Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Four from BuzzFlash

We'll note four from BuzzFlash.

Joseph L. Galloway's "Congress has earned its share of the blame for war mistakes" (Knight Ridder Newspapers):

The mistakes of omission and commission that abound in the record of two military operations - one necessary, the other not - were made by a president, a vice president and a secretary of defense and his civilian aides. But they would never have been allowed to stand uncorrected and swept under a convenient rock without the complicity of Congress, controlled by the same party that controlled the White House.
So when the time comes to point a finger don't forget those who people the marble halls of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives whose first duty seemed to be to protect the Republican Party and their president.
When they should have roared with anger they instead whimpered and whined and rolled over like puppies to have their bellies scratched.

Ray McGovern's "There is Such a Thing as 'Too Late'" (exclusive to BuzzFlash):

I believe Cindy Sheehan provides prophetic example for us all. She let herself be guided by the spirit within. President George W. Bush had said that the sacrifice of our dead soldiers, including Casey, was "worth it." And earlier this month he added that it was all in a "noble cause." Cindy, while giving a talk at a conference in Dallas, spontaneously asked if someone would come with her to Crawford, because she needed to ask the president what it was that he was describing as a "noble cause." You know the first chapter of the rest of the story. The point I would make here is simply that she was open to the spirit within, decided to follow its prompting, and did not hesitate to claim the help she needed.
Cindy used her conference speech to speak out clearly, as she has been doing for these past several months, and then she acted.
Is it not time for us -- each of us -- to be open to such prompting. Is it not time for us, amid the carnage in Iraq, amid a presidentially promulgated policy permitting torture "consistent with military necessity," amid growing signs of an attack by Israel and/or the U.S. on Iran -- is it not high time for us to speak...and to act. How, in God's name, can we not act?

Peter Baker and Shailagh Murray's "Democrats Split Over Position on Iraq War: Activists More Vocal As Leaders Decline To Challenge Bush" (the Washington Post):

Democrats say a long-standing rift in the party over the Iraq war has grown increasingly raw in recent days, as stay-the-course elected leaders who voted for the war three years ago confront rising impatience from activists and strategists who want to challenge President Bush aggressively to withdraw troops.
Amid rising casualties and falling public support for the war, Democrats of all stripes have grown more vocal this summer in criticizing Bush's handling of the war. A growing chorus of Democrats, however, has said this criticism should be harnessed to a consistent message and alternative policy -- something most Democratic lawmakers have refused to offer.

[. . .]
The internal schism has become all the more evident in recent weeks even as Americans have soured on Bush and the war in poll after poll. Senate Democrats, according to aides, convened a private meeting in late June to develop a cohesive stance on the war and debated every option -- only to break up with no consensus.
The rejuvenation of the antiwar movement in recent days after the mother of a soldier killed in Iraq set up camp near Bush's Texas ranch has exposed the rift even further.
Sen. Russell Feingold (D-Wis.) broke with his party leadership last week to become the first senator to call for all troops to be withdrawn from Iraq by a specific deadline. Feingold proposed Dec. 31, 2006. In delivering the Democrats' weekly radio address yesterday, former senator Max Cleland (Ga.), a war hero who lost three limbs in Vietnam, declared that "it's time for a strategy to win in Iraq or a strategy to get out."

Greg Mitchell's "Tipping Point on Iraq" (Editor & Publisher):

As the dog days of August wind down, the editorial pages of American newspapers face a moment of truth on the Iraq war. Over the next few weeks, with vacationers heading home, the president's popularity sinking, hearings planned in Congress and major antiwar protests set, the case for a U.S. withdrawal from Iraq -- sooner rather than later, as Al Neuharth has repeatedly put it -- will finally become a center of public and political debate.
Or, as Republican Senator Chuck Hagel of Nebraska (who once favored the war) said on Sunday, "We should start figuring out how we get out of there. I think our involvement there has destabilized the Middle East. And the longer we stay there, I think the further destabilization will occur."
It's time for newspapers, many of which helped get us into this war, to use their editorial pages as platforms to help get us out of it. So far, few have done much more than wring their hands. Not many months ago, in fact, some papers, including The New York Times, were calling for more U.S. troops for Iraq.
Now, it's literally do-or-die time.
As some of you no doubt know (and may be sick of reading), I have challenged major U.S. newspapers for more than two years to be first to clearly call for a phased withdrawal. Once a few do so, they will show that it is safe for others to stick their toes in the water.
The argument I've made is akin to Hagel's: While many claim that exiting will only make matters worse, the United States' presence is more of a long-term problem than a long-term solution, for both that country, and our own. Now, with Iraq moving toward a decentralized, pro-Iranian state, even some of my friends at conservative blogs and Web sites are shifting course, declaring that no American GIs should die for an Islamist nation.

If you have the time, visit BuzzFlash today and see what else is up (and if you would have selected the same items I did above).

The e-mail address for this site is common_ills@yahoo.com.