Hypothetically, what would you say if a new political party took over congress, and within five months managed to pass a bipartisan bill that was signed by the president, that arranged for an end to the occupation of Iraq? Would you stomp your feet and whine that it “took too long?” Would you complain about the bills’ bi-partisan characteristics and its Republican party allowances, like leaving permanent bases behind? Maybe you would quietly acknowledge a job well done and say something like “now that’s representation!”
Whatever you said in the above hypothetical, the fact that it happened at all and so soon, would have been amazing. To expect that kind of expediency in the kind of complex situation that is the Iraq occupation would indeed be a great expectation. It would be a great expectation for our Congress, designed the way it has been, with two distinct houses and a then an executive branch that must sign off on everything completed. Our legislature moves slow the way its supposed to go.
The grassroots of the Democratic party as of late, would take the complaining route whether a successful bill to get out of Iraq was bi-partisan or not. Democrats are heard complaining because expression is the first step in getting something accomplished, especially something that has been out of one’s control per say. Democrats are also heard complaining because they know what to complain about, they are more likely to be informed in full than they other side, and that information comes in the form of nuanced understanding and not simplistic or shallow arguments.
No one said that invading and occupying a sovereign nation in the Middle East would be easy. More importantly, anyone who had a half decent mind for foreign policy would have said that getting out of such a situation(a quagmire) would be impossible to do satisfactorily.
Politically getting out is impossible to do without unilateral strong arming in congress and even that requires the physical presence of a veto proof majority.
Technically getting out is impossible to do without leaving the spoils of the illegal war behind. The empire thinkers in the Republican party won’t let us leave without an oil arrangement we can live with (like most of the oil for American corporations and a lock on pumping facilities). They won’t let us leave without allowing permanent military bases dotted throughout the sands of Iraq.
Democratic Party Wimps?
Lets recall how we got into this mess. Bush and his cronies fixed the intelligence around a goal of invading Iraq, i.e. yellow cake uranium, Colin Powell’s presentation of fictional threats to the U.N., Cheney on television scaring the bejeezus out of everyone.
To address the threat congress is offered up a Use of Force Resolution against Saddam Hussein. The Republican controlled congress, who wrote the bill, passed the bill. Most Democratic representatives voted against it in both houses. Keep in mind the intelligence was fixed, this fact was revealed by the release of the Downing Street Memos. So much so that intell privy to a certain few members of congress was also the “fixed” version of events and applied facts.
Asking of a representative today, who voted the resolution in 2003 “if you could, would you vote for the resolution again?” Might very well receive the response “yes I would.” Because the intelligence was fixed. If a congressperson believed what he or she saw then (what they were allowed to see), then they would have to believe it again today, they would have no choice.
The resolution provided for the use of force if there is either no cooperation from Saddam Hussein or if there is actual weapons stockpiles found. The resolution clearly stipulates that the United Nations is to be involved wholly in the endeavor to search for WMDs, with the U.S. attending and receiving votes from the U.N. Security Council, not once, but twice, after inspections, and again before force is used. Finally nearly a year of U.N. and U.S. monitored weapons inspectors combing the entire country looking for signs of weapons of mass destruction. With Saddam Hussein’s full cooperation, as testified to by the chief inspector. George W. Bush acted without the U.N. resolutions, violating international law already agreed upon. He violated the promise of congressional resolution. He used the U.N. and then violated the promises made to the member nations. He had lied to Congress at the State of the Union address a few months earlier. The war was now as illegal as it could get.
So now we’re in and finding it nearly impossible to get out and that should come as no surprise. My fellow liberals must lower their expectations to quell their emotions, but at the same time keep up the pressure on Congress.