Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Losing Is Winning?

I’m sorry but I am having a really hard time with the spin on the Iraq funding bill compromise. Now I see why politicians are politicians. I use to think that they were pretty much like you and me, except with very large egos. Now I am of the opinion that they are from another world entirely.

Once again the Congress has allowed this President to bully and coerce them into backing down. Failing to display the political courage and will that is necessary to end this fiasco. I know that politics is about compromise, but show me the compromise for the Congress. It appears that they have caved in on everything this President wanted. Political expediency has won out again over courage.

I don’t want to hear about moral victories, people are dying. Where is the moral victory in that? This congress had an opportunity to give a voice to those who have lost their voices, the dead from 9/11, Afghanistan, & Iraq. The country needed moral leadership and courage and received a dose of the same old thing. The sad thing is that by holding two votes the Congressional leaders are providing cover for both themselves and the Republicans.

Obviously, I am not a political guru, but I had assumed that kicking the Republicans out the last election was a signal by the people of this country for a new direction. That new direction included Iraq. It is time to quit playing politics with the lives of our soldiers. Let’s make this perfectly clear, the way you support the troops is by saving them from the killing machine that Iraq continues to degenerate into. The Congress has allowed this administration to frame the question and by doing so they have allowed them to limit their responses. By framing the discussion with the question of, “Do you support the troops?” the Republicans leave only 2 responses; yes or no. By the questions asked one can control the responses to come. Instead of the question being, “Do you support the troops?”, it should be do you support the mandate, policy, and handling of the war that our troops are in. What kind of question is, "Do you support the troops?" That is like asking me do I support California.

If I really supported the troops, I would want them out of Iraq. This thing isn’t about body armor or humvees, it is about a flawed policy. News Flash: no matter how much the military and some people want to believe, there will not be a casualty free war. We soothe ourselves by sending over body armor and steel plated humvees, but war by its very nature is violent and people are killed and maimed. No matter how the military tries to make it look like a video game, this is real. Maybe if we just send over enough super-duper equipment and technology we can defeat the enemy and none of our folks will be harmed. And the lottery check is in the mail.

It is time to stop letting the politics of fear override the knowledge of what is right. Each member of Congress must ask him or herself the following question, “Did I come to Washington to represent myself or to represent the people who sent me?” In other words am I here to be reelected or am I here to do what is right regardless of the consequences. I am not naïve; I realize that people are often motivated by self interest. Someone once said, “In a democracy, the people get the government they deserve.” If we continue to elect those people who do not represent our interest or will not enact what we want done, then we are getting the government that we deserve.

I would like to think that this will end prior to the end of the Bush presidency, but I doubt it. There just doesn’t seem to be the political will and courage necessary to overcome the fear. There are no victories today, not for the Congress, not for the White House, and especially not for our troops in Iraq. Oh by the way, “How’s that surge thing working out for you?”

I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. This is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant.- Martin Luther King

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