Thursday, September 02, 2010

Kick the can

Don Walker (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel via Boston Herald) reports that US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi gave a speech to the American Legion yesterday in which she declared "We promise them a future worthy of their sacrifice." We spoke to two veterans groups yesterday (one mid-day, one at night) and Pelosi's speech was raised. No one had read reports on it but, in a sign of how damaged she and her party have become as a result of their broken Iraq War promises, the general consensus -- and these were left and left-leaning veterans -- was anything she promises is the first thing she's going to cut. That was the opinion of her. Again, the Democrats should have kept their promises. They did not. (Not only is the Iraq War not over but the little song and dance of the 2006 midterms will not be forgotten.) (For those late to the party, Nancy promised publicly that if Dems got control of at least one house of Congress in that election, the Iraq War would end. They got control of both houses. Still have it. And US troops remain on the ground in Iraq.) Nancy thought we could be promised anything and then they could play kick the can forever.

The New York Times has a piece on Iraq that we'll be kind and not link to. It's by a woman who served in Iraq who doesn't want to apportion blame and, good golly, they tried, they tried, they tried on reconstruction but - but - but -- It doesn't matter. Iraq wasn't your playpen, Iraq wasn't your Fisher Price set of toys. Iraq is an independent country and if you can't accept that, if you can't accept that there was never any real effort at reconstruction at the top where the 'planning' took place, then you've got nothing to share. We have never worshiped the military here and we have repeatedly noted that they should be but one voice in the fabric. Instead, the desire for a junta makes them the voice and, point of fact, most don't have the perspective. That's true of the brass as well. The retired general on The Diane Rehm Show got all bent out of shape when Phyllis Bennis pointed out a few realities and came back with, "Well from a soldier's point of view . . ." There is no good to come from this war. It is an illegal war. It was built on lies. It cannot be prettied up.

Xinhua reports on US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates speaking in Iraq yesterday and notes Gates claiming it is for history to determine the call on the Iraq War. Talk about kick the can. No, it is for us to determine. It is amazing that Barack bastardized "Que Sera Sera" in his speech Tuesday night and yet, while claiming the future belongs to "us," they won't to kick any evaluation far down the road. There's a reason for that and any good defense attorney can explain it to you. Let's say your client gets picked up for a DWI. If you have the trial quickly, you can get a judgment. It probably won't be one in favor of your client. If, however, you can postpone and postpone and postpone, your client can 'reform.' (As in, "Yes, two years ago my client was arrested for driving while intoxicated; however, since that time s/he has gone into rehab, joined a church s/he regularly attends and had no more run ins with the law.") The War Hawks -- that includes Robert Gates -- are really hoping that, between now and history's judgment, they can do something -- anything -- to mitigate their actions. Nothing will mitigate it. Laws were broken. The Constitution was shredded. Whatever happens to Iraq in the future, the US government broke laws and there is no happy spin for that. The US government launched an illegal war of aggression and that's not something you can wipe away. Jason Ditz ( weighs in on Gates here.

Calvin Woodward and Robert Burns (AP) fact check Barack's speech here and David Swanson (War Is A Crime) fact checks AP here. At MakeThemAccountable, Caro weighs in on the New York governor's race.

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And I forgot yesterday so the following community sites updated Tuesday night:

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thomas friedman is a great man

oh boy it never ends