take, and fomenting surrender during wartime.

The price they will pay -- the price they must pay – should be exacted from them at the polls in 2008. It must be the unambiguous message that what America wants in Iraq is nothing short of victory, and that while a majority of Americans want us to bring the troops home, only a small percentage wish to surrender in Iraq.

The rest of us -- the large, overwhelming majority of Americans -- wish to keep troops in Iraq. We have a duty to fulfill. Part of that duty is to let America's enemies know that we will not capitulate to them -- that we will not give up -- that these colors do not run.

President Bush’s speech last night was great; he said what needed to be said, that no matter what your political party, victory in Iraq in America's best interests and that we must win there.

He also talked about a presence in Iraq lasting past the end of his Presidency. Let's be honest here. We all know that's the truth: Iraq doesn't stop being a problem on January 20, 2009. We will still have troops there. Although I would like to have them home, the mission is going to require years. Our job is to support it.

I'm glad he leveled with the American people on this. We will be in Iraq after President Bush is out of office. That's why the 2008 elections may be the most important ones in America's history.

Unless those elections are used to send a clear message to the world that America is going to get the job done in Iraq, we will be risking a much bloodier war in the future. There isn't a human being on Earth that can successfully argue that our departure from Iraq won't necessitate a much bloodier war down the road with Iran.

If we leave Iraq, we will still have to deal with Iran. The same if we stay in Iraq, but we will be in a much stronger position. Therefore, it is vital to America’s interests. Period.

I believe this country would rally behind President Bush once again. And the price the Democrats will pay -- not all of them, mind you, but most -- will be forgotten by our generation."

Thank you, Lightwave.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

"A Time to Reap" by William Rivers Pitt

Wednesday 20 June 2007 (and today, and everyday).

My friend Dan was on his way home the other day, and found an American flag crumpled in a gutter outside his apartment building. The flag, perhaps as big as the cover of a book, had been used as a decoration for some pre-Fourth of July party, but afterwards was merely thrown aside like litter for the street-sweepers to collect.

Dan gathered it up, smoothed the creases, and hung it from a nearby railing. The motivation for his actions was hard for him to explain, but it came down to this: Everything else in America is so screwed up, but this American thing before him would not be defiled within reach of his arm. My friend, surrounded by the chaos of a flailing nation and filled with the need to act, found some solace in the rescue of that flag.

He is not alone in his sentiments, not alone in his desire to make things right again within reach of his arm.

There is something happening today in America. With the right kind of ears, you can hear it in the sound of millions of brows slowly furrowing in anger and disgust. It feels like those tense moments just before the eruption of a summer thunderstorm, those moments when the air is electric, the ozone reek of spent lightning fills the world, and you know something very loud is about to happen.

What is happening, what can be heard and smelled and sensed all across the land, is the cresting wave of rage, betrayal and fury that is, finally, roaring across the shores of our collective American heart. After more than six years of lies, theft, graft, corruption, manipulation and misconduct, just about every living person within these borders finds themselves today gripped by the slow seethe, directed inward as much as outward, of one who has come around to see just how much of a fool they've been played for.

There are numbers to argue the reality of what is happening: The latest NBC/Wall Street Journal poll has 81% of Americans believing this country to be very much on the wrong track. Put simply, four out of every five people nowadays have that furrowed brow, that sense of betrayal, that slow seethe.

It is a Becoming, this thing, or perhaps an Awakening. It is very real, and is all around us, and it feels like something very loud is about to happen.

It is happening because of Iraq, to be sure, but the roots of the phenomenon stretch deeper into the soil, down where our basic ideas and ideals are rooted. The Iraq debacle, along with myriad examples of corruption and malfeasance, gives voice to a larger sense of outrage felt by nearly all of us today, an outrage so vast that naming it or describing the totality of it beggars vocabulary.

Americans are realizing that their faith and trust in the workings of the republic have been deliberately undermined, and the simple ability to feel good about their nation has been stolen away. Faith in the constructs of our democracy has turned to gall for the citizen who perceives now the magnitude of this theft. When joined in this by another citizen and another and another again, when the unrest of the one becomes a massed and overwhelming majority, those responsible should rightly tremble before the looming possibilities of what may come to be unleashed.

Most Americans, at bottom, have very little in common with one another. We are a collection of races, creeds, colors, faiths, schools of training and the generational freight of inherited bias and belief. We are separated by region, by upbringing, by the economics of class, by that which we know, that which we have forgotten and by that which we choose to ignore. The distances between us are at the center of our American experience, a rift that would be terminal if we ever lose our core linkage, the thing we all have in common as Americans.

We are from everywhere, with beliefs in everything, and the roots of our national unity can only be found in the weaving of our beginnings. All we have in common, across the broad span of this gathered multitude, are the documented dreams inked onto our Constitution, our Bill of Rights, the Declaration that announced us and the laws that have flown outward since. All we have in common is our faith in that link, in the ideas that created it. That's it. That's the one true bond between us, one both strong and fragile in equal measure.

That is the missing thing people have come to sense, the stolen thing which summons the storm. Partisan sensibilities and the your-team/my-team nonsense of modern politics is being replaced by the broad belief that we have all been screwed, that what is most important has been discarded by those in power. The poll numbers charting low approval for Bush and the GOP are matched by similarly low numbers approving of the new Democratic majority in congress. The former bears most of the responsibility for what has happened, as far as the citizenry is concerned, but the latter's failure to stop or reverse the trend is equally shameful.

The seeds of this Becoming have been planted, and have grown, and the time has come to reap.

The American people are weary of Becoming, weary of watching everything they hold dear getting cast into gutters. The midterm elections last November heralded their peaked frustration, and the power invested in this new Democratic Congress came with an invested trust, a hope that this wrong track would be righted. The American people are tired of waiting, tired of revealed wrongs continuing without consequence or punishment, tired of anticipation. This frustration smells of ozone, and feels electric, and means something very loud is indeed about to happen.

This new Democratic Congressional majority is not new anymore, and it knows what it needs to know, and the time has come to reap. Potential must become actual, actions must have consequences, and our faith in each other and what binds us together must be restored. Enough of talk. The subpoenas must be sent, the oaths must be required, the truths must be told, and the consequences of betrayals must be felt.

This new Republican Congressional minority is not new anymore either, and it knows what it has done, and it must join in the reaping. Matters have progressed beyond the pettiness of parties, because the problems before us can no longer be deflected with spin and blather. Enough of talk. The subpoenas must be welcomed, the oaths required, the truth embraced, and the consequences suffered.

My friend Dan did a small thing the other day. He made sure one small bit of America was right and proper and respected, because it was something he could do within reach of his arm. The Democrats in Congress must do likewise, must reach out their right arm, must make change with their long reach instead of merely promising change; they must do this now. Something is happening today in America, and it involves each and every one of us, and it is going to get very loud if matters continue as they have been.

It is time to reap.