Wednesday, January 24, 2007


President Bush is about to escalate the war in Iraq, in defiance of the overwhelming majority of the American public, our elected officials, his military leaders, and the country's best advisers. It is a suicidal action that has resulted in poll ratings similar to those of President Nixon in the throes of the Watergate affair. Yet still he proceeds.

How can we stop this madman? Our Congress, emboldened by the anti-war mandate of the 2006 elections, has taken the dramatic step of -- wait for it -- introducing a non-binding resolution opposing the troop surge.

They could have voted to impeach the president, but they didn't. They could have voted to withhold funds for the extra troops, but they didn't. They could have voted to cut all military funding related to Iraq, but they didn't. They could have voted to repeal their previous support of the war, but they didn't. Instead, they voted for a non-binding resolution. Non-binding. Totally toothless.

Our representatives are weak, spineless, worthless wussies. They have a mandate from the public, and they back down. They could help to stop this war, and instead they piddle, twiddle, and resolve. Nothing's ever solved when Congress abdicates its duty in this fashion. While they argue about the specific non-binding language in the non-binding resolution, President Bush marches forward, leaving more bodies in his wake.

It wasn't always thus. Rick Perlstein has an interesting article on that details how the Congress of a different era produced real legislation that helped to scale down the Vietnam War in the late 60s/early 70s. They could have done a non-binding resolution (in fact, such a resolution was proposed in 1970 by Senator Edmund Muskie), but stronger wills prevailed. Congress can put the brakes on a runaway president. The fact that the current Congress, despite the bluster, won't, is pathetic.

We must stop the madman in the White House. Only our representatives can do this. Write your congressman and senators. Tell them you want action -- real action that produces real results. Not non-binding resolutions and political compromise, but hard and measurable results. We have the power, which means they have the power. The madness must stop.

But that's just my opinion; reasonable minds may disagree.

Sunday, January 14, 2007


So President Bush plans to go ahead with his ill-conceived and universally reviled plan for a "surge" of 20,000 or so troops into Iraq. Most experts agree that this surge, more accurately an escalation of hostilities, will have no noticeable long-term effect, save for the needless deaths of hundreds of U.S. soldiers (and thousands more Iraqis, no doubt). This action positions Bush as the Nixon of our generation, out of touch with the reality of the war, the pulse of the populace, and the political winds in Congress. He has ignored advice from his generals, his advisers, and his fellow politicians, and truly is living in a delusional reality of his own making.

Bush's troop surge must meet with a matching surge of opposition. As sane and loyal Americans, here is what we must do:
  • Contact our senators and congresspeople to register our opposition, and to urge support for legislation that blocks funding for this troop escalation
  • Write letters to our local newspapers voicing our opposition
  • Remember which politicians are supporting this suicidal surge and make sure that they are not elected to office in the future (that means no executive office for you, Senator McCain)
  • Start talking about the possibility of impeachment -- of both the president and the vice-president

Nixon's escalation of the Vietnam War was one of the factors that led to his downfall; it was the first sign to many middle Americans that the president was out of touch with the reality of the times. Hopefully similar good can come from Bush's escalation of the Iraq War -- and lead to his eventual dethroning.

But that's just my opinion; reasonable minds may disagree.