Happy Holidays !
We have been saying it since we got there, but its time to get the hell out of Iraq! Actually let me re-phrase that, its time to get out of the entire Middle East. There is of course a big difference, as we have recently seen with all of the fuss around John Murtha's (Democratic Congressman from Pennsylvania) 'Troops Out Now' resolution. As Gilbert Achcar points out:
When Murtha says "redeploy" -- instead of withdraw -- the troops from Iraq, he makes clear that -- despite his rhetoric -- he doesn't want to really bring them home, but to station them in the Middle East. As he told Anderson Cooper of CNN:
"We ... have united the Iraqis against us. And so I'm convinced, once we redeploy to Kuwait or to the surrounding area, that it will be much safer. They won't be able to unify against the United States. And then, if we have to go back in, we can go back in."
Moreover, Murtha's resolution calls for the U.S. to create "a quick-reaction U.S. force and an over-the-horizon presence of U.S. Marines" to be "deployed to the region."
I guess what can you really expect from the Democratic party right? In New York we had to read all about how Hillary Clinton (the next Democratic Party Presidential candidate from all indications) opposed withdrawal of US troops from the region, basically putting her in agreement with Cheney's comments earlier in the week which heavily criticized those starting to raise criticism of the ongoing occupation of Iraq.
Hillary Clinton, more then any other Democratic party member, shows me how non-existent the political 'opposition' in this country really is. A few years ago i participated in a sit-in of her offices when it became clear that she was going to totally disregard the New York anti-war sentiment and vote for Bush's war resolution on the floor of the Senate. Besides the symbollic action, we demanded (and won) a one hour face to face meeting with Ms Clinton herself. After 'expressing our concerns' in various (actually quite articulate) arguments, she told us something that i will never forget. In response to a question about her voting against the interests of her New York constituents she said "You know what... i take all of those things into consideration... but at the end of the day I have to do what i feel is right".
I think that pretty much sums up the US system of so called 'representative democracy' (and why even during certain strategic points in time, im not a big fan of electoral politics). Clinton was 'doing what she felt was the right thing' which was basically thinking ahead to her future 2008 presidential nomination and totally disregarding everything else. On a similar note the action we did that forced the meeting with Clinton taught me a lot about the old IWW (Industrial Workers of the World) slogan "Direct Action Gets the Goods". A few weeks after we met with Clinton i ran into a member of Families for Peaceful Tomorrows, which is a grouping made up of various family members who lost loved ones on September 11th but were not down with the subsequent US militaristic responses. They had been asking Hillary for a meeting for nearly two years without even a reponse...