Bob Higgins

Futility In Washington, Death In Baghdad

Posted in Politics by Bob Higgins on May 4, 2007

Watching congress do whatever it is that they do is like watching my screen saver, a lot of movement, a bit of color, a little cheap entertainment but ultimately a waste of time.

I would like to have 10 percent of the monetary value of the man hours expended by members of the House, the Senate, and their respective staffs that was piled atop the redolent heap of history’s wasted gestures in the recent exercise in futility that was the fight over the Iraq supplemental appropriations bill.

Republicans joined with Democrats in making a spectacle of themselves as ineffectual windbags without a cause, proving publicly, once again, that most of them have no respect for this republic, it’s people or the business they are paid so handsomely to conduct.

Knowing that the eminently hardheaded little man who occupies the big house on Pennsylvania Avenue would veto any bill which included deadlines for troop withdrawals, and knowing that the same cynical little man would use the pork content of the bill against them, they made him a gift of a bill that he could veto and look “presidential” while doing it. They gave Bush exactly what he wanted.

Have these people so little respect for the people’s business that they believe they can fritter away all this expensive hot air drafting bills that they know full well will never pass? The votes on this were counted weeks ago, the Emperor’s objections were well known, there was no doubt about the outcome from the beginning.

In my humble opinion the 110th congress is not greatly improved over the 109th version of Zen and the art of doing nothing. While I appreciate that the Democrats now have a measure of control, I would like to see them begin to use whatever power they have for something more substantive than assigning themselves better offices and furniture, climbing in bed with their corporate sponsors and lobbyists and playing silly and futile power games with the executive department.

This war needs to end. Ending the war and bringing the troops out will take courage, infinitely more courage than the unthinking, flag waving, lemming-like mad dash that got us embroiled in Iraq four long, painful years ago.

Courage has never been a strong suit in American politics, which I suppose, is why it shines so brightly when it occasionally emerges from the dark alleys of the cover your ass opportunism that passes for leadership in Washington these days.

We are sacrificing our children and grandchildren on an altar of corporate greed, imperial megalomania and rabid religiosity and the people who enabled this national crime with their cowardice in the face of power and public opinion, those who can make it end by refusing to fund it, by withdrawing the authorization for it, by simply telling the truth, these same people will allow the slaughter to continue month after month, year after year, because they lack the spine to take a solid stand against what can only be seen as a completely rogue executive department.

All measures must be taken now to stop funding for anything other than a fighting redeployment or withdrawal from this madness. The time for the Iraqi Army to stand up is now, the time for an Iraqi political solution is now, not twenty months and two or three thousand dead Americans from now.

It is said that the Iraqi Parliament will begin a two month recess at the end of June, a fact which tells me that they are not overly committed to solving their own crises. How many of our troops will die while Iraq’s parliament vacations?

Yes, we the administration broke Iraq, and now we must pay for the repair of much of what they have brought to ruin. Make no mistake though, Iraq was broken long before our arrival, it was broken when western colonial powers drew it’s borders ninety some years ago and again when it’s people allowed themselves to fall under the control of despots.

The people of Iraq must bear the ultimate responsibility for what they suffered under Saddam during the four decades since his ascendancy.

The sectarian hatreds and ancient animosities so central to the myriad impediments to stability and national cohesion in that “country” are not American or Western creations and will not be solved by Americans or Westerners.

Can anyone tell me whose side we should take in this madness? Shiites? Help them gain national control and possibly create a Shiite super state with Iran that continues to threaten the stability of the greater Middle East?

Should we bring the minority Sunnis back to power and let them continue to molest their Shia and Kurdish neighbors with the help of oil money donated by our Saudi “allies”? Do we ignore Turkey and back the Kurds?

No, Iraqis, all of them, Sunnis, Shiites, Kurds, every hare brained sect and faction, every clan and family are going to have their little “free for all” with or without our presence. They will engage in civil war, a great cleansing of thousand year old grievances and in the end will have to sort out their own problems. It will not be pretty, it will be yet another horrible tragedy of history, a continuation and likely an amplification of the current bloodbath, but with help of the United Nations and the more rational of the neighboring states, they may be able to achieve some sort of national equilibrium over the next couple of years.

Success or failure will be up to the people of Iraq, all of them.

Iraqi security, stability, equilibrium, peace, whatever, is no longer possible while we stand in the middle of the flames and fan them with our own hated presence.

We need to bring our troops home and we need to stop the bleeding, both literal and figurative. We need to come home and do some housecleaning of our own and we need to do it this calendar year.

The people of this country showed their rejection of the Cheney/Bush neo-conservative megalomania last November and the number of Americans that no longer support their empty headed neo-colonial aspirations are growing as the subpoenas are answered and the facts are revealed.

Impeachment and criminal sanctions of those who were central to creating this quagmire and deceiving the American people and the congress into this criminal nightmare must not only be “on the table” they must be a centerpiece of our public policy in the immediate future in order to prove to ourselves and to the world that America has regained her sanity and is once again capable and deserving of a leadership position among nations.

And, perhaps, in September, when the Iraqi leadership returns from Damascus, Paris, London or wherever they spend their holiday, they will find the time to run their country and we can begin to repair ours.

Bob Higgins

Worldwide Sawdust


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